La Mamita

{March 7, 2006}  

“If there is no work for the illegals, they will go home…”  This is a quote from a series of short videos on the Washington Post referring to Minutemen and their goal to get rid of every illegal person in the United States.  The quote stood out to me because of the flawed logic in this man’s thinking.  Those who are illegal, if they cannot find work (which will never happen), will not go home. How would they get there?  If they couldn’t find a job are they going to walk from their homes all the way to Mexico? Canada? Doubt it. They might turn to crime. What happens if the 20 million illegal immigrants all of a sudden turned to crime because there were no more jobs?  Somehow, them working their asses off each and every day to support their families (which the majority of them are) seems like a better option.

I am all for people coming here through legal channels. I am all for people getting here and then doing what it takes to stay legally. But that’s not reality.  I know of one situation where someone married another person from a different country.  It has been well over two years and their mate cannot join them yet.  It is document after document and payment after payment. And this is someone who wants to come legally.  They are doing whatever it takes and getting no where.  They continue to live in one of the poorest countries in the world scrapping by on $100 a month.  Why should someone have to go through all of that when they can just come on over and make money immediately?  We all think we would choose the legal way, but, if your kids are starving… there are no jobs in your country… you are desperate… you could quite possibly think differently. 

The Minuteman interviewed goes on to say there is no racism involved in what they are doing. I beg to differ.  His direct quote is, “…abnormal amount of young Latino people who were obviously not legal citizens…”.  First, I’d like to know how he knew they were legal or not. And I have walked down the streets of Adams Morgan and other places with high Latino populations and I don’t feel unsafe.  His statement is racist or in the very least – ignorant.  If he is so concerned with them being legal, why doesn’t he approach them, get a translator (or be surprised at how many are working hard to learn English), and find out why they are there and what they hope for in life.  I think he’d be surprised.  And realize that they are there for the very reasons that my ancestors came to America –  a better way of life.

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