Monday, November 07, 2005

Aliens Among Us... (Part 3)

At the time I didn’t know how the whole thing worked but they explained it to me. Those guys worked hard all season and saved all their money. In the winter when there was no work they went back to their countries and lived mostly off the money they made. They were living comparatively well to their neighbors who didn’t dare make the trek up to American every year to do the hard labor. It was a reward for those who chanced it. Little did we know at the time that economics and opportunity were coming together and that in the next twenty years a political storm would build.

Over the years I encountered many of the silent class. They tried to stay under the radar but when a thing such as this gets this big it’s too hard to ignore. It got too good for both us and them. We got used to the fact that we didn’t have to do the laborious jobs. Our children didn’t have to go out and mow lawns, carry buckets or haul wood every summer day to make money. They could do other things while the illegal immigrants were more than happy to make untaxed cash for a day’s work. No matter what, they work hard. You have to respect the ethic that created this problem. We have too much of a good thing and we want it to go back underground so we don’t have to look at it everyday.

America’s skin, its boarder, is full of open wounds. The seeping illegals are bleeding through and coagulating on our street corners. But like a cut or scrape its danger is in the wound worsening and infecting the rest of the body. In its most dangerous form the illegals are not Spanish immigrants but Fundamentalist terrorists looking to harm us not leech from us. In the cities where the children of those who came here do not find the education or health benefits of other American children, there is a danger that what was once relatively harmless becomes a national crisis of guns, drugs and crime.

For the most part the crimes have been committed against the community of Hispanics. There are many Americans who do not want these people around in their shops, their neighborhoods. That’s understandable. But some, disillusioned, turn to violence. In a case on Long Island, a couple of young men lured a Mexican worker to a basement on the pretense of a day’s work and beat him. In another, a young American man burned down a house that had Hispanic Workers living in it. I won’t say our streets have become a battleground but that can easily happen as the numbers swell and the workers impose more on our residential neighborhoods. Parts of towns on Long Island have been ghettoized as places that “they” live. Some, interestingly very close to our wealthiest neighborhoods.

It seems that the working class who support the wealthy with gardeners and maids and cooks and nurses aides need a place to live and they like to live within commuting distance of their jobs. I remember well a family who had employed an illegal immigrant as a nanny. She lived miles away in the borough of Brooklyn and worked on Long Island. The woman left her own husband and children to come and spend weekdays and nights taking care of another family. It was so sad to me as a kid. I saw that as almost unfair that someone should loose their time with their own children to take care of someone else’s. The concept gave me my first look into the separation of class and the sacrifice that the underclass needs to make. Was it fair? Probably not. But was it inherently immoral? Not at all. The woman had to work and this was the work she knew how to do. At least her children were clothed and fed.

(To Be Continued)

2 comments:

The Phoenix said...

I grew up with Mexicans, most of them legal. They did work very hard, but the legals seems to be on a much different path than the illegals. Those that came here legally had more "professional" jobs and made much better money and lived under better conditions.
The laborors had it rough, and they were not necessarily a bunch of thugs, but they were just rough all-around.
Many of them had this notion of getting an American girl pregnant in order to gain better social status among their buddies. One guy poked holes through his condoms, and another took his off and got this girl pregnant.
Neither of these two idiots are still around, helping to raise their children.
I think that's another aspect of this problem that will never be spoken about, because people will accuse those who bring it up of being racists. It's not a racial issue for me at all.
There is this mentality among many of these Mexican men that getting a white girl pregnant is a badge of honor. Then they just take off, leaving the woman to care for this child on her own.
It's not a racial issue...it's a mentality issue.

melly said...

I see I've missed some great posts and I do wish to read them. I'll be back next week for all of them. Right now, my internet time is almost up...
(I'm sorry for sounding so lame :(