Thursday, September 29, 2011

my day

In one of my classes today the topic was immigration.  It's a hot button topic.  Mostly because people can get really scared really easily.  It's amazing how powerful fear is in motivating people to think and do crazy things.  So, we are talking about how the U.S. has had this schizophrenic policy over the years in regards to immigration.

First we conquer Mexico and oops, realize that along with the land, we just inherited over 100,000 Mexicans.

The Great Depression of the 1930's means that there are few jobs around, so what do we do?  Kick as many Mexican Americans out of the country as we can and deport them to Mexico.

Then there is a war that is taking all of our men and we need laborers to do their jobs at home so that our fields can still get picked and our economy can keep on functioning.  Cue the Bracero Program .
Now we have cheap labor again, but like all good things, it had to come to an end.  So when our soldiers came home, we booted all of the Mexicans back out of the country again.  In one year alone, over a million people were deported.

Only guess what?  Some of them had kids while they were in America, and homes, and wives, and they thought of America as their home too.  But what did they think this was...the Promised Land?  Didn't they know that they whole "land of the free, home of the brave" thing was expired?  It was like the free frozen yogurt card that you is only good for so long.

About the same time, we colonized Puerto Rico and needed a bunch of service workers in New York.  So we had them come over in droves, but then- ah oh, the jobs disappeared, and then we didn't want them around any more.

The Chinese could come over, as long as they built our railroads.  The Irish could come over as long as they worked in our factories.  The Cubans could come over as long as they could touch a pinky to our shores.

In the 70's we crammed NAFTA down Mexico's throat, and there went any semblance of an economy in Mexico for the small farmers.  You wonder why Mexicans have to come to America to find jobs.  Read up on NAFTA and see how we decimated the small-farm economy.  Why would they sign on to such a scam?  It's called- power.  The U.S. had it.  And Mexico owed us money.

People say that these illegals take our jobs.  That is such bs.  Who ever lost their job picking strawberries to a less qualified immigrant?  Who ever lost their job cleaning toilets at the hotel you vacationed in to a lazy maid?  Who ever had their job as a cook or a dishwasher taken away in one of the Chinese or Italian, or ANY restaurants in your town because an immigrant stole it?  It's totally make believe.

Our economy would be totally f****ed without them.  I am dead serious.  You want to see every hotel and restaurant go out of business over night?  Get rid of all of their cheap labor that does a kick ass job.  And you think that they take all of our health care and services?  Baloney.  They pay in to the system way more than they get out.  They pay sales taxes on every single thing they buy.  They pay rent to millions of landlords, ensuring that those landlords have cushy retirements with their paid off rental properties.  Even the money they send home to family members out of the country, is a multi-billion dollar industry.  The amount of violent crimes that are caused by immigrants in this country is a tiny fraction compared to non-immigrants.  They don't want to get deported...lose their jobs...not be able to feed their families.

So what are we so scared of anyways?  That we won't get to be a construction worker who hangs out at the Home Depot hoping to get picked up in a truck at 7:00 AM so that we can have enough money to buy dinner for our family that night from doing some back-breaking day of work in the scorching heat, jackhammering concrete for some new tract home for a young newlywed couple that will soon be foreclosed on?

I think that we need to get real.  Stop blaming people who are serving us and doing us a favor.  We need to stop bullying people who are vulnerable.  We seriously are like the bi-polar cheerleader to the hard working, friendless new kid.  This new kid keeps helping us with our homework, and we keep kicking him to the curb after we say we're going to be his friend.

I don't think that we can baptize people in one breath, and in the next breath tell them that they are not worthy to be American citizens.  Did any of our ancestors have to stand in line...for years...or decades?  Nope.  They even let the diseased, crazies in.  And guess what, there's still plenty of land to go around.  Have you seen the mid west for crying out loud...or Henderson, Nevada?  You could locate the entire country of Mexico in one of those places, give each person an acre, and you'd still have plenty of room left over.

After class I was so sad...just so many heartbreaking stories and stupid policies that we'd just talked about.  I put my head in my hands outside, as I sat and ate my hardboiled egg and celery stalks.  I must have looked pathetic because this nice tattooed individual comes over and asks, "Hey are you OK?"  And feeling idiotic, I pop my head up and say yes.  He's like, "You know, it can seem bad.  People have killed themselves on campus...over some stupid test."  And I'm like "Yeah..., no I'm not there yet."  He seemed to feel like I was not going to slit my wrists with my plastic knife when he walked away so he nodded and I thanked him. Then he left.

Picked Garrett up from pre-school on campus.  I love it when he says, "I was meesing ewe!"  And then I say that I was missing him.  We go home and see Sis, who is jazzed to go to break-dancing lessons in a bit.  We pick Dalton and his buddy up from Chess Club.  Dalton and Gavin go to the long board shop to get Gavin a new board.  Garrett gets on Dalton's old board and they cruise up and down the street.  We walk to get gelato at the local Market after we pick Shelby up across the street at the dance studio.  Gavin grills salmon kabobs.  Later Shelby picks off all of the nail polish I recently put on her nails to teach me a lesson for getting mad at her that she had her dirty shoes on while standing on my living room chairs.  We play outside with a tiny baby kitten, that we figure out is the neighbor's, and thankfully not another stray that Shelby will want to adopt.  Bath, and reading (Dalton reading The Hunger Games out loud to me on his Kindle), and guitar practice, and it's off to bed for kids.  Stats homework for me, and now it's off to bed for me, where Gavin and Garrett await.  It's too late to fight it.

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