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!


Anonymous said...

OK< so you see this as a Mexico situation, that's the problem.

There is a problem with immigration. I happen to have the following situations:

1.) My former roommate was a "vistitor" and was granted an extension on her visitor visa (B-2) 3 months AFTER the visa expired

2.) My good friend from Romania, who basically got married to stay in the country was abused (beaten, and otherwise abused) by her "husband" but didn't have any recourse for basic human rights

OK, now the big ones:

3.) My wife is an immigrant, and we are trying to obey the law. First, she was forced back at the Detroit border (Canadian) because her "paperwork" wasn't in order... hmmmm... why do people come in w/o paperwork? Btw, this was 4 days prior to our wedding... all of her family was admitted...

4.) Her daughter is living with us in Texas, is not yet fully legal, but HAS to attend school, or otherwise I'm breaking the law.. we are having trouble with her paperwork as well, because, we tried to do it legally.

5.) I was arrested! Yes, I went to Canada and tried to bring MY CAR across from CANADA to the USA and was stopped by border control and put in handcuffs (the FIRST and ONLY time in my life). The only thing that really kept me out of a long ordeal was my security clearance when they pulled me up. They profusely apologized but this isn't the point.....

The point is that it is utterly impossible to legally immigrate to this country. It takes years... go to and look at the dates... I married a Canadian and we are struggling financially, she is wiped out because she cannot legally work, and my step-daughter cannot work, get her driver's license, or skip school for fear of deportation.

That stinks!

OK, so that's the problem:

What's the solution?

Letting a certain number of people immigrate legally to this country in a timely manner.

Letting Americans decide who they want for thier spouse, and putting processes in place so those spouses and their dependent children come in to this country legally.

Do you realize that someone can still buy their way in? Hmmm... how do we stop terrorists that way? All they have to do is open up a Subway/Cinabun/YOURFRANCHISEHERE and they get automatic immigration status.

The system does need an overhaul. Will this day make a difference, no. Will the dollars lost/gained/transfered make a difference, no. Did my wife work today, NO. She can't and due to my clearance, we have to follow the law to the letter, so it will probably be three years, until she can. My Step-daughter, go to school? Yes, it's against Texas law for her to skip. Yes, consider the irony of that, it's against the Texas law for an "otherwise illegal" immigrant to skip school.

All My Best to You all and to all a good night,

Michael D'Onofrio

Anonymous said...

So, "A Day Without A Mexican" worked out pretty well....can we go for a week or a month now?