Friday, July 23, 2010

Another immigration story........

I walked into my home one evening and found that I wasn’t alone….

Sometime during the day, a visitor came calling while I was at work and made himself at home in my house without my knowledge or consent…

I am a peaceable fellow most of the time, but finding my home violated by this intruder really annoyed me as you can imagine, but I recovered my composure and approached the fellow who was seated on my couch enjoying a beer and some chips while watching my television.

A soccer match was on and the announcer in very loud and excited Spanish was calling the game, and my “guest” seemed not even to pay me much attention as he was the game. He was scruffy, and unkept. He looked as if he had had a rough time on the road - like one of those hobos one would see in an old movie or in old black and white pictures of “Okie’s” from the “Dust Bowl” in the 1930’s.

I walked over and stood a few feet from him, amazed at his calm demeanor and his seeming lack of concern at my presence.

His eyes shifted to me after I cleared my throat loudly as one is apt to do to get another’s attention.

I nonchalantly asked him who he was and what he though he was dong in my house.

His reply was that his name was Juan and that he had just arrive in the U.S. a few hours earlier and that he saw that my house, which was nicer than his house in Mexico, and decided that he would just come on into my house and take up residence. After all, he needed a place to live and a job because there were none to be had back home. Everyone in Mexico knows there was work here to do, and since he needed a place to live, it was only right that he should be allowed to be wherever he wished, as it was his “human right”, and since we “stole” the land from Mexico in the 1840’s anyway, he would stay here, in my house.

To say that I was dumbstruck by this litany would be an understatement.

He then informed me that he had already done a couple of chores around the house as a way to solidify his claim to be there: “to do the work that Americans won’t do”, like taking out my trash and washing the few dishes in my sink in the kitchen. He then said that since he had done all this work, he now had even more right to be there, and oh, by the way, he felt entitled to make himself a sandwich and have a cold beer too since he was hungry and hadn’t had a decent meal in days since before leaving his homeland.

Morbidly curious, I inquired as to what he planned to do.

He said that he liked my house and reiterated that since it was so much nicer than his in Mexico and since he had done work for me, that he felt entitled to continued occupation of my home and entitled to free food and beer, all this in exchange for doing a few chores around the place. It was after all only fair. Of course, he continued, I should also pay him for the work he had already done too, and if I would be so kind, would I please put him on my health insurance so he and his family, who would be joining him soon, could go to the doctor free when they arrived.

Incredulous, I then asked if there was anything else I could do for him and he gave a considered look.

“Si”, he said, “I want my 6 bambinos to have a better life than me so they must have an education…. I want them to go to your schools and because they don’t speak English, you must ensure that they get their education in Spanish, after all, they must have the best education possible and it would be racist to insist they learn English since they are Mexican… It would be culturally insensitive….”

“So let me get this straight” I asked with a certain note of sarcasm in my tone

“You have come here into my home without invitation. You, in fact, broke in. You think that this land where my house sits was stolen from Mexico 150 odd years ago, so by extension or by right, you feel that you are entitled to be here in this country paid for with the blood of America’s fighting men, and in the home that I built and paid for with my sweat and hard earned money. You feel that because you have done some work here or that because you are willing to do some work in the future, that you can just come here without so much as a “by your leave”- that you can just trespass here, that you and yours can just take up residence in violation of the law? Then you insist that I pay to educate your illegal alien children in Spanish because it is racist to insist they learn English, and then you demand that I provide you with medical care just because you are here and need it? Does that sum it up? Is there anything else I can give you?”

He sat there and thought it over for a long minute considering my question.

“Si, there is something else….” He replied

“I want to vote in the next elections so we can have a say in your affairs and in redistribution of your wealth so that we can keep getting all these great things we want from you and your country… I want amnesty for me and my family so we don’t have to stand in line to get our green cards and then get citizenship so we can then bring in all our relatives so they too can get a nice place to live, free education and medical care and so we can get all the other things we can’t in Mexico….”

“So why not just go the American consul in Mexico and begin the immigration process and do it right?” I asked.

He laughed and said “Why would I do foolish thing like that?!!”

“It takes months and month and you must fill out many papers and pay mucho dinero to go to Estatos Unitos that way…. Only a fool would do that!!!” he laughed.

“Many of my friends, millions of them in fact , have already come under the wire and they are not having to mess with silly papers or having to pay to be here…. They say Obama will give amnesty to us…that the Republicans will give it to us….why should we do it the hard way?”

"Only idiots and chumps do it the hard way... America is very forgiving of such things..." he said with a smile. "I know this because I have been caught and let go many times before."

I could hardly argue with him. He had a point.

”Anything else?” I asked, tired and sobered by the litany.

“Si, senior… Next time you go to market, would you get some Coronas and limes instead of Budweiser? I prefer a good Mexican beer….”