Monday, May 01, 2006
Dios Bendice a los mexicanos que permanecen en México
Ahhhhhh.. you knew it would happen. I have to share my opinions on today’s "day w/o an immigrant" situation. It is several things, in my opinion: 1) Unorganized 2) a slap in the face to employers 3) A good example of people only hurting themselves. This being said- I want to tread lightly- because I, myself employ a full time-Hispanic nanny/helper in my home. She, for all intents and purposes- helps me raise my children. She allows me to continue to work and be a productive member of the workforce. Unlike some of the articles I've read recently- she is not "cheap" labor, nor is she an illegal. She's a Texas-born, U.S. citizen who has two Texas-born grown boys. (one married to an illegal-living here illegally) We pay her well- (over 20K a year) and she deserves every penny! Our first nanny was white. My Lawn guy? White. So we're the exception- not the rule, for employing illegal immigrants. So, when you ask me "how did ""a day w/o an immigrant" go in Houston, for you?" It hasn't made much of a difference. (Although- its only 11:30-as I write this-- the day is only half over!) I walked outside with the kids and a cup of coffee this morning- and as I watched them play in the yard- I heard Garbage trucks drive by (Hmm.. garbage p/u wasn’t "halted" as expected?) I could hear people speaking Spanish in my neighbors backyard- and working going on- (They are putting in a new brick pathway), My other neighbors were getting their lawn cut by a "troop" of trailer pulling-lawn cutting extraordinaire’s- and much as I expected, life goes on! I dont happen to be one of the people who think that our economy would come to a standstill- if we chose to round everyone that is not a U.S. citizen up- and ship em out. But out of the other side of my mouth- I think that they provide a stream of income into our economy that actually helps boost our spending and buoys our per capita income, allowing us as Americans to spend less money on say- building our homes and more money on labor to help us "keep" our home. Where does the money go when we pay people to keep our homes, cut our lawns and take care of our children? Straight back into the U.S. economy? Not always- it's also bolstering the Mexican "economy" as well. People are able to send money back to their families and support them in ways that they can’t if they remain in Mexico. This is an issue for me as well- Is this right? I don’t know- but the flip side is paying an American worker- (more you can be sure) and them spending all of those dollars here in the U.S. , on housing, clothing, food, etc. I had a real "eye-opener" when I was on bed rest with the babies at Memorial Herrman Memorial City- I was there for 31 days- and I saw things the "average" American probably doesn't see much of. For one- I saw a CONSTANT influx of illegal immigrants being checked into anti-partum (that’s the "don’t have the baby yet" wing-) and getting free treatment. These girls and their boyfriends, spouses etc, were being checked in and refusing to speak ANY English- and demanding free health care (never having had ANY prenatal care) as well as free delivery of their "anchor" babies- which as most of us know- makes their children U.S. citizens. This is WRONG, Wrong, wrong on so many levels. The cost of this indigent care is in the BILLIONS- and DRAINS our businesses and schools (hospitals, schools, healthcare clinics) of dollars they might otherwise be spending on U.S. born- "Aunt Clara" who cant afford health care. Illegal aliens have cost billions of taxpayer-funded dollars for medical services. Dozens of hospitals in Texas, New Mexico Arizona, and California, have been forced to close or face bankruptcy because of federally-mandated programs requiring free emergency room services to illegal aliens. Who pays for this ultimately? We do- the U.S. Tax payer. We absorb the wear and tear on our schools and hospitals and feed the welfare recipients. We feed the children who's mama's continue to utilize the WIC programs. They are not thrown out on the curb as most people will tell you- the numbers don’t lie. Now before I get flamed by all of my dear readers or inundated with feedback (which-by the way, I love- so please post your replies!) I must say that I realize that Mexico still needs to overcome many structural problems as it tries to modernize its economy. They MUST raise their living standards. Some of it's real ongoing economic problems include low real wages, underemployment for a large segment of the population, inequitable income distribution (top 20% of income earners account for 55% of income), as well as immigration (mass exodus of a real segment of the economy that could help their economy immensely-by keeping their pesos in Mexico!) How do we solve the problem? I don’t know entirely- but the issues and drain that illegal's impose on our economy far outweigh the rewards. I feel like illegal’s are standing in our streets, wrapped in their Mexican flags and screaming while they bite the hand that feeds them. It’s all kind of absurd!