Friday, April 28, 2006

"Illegal" is the point... (April '06)

For the past 20+ years I've lived in north San Diego county. About a 40 minute drive from the Mexico-US border... and surrounded by more mexican food drive-thrus within a 10 mile radius than Starbucks! I could NOT survive without mexican food (or espresso). I would be much less of a person without the influence of my mexican friends. I would be a very boring person if I were not surrounded by so much culture. My first job (over 15 yrs ago) was in a mexican restaurant in my hometown of San Marcos, California. While the owner and I didn't work very well together, we still frequent their establishment and give them regular business for our annual "Gringo de Mayo" fiesta. You see, at heart I'm an international cosmopolitan! I've travelled to a dozen different countries (and have at least a dozen more on the waiting list)... I'm an international business student... I love learning of the cultures and history of all!

But believe me, my life in San Diego has also been doused with a number of graffiti taggers in the 'hood... and I've got some stories of other law abusing immigrants (ie. me chasing down a pair of caballeros attempting to leave the scene of a car accident, sexual harrassment directed towards me in the workplace, a man strangling his girlfriend in a car on the side of the road, a man running through my piece of property with a machete in his hand while helicopters flew overhead in search of him ... I could go on). My point in this? This would happen anywhere...

But again.... I would be a much different person (much LESS of a person) if it weren't for the cultural forces surrounding me. While I firmly believe that this country was built by immigrants FOR immigrants, I have a problem with the "illegal" part. Currently our nation is in the middle of an immigration crisis. And due to the geography in north San Diego county a lot of mexican families are affected by this. But I'll state my opinion plainly - I have a problem with immigrants attempting to tell us that all people in the U.S. deserve to stay here whether they are here legally or not.

Please, I welcome you. Come be a part of our society - but please respect this land by being upstanding, law-abiding citizens who pay taxes with the rest of us...

While I don' t think the U.S. Gov't has done everything they could possibly do to keep illegal immigrants from crossing our borders - I do believe that we are all responsible for ourselves and our futures. And while I don't know what will happen to our economy with the May 1st "All American Boycott" - I DO know this: those participating in the boycott will be drawing a line as to who is educated and who is uneducated. This proposed bill is to keep out ILLEGAL immigrants of all descents... to provide additional border protection... to keep the terrorists out. It's not directed at the mexicans on the whole... it's not directed towards those families that wish to improve their standards of living! My own descendants came here from Norway and Germany... like so many of our families, our roots are of immigrants.

What can we learn through all of this? We can be more accepting of our differences... and we can do away with even more or our negative stereotypes ... let's learn to embrace diversity...

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