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Cycle of poverty in San Joaquin Valley may offer clues to future of U.S.

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Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013 12:00 am

On a warm spring day, farmworker Cristina Melendez was bedridden and unable to make her way back into the asparagus fields of central California for the kind of backbreaking work she’s done since childhood.

The 36-year-old mother of seven was desperate. Her bank account had been at zero for months, the refrigerator was nearly empty, and she didn’t have enough to cover the rent. Lacking health insurance, Melendez couldn’t see a doctor or afford medication, so her illness dragged on — and another day came and went without work or pay.

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2 comments:

  • Richard Peterson posted at 3:45 am on Thu, Jan 2, 2014.

    Richard Peterson Posts: 1

    In reply to Kathy Burke: I admire what your grandparents achieved. But if it was for economic reasons that they immigrated to the US, then they judged that their chances for economic success were better in the US than in Italy--that is, your grandparents realized that hard work is not the only factor--economic opportunities and good luck count too--or else why immigrate from Italy, why not just stay there and work hard there in Italy?( It may be that your granparents didn't immigrate for economic reasons, but many did.) But what is happening now and also has happened at other times, is that prospects here are not that great, and some people don't have good luck. That makes a big difference, as does health, so that hard work alone may not insure a decent living.

     
  • Kathy Burke posted at 4:33 pm on Wed, Jun 12, 2013.

    Jkburke Posts: 6

    Read immigrant's recipe for success by Michael Fitzgerald today's Stockton Record. It takes hard work and 2 children. Most of Americans are from immigrants, my grandparents came from Italy with nothing but worked hard to make a decent living. Thank you.

     
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