Monday, November 07, 2005

Aliens Among Us... (Part 4)

With the establishing of this class of workers many areas succumb to the slum landlord approach. Fit as many workers in one house as possible to maximize rent. More and more of these workers need to live close to the suburban middle class that they service. Especially on Long Island where the sprawl has reached all the way out to the eastern tips. In the wealthy and well-known town of Southampton has a population of Hispanics that gather in their 7-11 parking lot and live in their own neighborhood tracts. The East End of Long Island cannot support its growth and sustenance on its own. Even the once exclusive Hamptons have surrendered to a very middle class problem.

The problem is the old saw of America being the land of opportunity. For a new class of immigrants who come here in waves, this country presents a place where there is work to be done and money to be made for a better life. Some can establish themselves and become integral parts of this society. Other are transient, migrating back and forth over the border as much as they can. Others are squatters, coming here once and never leaving, disappearing into the United States to escape from the real oppression, which is their home. It seems simple osmosis causes this border problem. If there is a reason for the illegal immigrants to risk life and limb to get here then they will come over. Where there is too much crowding and not enough work in their own countries there are wide-open spaces and ample work. They can’t help but be drawn here. It’s a simple scientific principle.

There is an even more tragic side to all this. According to the U.S. Boarder Patrol, about 2,000 people dies between 1998 and 2004 trying to cross the U.S.-Mexican boarder. The Sonora Desert that stretches from Mexico to Arizona is a corridor that is said to be the deadliest passage. The people of the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation in Arizona that is on this pathway of death find many Mexicans dead there every season. Often the immigrants die of thirst and heat exhaustion hours from the border on a trek that takes many days to make.

There are also opportunists among those seeking opportunity. In a recent tragedy a tractor-trailer full of Mexicans crossing the border was found at a truck stop in Texas. Inside nineteen had died of the heat exhaustion while being locked in the trailer on their journey across the border. Apparently the driver noticed a taillight was out and stopped his truck to inspect it. When he saw the condition of the people inside he got nervous, unhitched the trailer and abandoned it. This is the type of risk many are willing to take to cross into America to work and build a better life. It’s a really old story. Other immigrants have died crossing the border on foot, unprepared for the intense desert heat. More have died in railway cars trying the same trick as the tractor-trailer victims. I envision the dying poor who took the berth section on ships crossing the Atlantic. Those who made it across were lucky but the risks were great and the promise of reward even greater. There are few Americans who can imagine the desperation it takes to stow away in a dangerous, dark and hot trailer for a journey to an unknown country where you do not know the language on the hint of a whisper of a chance for a better life.

(To Be Continued)

3 comments:

The Phoenix said...

And there are those reports of women being murdered as well. Many were mutilated and decapitated. They never solved that mystery, and I believe they still find a young woman's body every so often.

There are some very bad people out there.

ObilonKenobi said...

I haven't heard of these crimes against Americans. I should do more investifation into them. It seemed to me that our most pressing problems were the drain on the economy.

The Phoenix said...

These were Mexican women that were being killed. Maybe the murder(s) are Mexican, maybe American - who knows?