Gary Soto Immigration

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Many Mexicans in the 1950’s and 1960’s came undocumented to the city of Fresno, California. The reason why many immigrants migrated to Fresno was because of the proximity to the San Joaquin Valley. The San Joaquin Valley is surrounded by agricultural fields that needed fast labor. Landowners employed many undocumented hispanics, because the general American population found agricultural work unappealing. The workers of these fields were treated unjustly by their employers, some actions include: withholding wage, refusing salary, providing improper hygienic facilities and or housing, and in some cases physical abuse. Many of these cases went unnoticed by the law due to the victims not wanting to be deported to their home country (“Oranges” 138).
Gary Soto was born on April 12, 1952 in Fresno, California. His grandparents were immigrants from Mexico and came to the San Joaquin Valley to work in the fields. His parents were first generation Americans who also worked in the agricultural industry. His mother worked in potato fields whereas his father worked for Sun Maid Raisin Company. When Soto was five, his father died in an industrial accident. Because of this tragic event, Soto’s mother raised her three
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Soto attended California State University and graduated in 1974 with a Bachelor’s degree in arts. In 1976 he earned his Master’s in fine arts for creative writing, also from CSU. In 1979 he became associated with California State University. His first position with the university was as an assistant professor until 1985, when he got a better opportunity as an English and Ethics associate professor until 1991. He ended his career with CSU in 1993 as a part time senior lecturer. During his time with CSU Soto expanded his family. He wed Carolyn Oda, and they had one daughter, Mariko Heidi

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