I’ve always been for the underdog. It’s just in my nature. And, my upbringing.
And when Mexican people first started settling on Staten Island in the 1990s, I took notice.
I applauded their bravery and fortitude, as they took menial jobs for unbelievably poor wages.
First settling in Port Richmond (Puerto Richmond), Mexican people can now be found in most every neighborhood and town on the Island.
And of course, that’s OK. We’re a melting pot, and Mexican food is among my favorite kinds of ethnic cuisine. More Mexican people mean more authentic Mexican restaurants.
And, they’re Catholics who pray and go to church and have good, solid values. Mexicans take care of their homes meticulously. They are family-oriented. They care about their community.
Their children are respectful and families value education and hard work. Most make good neighbors.
The neatest homes on the block, with carefully manicured lawns and freshly painted shingles, are often the residences of Mexican families.
Sure, there are gangs, but isn’t there organized crime associated with every nation? It isn’t just in Mexico or Central America. Be realistic.
As far as the “illegal alien” thing, I think that’s harsh language for kids to hear. Adults, not so much. It is just a legal term still on the books, after all.
Either way, I didn’t mind “anchor babies” or people entering our country via the back-door and felt the US is here to welcome the world’s throwaways and suffering masses…like the plaque on the Statue of Liberty says.
It’s in our blood. It’s in our history.
But one day I realized that illegal immigration without limits is ludicrous. Whether we call the people who brave the Rio Grande, with kids in tow, dreamers, undocumented migrants, or anything else, the fact is, few of these people end up working on the books.
So how do they pay taxes, then? I guess they don’t. Of course, there’s sales tax on the goods they purchase.
But there’s no local or state or federal income tax on “off-the-books” work.
Many people, and it’s not just undocumented Mexicans, receive food stamps while working for cash. Is that fair? Guess what? I am not even going there.
What I am going to say is this: Fair or not, it’s ultimately untenable.
Unfortunately, there’s only so much funding to go around. It’s limited. As in, finite.
Let’s pretend I owned a company. It doesn’t matter if it makes some sort of useless widget that breaks in a week or does something way more useful. Let’s further pretend it’s a profitable venture. I want to expand. Things have been good, after all.
If I left my company to a manager and went on vacation, and said to hire five new employees in my absence, and I get back and there are 500 new employees, and after two weeks the company is bankrupt, how is that a good plan for the future?
How can that work?
If a ship can carry 1,000 people and I loaded it up with 100,000, do you think it might sink? Just maybe?
Maybe my analogies suck. Telling stories isn’t really my thing.
I’m not really even a writer, most of the time.
I’m just saying, open borders forever and without any kinds of limits is suicide for the US. Economically, that is.
We should offer amnesty to those who are here illegally, maybe even make legal immigration from Mexico easier, but we need limits. Controls.
Illegally hiring people for cash is exploitative of workers, anyway. Why? Too many reasons to start listing them here. And, it’s easy enough to research on your own, if you’re interested.
If we had a different system in place, all those people without legal clearance to be here would still be working, not risking deportation, and furthermore have a pathway to citizenship.
Best of all, no one would have to deal with shady “coyotes”, the people who profit from trafficking humans over the international border between Mexico and the United States for extreme profit. Yes; there’s good money in that.
And of course, criminals fill the void of a much-wanted need. Like always.
But of course, reality is far different than my dream. Companies want cheap labor. Migrants want cash. And all the while, the Left and Right bicker and fight about the details, while so many lives are ruined.
But think about it: Undocumented immigrants and their families who are here will need services. Their kids need to go to school. Babies need to be born. If someone cuts themselves on the job, they need to go to the E.R. These are the facts.
None of this is cheap, and without their tax dollars, the weight becomes unbearable as the number of undocumented people skyrockets.
And so, public services will be strained under this load, and hopefully, there will be fewer people immigrating without legal authorization to do so, for this very reason. Not bigotry. Not hate. Pure, simple mathematics.
A wall makes sense. Or a fence. Electronic monitoring of the border. Something. Anything. Of course, fences make good neighbors, too. Who can deny that?
It’s not that I don’t want people to escape oppression, earn an honest living, or find their place as a part of the American Dream.
It’s just that there’s no way we can pay for everyone, forever, without any constraints, and we have to do something before we hit those limits.
Or else we’ll all be in a very sticky situation without any possible solutions. And nobody, here citizen or not, wants that.
Sanctuary cities supports a lot of things that should die. Like the coyotes. It’s sad that in the name of compassion, we’re actually supporting an uncompassionate system that needs to be dismantled. Open borders encourage all this.
ICE separating children from their parents is horrible, what person with a soul can deny that?
In the end, it’s really just another symptom of our porous Southern border. Really, that practice has been going on from President Obama’s administration right on through to President Trump’s. It’s not a matter of politics or who you voted for. It’s a matter of human lives. Kids’ lives.
We need temporary work visas for unskilled migrant workers and manual laborers from Mexico and Central America, like we have for skilled (wo)manpower from other nations. Of course, such temporary passes might look different than H1 visas for people with college degrees in computer science. Something more like H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers’ visas, but with fewer restrictions.
An unskilled laborer might work in construction. They might work in a restaurant. Who knows? They work where there’s work to be done. They’re not picky. They just want to work hard. So their visa must reflect this and be more open-ended.
There has to be a way for people of Mexican and Central American countries to apply for such visas while already here.
But we also need ways for people to easily travel over the border just to visit with family, or to go back-and-forth at will. Why feed into the coyotes’ schemes by making all this so difficult in the first place?
If we don’t do something, we risk the economic security and prosperity of everyone. And then, nobody will be coming over the border, because our Nation will be mired in a mess, and it won’t be a Sanctuary Nation, but rather just another hellhole people will be trying to escape from because there’s not enough funding to go around.