Illegals & The American Melting Pot
Over the last several years, illegal immigration has taken its toll on this great country. We are a country divided according to Pew Research Center. Prior to moving to Texas, my views were pretty cut and dried. I knew the crime statistics. I knew what happened to our community after the illegals moved in.
Then I moved to South Texas, where white people are the minority. Let me just say that most native Latinos despise illegal immigration just as much as everyone else does. The cost of educating the illegal’s offspring, the social monetary benefits and the crime rates keep rising.
So when I made my annual trek home to Michigan this summer, imagine my shock at the blatant racism and poor manners exhibited by the people where I grew up. The following is a letter I wrote to the local newspaper and sums up how ashamed I am at how we are treating people who just want a better life for their children.
To the Editor:
Today, at the Bronson Polish Festival parade with my child and my infant niece, I realized that I am ashamed of the the community where I grew up.
While cradling my niece as she drifted off to sleep, a Latino family walked up next to us and the children proceeded to interact in the open and color blind manner that children naturally do. My daughter had come prepared with a bucket to stash her loot, but the Latino family did not, so the oldest daughter raced home to retrieve one for her siblings. She also brought a folding chair for me to sit on while I held the now-sleeping infant. The kindness of this family was not lost on me and I thanked them profusely.
As the parade passed, imagine my shock when several of the organizations throwing candy to the children completely ignored these Latino children while throwing candy to the white kids not 20 feet away and to my white daughter just a few feet away. This was not universal, but it did happen SEVERAL times during the parade. I finally told my daughter to stand with the Latino children, so they wouldn’t be ignored because she was racing to and fro collecting as much as she could. I couldn’t have been prouder of my seven year old as she generously shared with these children.
But the instance that outraged me enough to write this letter was when one of the local Girl Scout sponsors went to hand me a registration form, telling me it was her last one. I informed her that I was from out of state. She looked at the Latino family with TWO daughters and, instead of offering it to them, she went on down the line.
I am not discounting the illegal immigrant situation in this country. I have read the stats, I live in South Texas, my husband works in an industry where the majority of workers carry a gun in case they are confronted by an encounter with violent drug runners or a band of desperate illegals. I abhor the drain on our economy, the crime, etc.
But I find it more abhorrent when a so-called advanced society treats innocent children with disdain and prejudice?
Is this Latino family here legally? I don’t know. But I do know that kids collecting candy at parades is one of the simple things that has made this such a great nation.
This nation is supposed to be a melting pot that takes in the tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free. No, we have not always done so with good grace; The Irish, the Italians, the Chinese, the Germans, the Japanese, these have all in their turn been considered by some to be a threat to the status quo. But that is the nature of a melting pot… The new is added to the existing, they are mixed, and the resulting amalgum is stronger than before. The disdain and fear of these other races was wrong in the past, and it is wrong now with the Latinos. Yes, some of them are bad; some of them have broken into our Country to exploit our generosity. These should be dealt with accordingly. But what of the rest? Should we not consider them innocent until proven otherwise? Should they not be treated with the same civility with which we treat our neighbors?
I fully admit that if I hadn’t moved several years ago to a region where I’m the minority, I may have become as racially snobby as those I witnessed today. But I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to walk in the shoes of a stranger who doesn’t understand the language or the culture and has had to adapt and change my preconceptions.
Now that I have a child of my own, I am doing my best to instill in her that one can NOT judge another simply by the color of their skin. And only through education will we raise a society that judges other people by their actions and not their ancestry.
So how do we handle the illegal immigration problem that we have? It’s simple. Get rid of the social and fiscal programs that they are taking advantage of. If there were a country that were to give me free money on which to live, free schools to educate my daughter, and free universal health care without fear of consequences, I would move in a heartbeat. Take all of that away and there is no longer an incentive for the illegals to come pouring in.
I do not believe in sealing off our borders. Why should we turn away people who would be a benefit to our great nation? Give us your tired, your weak, and your heavy laden. The Mexican immigration movement isn’t any different than the Irish immigration, the Russian immigration, the Jewish immigration and the Italian immigration of previous generations. The problem is that the people coming in now expect a free ride because we, as a nation, are foolish enough to give it to them.
With the current issues we are having regarding immigration, many of us have lost our empathy and respect for basic human life. Do you want to see a change in immigration laws? Do you want the free benefits that illegals are receiving to be removed? Then be that change.
How would you change the immigration requirements here in the U.S.? How can you make a difference in your community in regards to how illegals are treated?