Tag: undocumented worker

Imm & Imm

My mother came to America from El Salvador. My paternal grandparents came from Europe. All emigrated legally, which is the essence of the American experience – huddled masses yearning to be free, and all that.

However, in the eyes of many Americans, my mother and grandparents were selfish and immoral. After all, whenever a debate starts up about immigration, it’s just a matter of time before someone says, “They need to stay and fix their own countries instead of coming here.”

The implication is that people have an ethical obligation to remain in their homelands rather than try to improve their own lives. Of course, none of the Americans saying this have ancestors who took that advice. As soon as Ireland ran a little low on potatoes, for example, lots of people said, “See ya,” rather than stick around for the sake of rescuing Belfast.

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Lazy Day

Hispanics are used to being insulted and denigrated. After all, there are a wide variety of colorful slurs and cultural putdowns from which the bigot can choose.

However, “lazy” has never seemed to stick. When it is applied to us, it seems to tumble out in an almost haphazard way. It’s as if the racist doesn’t really believe it, and is just hurling epithets that sound good. After all, how can Latinos be lazy if they’re working hard to invade America and then steal everybody’s job? That sounds like quite a strenuous chore to me.

The stereotype of the shiftless Latino pinnacled back in the days when welfare cheats were the biggest boogieman that white America had to face. Even then, it was scarier to paint African Americans as lazy. That imagery still resonates with true haters. After all, Hispanics don’t have a Stepin Fetchit as cultural shorthand.

In recent years, the claim that Hispanics are lazy has been further diminished. The cliché of the sweaty Latino knocking himself out to install your roof or finish your garden or clean your hotel room has come to the fore.

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The Crime Wave That Wasn’t

Embracing my god-given Second Amendment rights, I plan to buy an armful of automatic weapons and stuff the closets in my house with every manner of shotgun, pistol, and blunderbuss if I have to.

You see, crime nationwide has skyrocketed due to the influx of illegal immigrants, and…

What’s that you say? Just about every statistic has shown that violent crime is actually down in America? Well, that’s not what I’ve heard on cable news networks, but ok.

Still, it must be true that crime is way up in places where illegal immigrants congregate. Just look at our friends in Arizona, where stories of murder, rape, carjacking, kidnapping, assault, and arson are plentiful – all at the hands of the undocumented.

Senator John McCain says crossover crime from Mexico has led to “violence—the worst I have ever seen” (and that guy was in the Vietnam War!). Meanwhile, Governor Jan Brewer insists that her state has “been inundated with criminal activity.”

But in truth, as I’ve written before, violent crime is down in Arizona. For that matter, violence is also down in such immigrant-heavy cities as Phoenix, El Paso, and New York City.

In fact, a new study implies that cities with lots of immigrants may actually be (wait for it)… safer than other places in America. How can this be?

Well, we’d have to listen to a Harvard professor who is, no doubt, a typical elitist with fancy book learnin’ on his resume. But let’s indulge him.

Professor Robert J. Sampson, in an interview with writer Christopher Dickey, says that “immigrants move into neighborhoods abandoned by locals and help prevent them from turning into urban wastelands. They often have tighter family structures and mutual support networks, all of which actually serve to stabilize urban environments.” Sampson adds that “if you want to be safe, move to an immigrant city.”

Could this be why several police chiefs from around the country recently met with Attorney General Eric Holder? The chiefs stated that Arizona’s new law, if enacted elsewhere, could backfire.

“We will be unable to do our jobs,” said Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck. “Laws like this will actually increase crime, not decrease crime.”

The primary reason, of course, is because the new law erodes any trust between immigrant communities and the police. Also, cops would be spending less time chasing down the truly bad guys and more time booking Latinos who tried to pick up a gig outside Home Depot.

These real-world problems with the law are in addition to such minor qualms as a potential increase in racial profiling and the fact the law may violate the U.S. Constitution. But let’s not quibble.

The funny thing is that there are plenty of legitimate concerns about illegal immigration that conservatives can bring up. But they have insisted on exaggerating fears of violence. Now that they’ve committed to this path, they don’t want to hear that passing laws such as SB 1070 could actually increase crime.

But then we hear about Abel Moreno, of Charlotte, North Carolina. He called 911 when he saw a man assaulting a woman in public. The guy was arrested and faces multiple charges.

But Moreno, who is an undocumented worker, is now in line to be deported. His attorney hopes he can get Moreno a temporary visa. In the meantime, Moreno has lost his job.

I’m sure the next immigrant who witnesses a crime will be only too happy to be thrust into a similar situation by calling the cops. He’ll feel a great surge of civic pride, even after the police slap the cuffs on him.

But that’s not my concern. I’ll just buy more guns.

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