Apr 20, 2009

Our local paper ran a story yesterday about the river of poor Mexicans and poor Central Americans that continues to flow northward, despite our sagging economy. The truth is, that no matter how bad things are in the United States, they are far worse, south of our borders. What we call a recession or a depression is far better than what passes for the everyday in many places. Predictably, this unleashed a torrent of angry and mostly hateful comments in the comment section of the online version of the article. People are, for the most part, sick to death of illegal entrants and don't mind telling you. I'm not smart enough to do the math on the economic impact of illegals, but I do know some things that seem obvious. Illegals use social services, they pay taxes, their kids go to our schools, they buy stuff in our stores, they work hard, but some are bums, some are criminals, most are not. On balance, who knows what illegal immigration really costs the United States? To me, that is beside the point anyway. I posted a comment in the paper yesterday, trying to make the point that we are Americans by an accident of our birth. We could have been born poor and desperate, but we lucked out. We would all like to believe that our particular brand of specialness made us what we are today, but we had a head start. As Ann Richards famously said of George Bush, "He was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple". That's many of us. The reaction from my fellow commenters was swift and harsh. One fellow took me to task for suggesting that anything about his birth was accidental, his momma planned to have him and he was loved. Apparently missing my point altogether. Another guy suggested that I open my home to illegals, if I felt so much for them, again missing the point. I don't promote illegal immigration. I do understand that all people seek a better life and here is where a better life can be found. We have to separate the problem from the humanity. If the governments of our countries can find a solution to the issue of illegal immigration, that's great. Just don't expect that the poor and hopeless to wait for that solution. And don't hate them simply because they want what we have. Perhaps this video illustrates Americans fears. Things in this blog represented to be fact, may or may not actually be true. The writer is frequently wrong, sometimes just full of it, but always judgmental and cranky

14 comments:

R.L. Bourges said...

maybe... (just a suggestion, mind you) if Mr Boyle were willing to don a kilt and prance for Dewar's at the bar?

Yes, I realize that's horribly degrading. I say: don't blame it on the Mexicans, blame it on the Boss-a Nova (oh, groan and go away).

This was RLB, reporting for graulhet, bonjour.

Squirrel said...

Great post, Merle. I was traveling around NY State yesterday and stopped in a small town where I met a group of Mexicans who were so glad to be new American citizens --so proud! and sadly, I met yet another unhappy man- a very wealthy white American (by birth) that hopes Obama will fail at whatever he tries.
Both my mother and mother-in-law were not American born, and let me say they appreciated this country and loved it so much.
We don't always see what we have, how much we have even in the worst of times we have it so good.

Squirrel said...

Thank you for the video.

Anonymous said...

I carefully checked my genealogy and there is no specialness at all although some of my ancestors were here for the Revolutionary War they were in the British Army but then decided to become Americans.

Steve said...

Part of my job is to read the comments in our newspaper forums, and it never ceases to amaze me how angry and vitriolic people are on this issue. We have one newspaper in California where comments on any news story -- whether it involve schools, crime, government or human interest -- inevitably become screeds against illegal immigration. It's insane!

Barbara said...

Love the video; what a spoof on management!

I would remind anyone who is critical of immigration that all the menial jobs in this country now seem to be done by Hispanics. If we deported all those here illegally, we would be cleaning our own toilets and doing all our own yard work.

Reya Mellicker said...

You are so good, Merle ... and so reasonable. I was just reading a blog written by someone who travels to Nepal for her work. She was describing the hardships of a family that moved to Kathmandu so the kids could go to school but when they arrived, they couldn't make ends meet. So she and her husband, who are not "rich" by our standards, are paying for the kids to go to school.

We're so lucky to live in this country of obscene abundance. Her post also reminded me of how stable our government is, compared to many places.

You are right on, Merle. Keep leaving those comments! Bravo!!

Reya Mellicker said...

OH! Forgot to say:

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!!

alphabet soup said...

All around the world there are people who are fearful of having to share anything with illegal immigrants who come into their country. They apparently find it impossible to visualise how it might be for some-one who flees their country because living there has become untenable.
I live in one of these countries and the fuss that is kicked up over the arrival of a couple of hundred people in a year is unbelievable. You would think we were heading for the end of the universe.
Ms Soup

Megan said...

A very hot topic here as well.

Annie Ha said...

Racism and prejudice always increases during times of economic stress. This is a fact.

Kurt said...

I lost a great lettuce picking opportunity because of illegal immigration.

edward said...

okay.

Bella Rum said...

Those online forums bring out the crazies. It's the anonymity factor. It gives them license to be as ignorant as they want to be.