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View Diary: Tan lejos de Dios y tan cerca de Arizona (so far from God and so close to Arizona) (47 comments)

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  •  we have much in common (3+ / 0-)
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    Nightprowlkitty, Wary, catilinus

    just got this far and wanted to say that i am looking forward to reading the rest and expect to hear much of what i too have experienced:

    Right off the bat, I admit to having broke/stretched more than a few U.S. laws over the last three decades in trying to protect people from Mexico that were here without papers. I guess I also broke/stretched a few Mexican laws along the way. It is not always easy to know what to do when friends and family are faced with hardship and prejudice.

    i'm glad to hear that i am not the only one who says this straightforwardly.

    •  I'm eagerly awaiting hearing your confessions, (2+ / 0-)
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      conchita, Nightprowlkitty

      to the degree that they won't get you into trouble. I haven't stretched/broken many laws lately, though I fear I would if in Arizonobia now.

      Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

      by catilinus on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:06:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  not so many confessions (3+ / 0-)

        as secrets kept over the years.  i offered to marry a friend to help him stay in the country, but like many mexicans his pride and belief that he could do it through the system made him decide to wait till he fell in love.  eventually, he did marry - for love - and he did get his green card even though the marriage did not last.  

        my law breaking in mexico was only manufactured by the police when they decided to take advantage of the fact we could afford to rent a car to go surfing.  i got off pretty easy though - about 10 pesos enough for breakfast.

        i love mexico with all my heart and it saddens me that most americans have no idea what an amazing culture exists to our south.

        •  It is sad that so many US citizens still are (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, Nightprowlkitty, asterkitty

          largely ignorant about Mexico, or maybe I should say Mexicos, because there are so many different Mexicos to learn about. No one offered to marry me when I was illegal in Mexico-but luckily I didn't need that.

          Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

          by catilinus on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:31:59 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  asdf (3+ / 0-)

            no one offered to marry you?  i guess you aren't as cute as i. ;)

            re mexicos. so right. whenever i eat a real mexican restaurant, i always as which state the chef is from.  strangely, my current favorite mexican restaurant is in wayland, mass where my mum lives.  the chef is from someplace between d.f. and oaxaca and his sopes are ricisimos.

            i hope you and your wife and son get back to visit family often.

            •  When I get really nostalgic for Mexico I find a (1+ / 0-)
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              tacos on wheels eatery-the RV looking vehicles that service factories etc. The food is rough-but exactly what you find roadside in Mexico.

              My (ex) wife goes back to Mexico several times a year. She came here without speaking a word of English & having only reached 7th grade in Mexico, worked as a nanny for 5 years, studied for & eventually got a real estate license and became very successful. She has a marvelous & very complicated story. Her family was of the very poorest in town (the photo in the diary is the wall of her mom's old house), but now she owns a colonial-era hotel nearby the pueblo she grew up in.

              Meteor Blades seems to do an outstanding job of community moderation despite the abject failure to be perfect.

              by catilinus on Sun May 02, 2010 at 10:57:20 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  that's a fabulous story (0+ / 0-)

                i love that she returned to mexico and invested in the community.  

                i wish that i could tell a similar story about the friend i offered to marry.  unfortunately, he is in an untenable situation.  he has degenerative discs and is in constant pain that he somehow bears rather than take the pain killers that will ruin his nervous system, liver, and kidneys.  i don't know how he gets through each day.  he works for someone who has long hired mostly undocumented workers.  he did not give them insurance or holidays other than thanksgiving and christmas, but he did pay them $100/day even twenty years ago when my friend first got here. some his employees became legal and learned marketable skills (construction, film electrics and grips, electricians, etc.) or went to school. my friend nearly became a union truck driver, but didn't get along with the shop supervisor - that mexican pride thing again - and instead ended up working as the superintendent of one of his employer's many buildings when his back problem made it impossible to work on film shoots.  his employer now pays for his treatments and health insurance and gives him a nice two bedroom apartment (he has a daughter who is with him on weekends).  as long as the pain is bearable he will hopefully make it until his health insurance will pay for surgery if they determine he is a candidate for disc replacement (about nine months from now).  the irony is that there are treatments that would cost less in mexico, but the pain is so debilitating that he is not able to drive or fly there.  tears come as i write this.  he is only 39 years old and has so much to offer and with the exception of falling into deep despair only a few times, has been so stoic in dealing with losing his mobility and ability to take care of his daughter in the way he wants.  i am very thankful that he got his green card before the pain took over and was able to fly home to mexicali to spend time with his family (first time after 20 years) and his daughter before his mother died last year.  if surgery does not help him, i don't know that he will ever see his father again.  at least he was healthy enough when he was there a few years ago to help him work on his house.

                he and i have been friends for many years and it is emotionally upsetting for me to see him going through this.  but i also know that he is not unique.  many of the other guys who, like him, are twenty years older are also facing medical issues - diabetes, heart attacks, back problems, etc.  their employer does what he can, but i don't think any of them, including him, ever anticipated what would happen when they got older.  in their case, their employer is a good man and has resources, but i know there are many other people out there - undocumented and documented - who are slipping through the cracks. we are at the brink of such a nightmare if we do not change how we function as a society. it is a good part of why i have fought as hard as i have for better hcr.  

                one last thing, i realized after i wrote a comment above that i said something i wouldn't have if i was still traveling to mexico as i had been - we are not americans.  we are as you said, estadounidensos.  how quickly i forgot....

              •  there are trucks like that in nyc now (0+ / 0-)

                i am a regular at one of them - el idolo.  they remind me of the buses in mexico with their decorated front windows.  i don't eat meat, but their vegetarian tacos have the pureed beans and oaxacan cheese i love, and aguacate of course.  in fact, i think i will take advantage of this good weather and walk down to 14th street today. :)

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