The Labor Dynamics Of The United States And Philippine Relationship

1393 Words May 6th, 2015 6 Pages
Before we can understand the labor dynamics of what Filipino immigrants faced in the United States, we have to retract to earlier history between the formation of the United States and Philippine relationship. In 1898 after Spain surrendered the Philippines to the United States, President McKinley issued the Benevolent Assimilation program “…which promised that the Americans came as friends and not as conquerors” (Mabalon 29). This eventually opened the gates of Filipino migration to the United States.
With poor living conditions in the Philippines, many young male bachelor Filipinos went to the United States. An excerpt from Philip Vera Cruz: A Personal History of Filipino Immigrants and the Farmworkers Movement stated that Filipinos would make the trip across the Pacific to “take advantage of the better educational and economic opportunities that were purported to be waiting for them in their benefactor’s home country” (Scharlin and Villanueva xix). Many Filipino immigrants had the preconceived notion of the American dream, but had a weak understanding of the racial inequality and high discriminatory environment plagued in the United States.
Many Filipinos who worked in the agricultural fields and fishing canneries were presented with long working hours, along with harsh conditions and low wages. In fact, according to oralhistory.hawaii.edu, “As the last immigrant group to work on Hawaii’s sugar plantations, they were paid the lowest wages.” These conditions gave way to…

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