Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mail call! Here is my response to a passionate reader who needs to look beyond the anger

Dear randyjet,

You have to have a camera at the border to prove someone has entered the country illegally. Such a crossing is indeed a felony.

So what prosecutors can only prove is that these human beings(you probably want to argue that label, too) are in the country illegally -- a civil offense. That's what the letter of the law demands.

It's really quite simple to understand, when you don't let hate or ignorance get in the way.

Most people who are charged with being illegally here have come to America LEGALLY -- as seasonal workers to harvest crops and work on golf courses, rebuild New Orleans or work at amusement parks or at an assortment of menial labor workplaces because Americans are too lazy to do these jobs ... or perhaps there is another reason for not giving an honest day's work for a wage.

So in charging these human beings with a civil offense of being illegally here, the court has to recognize that the immigrants have simply overstayed their visas.

Meanwhile, American businesses cry for these workers to be let back into the country because Americans really don't want to work ... or perhaps there is another reason.

You see, it is easy to stereotype an entire people. Of course, Americans want to work. They work hard. Perhaps it is the lowness of the wage that repulses Americans from some jobs. Perhaps we need to pressure businesses and universities to pay a livable wage? I'm for that. Let's work together.

How do Hispanics survive on such a low wage? Well, they work several jobs. Then they buy their own home and start their own business. Both pay property and sales taxes. Or they ultimately return home and buy land and raise crops to support their family and pass wealth on to their children.

Should we criticize these human beings for being hungry for success as Americans once were?

The University of Arizona found that undocumented immigrants and their families contribute almost $1 billion more in revenue than they use in state and local services in that state. The Social Security Fund would go belly up two years earlier if not for the contributions of undocumented workers. Baby Boomers are retiring. Who will fill their jobs? Hispanics constitute the youngest workforce in this nation.

By the way, some of these human beings stay and fight and die in Afghanistan and Iraq even though they are not citizens of the United States. The Arab Press laughs at this nation and calls these human beings "Green Card" soldiers.

Again, these human beings are needed because too many American citizens don't even want to fight for their own country ... or perhaps there is another reason.

I believe, randyjet, that once you get over the unjustified anger at these human beings, you'll see that everyone wins. That has been the case with every immigrant group that has come to this wonderful country.

And the label of immigrant has to be part of your family tree, too, unless you're an American Indian.

Thanks for reading and writing,
Tim Chavez


Anonymous said...

"You have to have a camera at the border to prove someone has entered the country illegally. Such a crossing is indeed a felony."

If I come home and a stranger is in my house they must be guilty of trespassing rather than breaking and entering since we didnt see them in process?

cdpottss said...

Mr, Chavez
I agree with your position on the plight of Mexican Americans in the U,S.A. When society calls a group of hardworking people aliens it indicates the idea that this particular ethnic group is not really deserving of equal and humane treatment. I was so impressed with your explanation of the Black-Brown divide it has really fueled my commitment to continue to work to bring awareness as it relates to our common interests. As an African American female, it is my hope that I can do something to draw these two communities together. Working as a teacher in a largely Hispanic school, has convinced me that our children will truly change how many of us think about our black/brown brothers and sisters. When I step into my classroom and we discuss immigration, reform,etc. I am excited to see that my students are thinking about important issues of the day. It is my belief that they do know that the mantle has been passed and that they have a divine obligation to accept the challenge. Mr. Chavez, I know that it is a tiresome and tedious chore to educate and open minds but please keep up the good work and know that the DHS class of 1977 is very proud of you.


Carolyn Potts-Shelton
Ardmore , Oklahoma

Anonymous said...

Mr. Chavez,

I am writing to disagree with your position that Ms. DeLaPaz was tortured. When she broke the law by entering or remaining in a country illegally she lost some choices. In this instance, she lost the choice of how she would give birth.

You totally disregard the fact that she is here illegally and consistently write as if a traffic offense is the only thing she has done.

The US is a land of opportunity. However, we have finite resources and cannot provide for everyone. There are ways to enter the country legally and I have no problem with anyone who does it the right /correct/legal way.

Anonymous said...

Great feedback from both anonymous posts here, however, it was excited to read from Mss. Caroline.

Tim, and for all the forum here, please keep doing these respectfuly blog from a city (and comminuty) that desrves the best.

Anonymous as well.

randyjet said...

I have seen some silly things in posts, but this has to be one of the funniest and least rational, that it cannot be proved that a person crossed the border illegally, unless a camera caught them in the process. You have been watching too many Star Trek movies and must think that transporter beams are real. I can assure you that so far they are not. Thus a person who is here with no ID, does not speak much English, and no proof of entry into the US, most rational people and the courts will take that as being PROOF of illegal entry. People have been executed with less evidence and based soley on circumstantial evidence and even no body or proof of death of a victim.
If you enter the US legally you have papers that prove that, so then you are only guilty of an infraction,not a crime. The latest best estimate is that about 40% of those who are here illegally are visa overstayers. That leaves 60% who committed a CRIME! It does little to make your arguments if you have to lie about my positions. Straw man arguments are convincing only to yourself and leave others cold. It also helps you to try and demonize those who you disagree with. I have no problem with the fact that even illegals are human beings, and as I have stated on numerous occassions, that I have no problem with LEGAL immigrants. I DO have a problem with people who SPIT on US and our laws. I would be outraged at ANY American who went to another country and did what the illegals are doing HERE! Why aren't you?

The fact is that I was working out in the hot Texas sun all day today, doing work that supposedly white folks will not do, at age 62 yet. I refuse to go out and hire illegals to do such work even though they are available.

I would also like to practice medicine and other jobs that pay well. Unfortunately, I don't have a license to do that. Being eager for success does NOT mean you break all the rules, and that a desire to get ahead means that you can break any law or regulation if it gets in your way. THAT is what unscrupulous businesses and people do. They go to PRISON for such things. I fail to see why illegals should get a pass on all of our laws because they are foreigners and poor.

To give you an idea of how such things are handled, the father of a friend of mine was VP of a Savings and Loan. He gave a loan to another neighbor for his business, and falsified the paperwork that it was for his home. At the time, it was illegal for an S&L to grant such loans. The examiners found out, and even though NO money was lost, he got FIVE YEARS in prison for this! I think that coming into the US illegally is at least as bad as what he did.

The reason that businesses are so pro-illegals is that they make tons of money from them. An example is the meatpacking industry which used to have an aveage wage over ten years ago of about $19/hr and was unionized. They went out and built plants out in the country so that the work force would have little or no alternatives for work, then imported illegal workers and the average wage is now at $9/hr. These people are basically scabs who have taken jobs away from American citizens. You and your kind are doing the bidding of big business to drive down the wages of Americans. That is why the Chamber of Commerce is so hot for immigration reform so that they can continue using illegals to screw Americans.

When ICE raided the Swift plant in Colorado, the plant raised wages by $3/hr, and put out notices that they were hiring. They got lots of workers to apply then. Most American workers are smart enough to see that and figure out what is good for them, and it is NOT having an endless supply of cheap labor. It is only those who cannot look beyond race, who think otherwise.

Your racism not only distorts your view of history, but of the self interest of Mexican Americans who actually live on the border. My next door neighbor in McAllen was a LEGAL Mexican immigrant who was a skilled auto mechanic, and he only got $8/hr because of all the illegal workers in his place. I can tell you he was NOT a fan of illegals either! He wanted MORE ICE raids, E-Verify and enforcement in HIS workplace! He was damned pissed that HE had done everything legally, yet HE was getting shafted for doing so. The only ones on the border who want no workplace enforcement are the business owners who are making a lot of money off of the situation. Guess who they give a lot of money to? The political leaders! It is now just the same as when LULAC was founded, one of their demands was MORE border security and enforcement of the immigration laws. Now that more Hispanics own and get rich off of this trade, they are now against such things.

As for my ancestors, they came over before there was any country, paid the Indians for the land they settled on. Then they fought in every war this country has had, including me, and I know that I have earned my place and rights FAR more than any immigrant. It is up to ME and the American people to decide WHO comes here, NOT the illegals!

As for having all the illegals leave and its impact on the US, I have no problem with that at all. Once we get border security which we should have had a long time ago, THEN if there is a need for more workers, THEN we can have a program of LEGAL immigration to fill those jobs. The reason that there is such a small quota for legal Mexican immigrants now is the flood of ILLEGALS that there is NO need for such a quota.

I can assure you that as a Democratic party activist,most Democrats here are more in line with my sentiments, and that is those who are Hispanic too. They too have enough sense to know that the US cannot take in virtually all of those who want to get in. That is your position and it is the minority one.

randyjet said...

Carolyn, I hope that you are teaching your students that breaking the law is wrong. Are you doing that? Or are you saying that if the laws get in your way, that it is OK to break them. Do you think it is UNJUST to require that people get permission to come to the USA? Is that your position? Do you think that if a person is poor, that they have MORE rights than Americans in their own country? That therefore they have the right to take what others have worked for?

Do you encourage cheating on tests? It must be OK if all they want to do is to get good grades without having to do the work. Since they are poor and have no advantages, you should turn a blind eye to that, and let them get As that they don't deserve. They just want to get ahead.

As an old civil rights activist who actually heard Dr.King in person, I can say that one of the people who I admired was Rep. Barbara Jordan, who was from Texas, and the chair of Clinton's commission on immigration. I would suggest that you go and read her remarks to Congress when she delivered her report. I cannot match her eloquence or logic, so I won't try. I support her position completely.

I also hope that you teach your kids that there is a differnce between those who follow the law and those who violate it. I have NO problem with any immigrants as long as they are LEGAL and have permission to be here. I hope that you teach that too. All immigrants are NOT equal if one has cheated and the other has played by the rules. I trust too that you make sure your kids line up and wait their turn, or do you think it is just OK for them to rush and fight among themselves to see who gets to be first? I am worried about what you are teaching them.

It is also true that the poor white, black, and Hispanic AMERICANS are the ones who are hurt the most by the illegals, since they are the ones who are competing for the same jobs of unskilled labor. It is these Americans who suffer the most from the competition. The National Academy of Science study found that their wages get depressed more than any other group by at least 5% which is a lot at minimum wage.

Mexican American is NOT the same as Mexican.They fought to make that point years ago, and it is racism to suggest that it is. Hispanic is NOT the same as Mexican, nor American, nor Honduran, and there is NO country on Earth that recognizes its citizens that way by RACE! I see that you have a hard time understanding that. Being an American is not one of race, but of citizenship! Too bad you don't know that or refuse to. I should also inform you that Mexico is VERY strict about that point as well. Any Mexican citizen who was NOT born in Mexico, is a second class citizen for LIFE. If any Mexican American kids thinks he or she can go to Mexico and enroll in the university if they are not there legally is in for a shock. They will be DEPORTED ASAP! They do not fool around there. Also if they are so stupid as to make ANY demonstration in public, they WILL be deported the same way. It is illegal there to do such things for immigrants or even visitors. I hope that you are better teacher than you let on in your posts.