“What Are Young People to Think?”: The Subject of Immigration and the Immigrant Subject in Francisco Jiménez’s
This article emphasizes Francisco Jiménez's effort to challenge media misrepresentations and xenophobic myths about undocumented workers. It is also argued that The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child (1997) troubles naïve notions of nationalism by placing the migrant child's life at the center of the national imaginary, marking a larger goal in much Mexican-American children's literature. The Circuit is a collection of autobiographical short stories that provide a compelling firsthand account of a Mexican family's migration to the United States. It becomes a crucial contact zone within which the relationship of readers to the subject of immigration and to immigrant subjects is reconstituted. The presence in Panchito's life of other people who model resilience contributes to the development of his own strength. His maturation in The Circuit parallels and enables the maturation of the child reader.