By Olga A. Vasquez, Lucinda Pease-Alvarez, Sheila M. Shannon
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Extra resources for Pushing Boundaries: Language and Culture in a Mexicano Community
Courts, immigration authorities, and the Internal Revenue Service. The 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which offered amnesty to previously undocumented individuals who had entered the United States prior to 1982, dramatically affected the number of intercultural transactions in the Mexicano community. Amnesty applicants were required to prove that they had lived in the United States undocumented prior to 1982 or to prove that they had worked in agricultural jobs for a specified period of time.
Instead, the residents simply say that they live in Lincoln City. " In contrast, residents of El Barrio, a Puerto Rican barrio in New York City, refer to their bloque [block] according to the street number or according to team or social club names - for example, Los Gavilanes from 104th (Zentella, 1980). Similarly, in the East Los Angeles barrio, the neighborhoods all have names: Maravilla, Whitefence, Belvedere, Boyle Heights, and so on. In the following litany by Raul R. Salinas (1972), the Chicano poet expresses the intimate connection between a barrio, its name, and its people: My Loma of Austin My Rose Hill of Los Angeles My Westside of San Anto My Quinto of Houston My Jackson of San Jo My Segundo of El Paso My Barelas of Albuquerque My Westside of Denver Flats, Los Marcos, Maravilla, Calle Guadalupe, Magnolia, Buena Vista, Mateo, La Seis, Chiquis, El Sur, and all Chicano neighborhoods that now exist and once existed; somewhere .
The choice of one language over the other may lead to further choices. For example, while Mexican Spanish is most common at home and in conversation with other Eastsiders, several different varieties of Spanish are also spoken on the east side. On one occasion, two middle-school girls pointed out that a boy from El Salvador used the vosotros form of you (the plural 30 Eastside: A Mexicano community "you"), usage common in El Salvador but not in Mexico. Regional variations of Mexican Spanish also are evident.