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My son is very lucky. He was born in Mexico and entered this country as an infant. Both he and his mother had no papers or visa.

I'm going to tell you a few things about "undocumented workers" I have known and loved. 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.

My son was born in Mexico, as was his mother. As I was told I would have to wait a minimum of six months in order to bring them here legally, I opted for a different solution. I simply carried my son across the border in my own arms & bluffed my way through. It was a solution personally reminiscent to the one undertaken by the side of my family that landed in Dorchester, Mass. in the 1630s-even though this time it didn't involve the theft of other peoples' lands and life. While my son was not the first or the last "undocumented" Mexican I've helped, he was the smallest.

Diarist in baseball cap with 2 soon-to-be "undocumented workers" of vastly different ages.Photobucket

The story of how my son & his mother came to this country bereft of documentation is somewhat different from the story of the average undocumented worker. I first worked with undocumented workers here several decades ago. I lived "over there" in a pueblo for over a year and saw repeatedly how the process of becoming an undocumented worker in the US begins.

Decades ago I worked in a retail business that turned out to be hiring undocumented workers. I learned Spanish mostly from my coworkers. Somehow I ended up acting as a paralegal for a large community of people that turned out be from 4 inter-connected pueblos deep down south in Mexico. Over decades visiting and living there I've seen hundreds of people begin there mostly temporary sojourns in the U.S.

How "they" get here-
Myths to the contrary, lone Mexican ronin looking for work don't cross the border haphazardly without planning & foresight. I've sat around enough kitchen tables in Mexico while the daunting enterprise was debated amongst family members.

You begin in a pueblo in Mexico. You are living with your family. You do not want to go someplace that is far away and become in in effect, a hunted fugitive. You are a citizen in your own country. You can walk down the streets as a free individual. If no one in your family has more than the bare essentials to live, you likely cannot even dream of going to the U.S. Without money you will not be able to go, unless someone sponsors you. The trip to the US border is a long one, & crossing can cost $3,000 paid to a coyote to guide you across. Even if you have the $3,000 needed to cross, you cannot go without having an unofficial sponsor that can house and feed you until you are employed.

Before you leave your pueblo your route and destination are already largely worked out.

After arriving at la frontera, you begin the process by contracting with a coyote. After the coyote is paid on the other side & family or friends have picked you up, you begin the process of finding employ. The family or friends who have informally sponsored you are constant reminders that you must make good here. You're here to work: not party or hang around in hospital waiting rooms (lol). Every day you're unemployed is filled with the silent or vocal recriminations of the family/friends of whom you are guests of: "No luck again? Try so & so restaurant. Go hang out on such & such corner with others looking for day work. My friend in such & such city 65 miles away says there is work up there...."

Hanging around in an apartment with 5 or 6 employed people while personally not-employed & non-contributing isn't an option. It is either get work, go to another city or go home in failure. Whatever the job, whatever the hazards of it or the low pay, you've got to take it.

You know a guy that knows a guy that knows a guy that sells fake Social Security cards for $100. For the persistent (& extremely rare) employer, you may need also to purchase the more expensive ersatz green card. With those cards in your pocket you can now get work as a janitor or dishwasher. The $ taken out of your bi-weekly check for Social Security will just sit in the system: lost to you. It is not your number & you can't claim any benefits from it: now or forever. You may work as a janitor for 15 years, with payroll taxes constantly being taken out, but none of the taxes you pay will be remitted to you: that is a gift to a financially strapped government.  

-----------------------------------

On the flip side,
Before my son was born I was once upon a time an "illegal alien" in Mexico. Everyone in the pueblo knew my papers had expired. Their reaction was to give me a job teaching in the local school under an alias. Perhaps they were happy to see me no longer doing my poor impersonation of a farm hand. No one tried to deport me. No one tried to blackmail me. No one threatened me. The local constabulary couldn't have cared less. I wasn't a political hot potato.

Have you hugged your papers today?
With the news from Arizona nowadays I find myself thinking about another time in Mexico's & our history. At the same time that Benito Juarez was fighting back against a European installed Hapsburg on the throne of Mexico, Arizona was coming into its own as a Confderate territory.

From the Confederate "governor" of Arizona

After receiving a request for talks from Mangas Colorado, Baylor issued a very special order to his men:

"The Congress of the Confederate States has passed a law declaring extermination to all hostile Indians. You will therefore use all means to persuade the Apaches or any tribe to come in for the purpose of making peace, and when you get them together kill all the grown Indians and take the children prisoners and sell them."

Arizona-fied school pix
Photobucket

My son is lucky. He is off roller-blading today. When he left, I didn't have to tell him, "Remember to take your papers with you." He does have papers now-thankfully. We don't live in Arizona-that is a whole state away. Even if his dark skin gives a hint of his place of birth, he doesn't have to worry about being scooped up or molested by a modern day Baylor or Paddyrollers because he seems too "foreign." He's very lucky he doesn't live in Arizona. Several of my compadres and comadres aren't so lucky. They're demasiado cerca de pinche Arpaio.

Originally posted to MBismo Vencerá on Sat May 01, 2010 at 07:39 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Parents: Don't forget to pack those papers (28+ / 0-)

    in with the lunchbox.

    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 07:38:59 PM PDT

  •  we have much in common (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    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-)
      Recommended by:
      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-)
              Recommended by:
              conchita

              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. :)

  •  this diary is a welcome accompaniment to (5+ / 0-)

    jill's.  i hope it too ends up on the rec list.  it always amazed me that mexicans were able to raise $3k when so many americans i know have less than 10% of that in the bank.  i have never lived in mexico but during the years before i went back to school i was in oaxaca state about five times a year and would often stay for a month or more.  i loved it and my many warm friends and planned to buy land and move there.  unfortunately, it has taken me nine years to finish my degree and as my parents are now in their mid 70s, i'm no longer as comfortable with living that far from them. i had planned to start a weaver's cooperative, a jv hostel with a mexican friend, open a bookstore, and build a graphic design career. everyone i know in the area works at least two jobs and i was ready to do the same.  i've told everyone i came to know there that i would do all i could to help them if they got to nyc, but advised them to stay put where there is wonderful food and respect for them as human beings.  it's been awhile since i've been there and i am concerned about how the political repression has effected oaxaca city.  i expect the pueblas along the coast are more or less the same although i know the awesome surfing beach that was a locals only secret now has a snack bar and has become a surf destination.  oh well.  so much for the property i had my eye on up the hill.  thanks for sharing your story and the story of so many who come here.  most people in this country have no idea.

    also had no idea that you too are irish - at least i assume so with a dorchestah provenance.  and like me, black irish.  they say it is likely that we have spanish blood....  

    •  No Irish ancestors that I know of-yet my grandmom (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita

      had red hair...The first "undocumenteds" in my family that arrived here came from England. I love Oaxaca. The first time I entered Oaxaca I did so illegally on Xmas day in the back of a banana-filled trailer coming from Guatemala. It is one of the poorest states in Mexico and has endemic problems of poverty & getting the same level of social services that other states in Mexico get. I hope you are able one day to get a business going down there.

      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 08:24:17 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  yes, the poverty is extreme (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catilinus, asterkitty

        i have many hand made artifacts, both because i love the work and because i wanted to do what i could to help people eat.  i was not your typical bargain hunting tourist, except in the mercado where it was expected.

        on the back of a banana filled trailer!  i think that beats my story about taking the classe ordinaire bus from oaxaca to pochutla which very nearly slid off the side of the mountain in the middle of the night because the rains had eroded the road.  

        •  Hey, I think I was on that bus! (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, asterkitty

          from oaxaca to pochutla which very nearly slid off the side of the mountain in the middle of the night because the rains had eroded the road.

          Well, it was the bus to Monte Alban-but it did nearly veer off the cliff several times because of the rain. That was probably the scariest ride I had in Mexico-riding with the bananas wasn't scary.

          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 08:38:02 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  scary (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            catilinus, Lady Libertine

            yep.  everyone was yelling "abre la puerta" and trying to climb out windows because the driver was too busy trying to manage the bus to be able to get up and open the door.  i'd just had an amazing weekend and decided if it was my night to die so be it.  and no one would ever know because no one but my friends in huatulco knew i was on the bus and they only knew that i'd be back in a week or so.  

            obviously, the bus made it back to oaxaca but it did require all of the men on the bus working together to build up the road so that we could pass.  i will never forget it.  i've considered traveling on as many local and classe ordinaire buses as possible and photographing the front windows, but i won't if i've got it in me to take that route ever again.  there was a reason why the classe ordinaire got there two hours faster than the luxe and it wasn't the different route - it was because the music was up loud and the driver careened down those hairpin turns stopping only long enough for someone to quickly hop on and his little boys closed the door behind them while the bus was already moving.  i loved being a part of it but wish i hadn't chosen a seat right behind the driver.  

            i hope your diary gets read by a lot more people - hard to say at this hour on a weekend.  you've written about stuff that people should hear about.

            •  I read your post & realized how lucky I was never (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              conchita

              to have sat right behind a driver in the sierras. Also, I was spared ever having to help build up a road....

              A looong time ago I took Greyhound from SF to the Border. Then boarded a Tres Estrellas de Oro bus that traversed Mexico, switched at the Guatemalan border & eventually reached El Salvador...all on buses. That trip was...overwhelming. From the northern border of Mexico to the southern the bus had two drivers, with each taking turns sleeping on a mattress in one of the luggage storage units below.

              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 10:45:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  omg, i forgot about the luggage "berth" (0+ / 0-)

                when i would take a similar bus line from oaxaca to huatulco, we would get there around 5 am and the driver would crash down there immediately.  i only knew because i left a bag one day and one of the local kids woke him up for me.  

                i cannot imagine taking a bus non stop from sf to el salvador.  how long did it take?  i like traveling by bus in mexico - you see so much and they stop at great roadside cafes.  am considering taking my 74 year old mum with me this summer.  she's never been to mexico and would like it.  not sure yet where we should go.  i love oaxaca but wonder if it is the same after the events during the election.  pluto and i have plans to meet there too and i hope it will still be a good place for two political gringas.  the friend who i would have married is zacatecan from aguas calientes originally and all that i have read about it makes me think it should be the next destination or maybe san cristobal in chiapas. friends just bought land in puerto escondido, but that is too touristy to go to with my mum or pluto.  any places you love in particular?

        •  I think I've been on that bus (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita

          or some similar route between Oaxaca and San Cristobal de las Casas. The busses ride like mountain goats, clinging to bare cliffs.

          I've been to Oaxaca once, about 20 years ago. Yo amo México. I went to high school, about 15 years before that, in New Brunswick, NJ, which is now heavily populated with Oaxacans.

          Oaxaca to New Brunswick. From what I innocently thought of as paradise to what I remember as high school wasteland nowhere town. But reading Jill's diary earlier, that explains it all.

          Bright Pink Smile - a different sort of art blog

          by asterkitty on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:40:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Were you in San Cristobal de las Casas (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            conchita

            before or after the Zapatista uprising?

            I think we were all on the "same" bus as some point.

            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 08:44:09 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  sorry for the dorchestah stereotype ;) nt (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catilinus
      •  My grandfather and my great uncle... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, catilinus, Wom Bat

        ...along with my Great-Grandmother and Great-Grandfather, were undocumented immigrants from Soviet Ukraine in 1922. They had clearance to go as far as Canada, but opted to go to Die Goldeneh Medina, the United States of America. They had relatives in Chicago, so that was their final destination.

        Furthermore, in Chicago, 1922, if you only spoke Yiddish and a little survival Ukranian and Russian, you really didn't have much of a chance of employment unless you went to the only people who were "hiring" the likes of you: the Capone Mob. My grandfather ran liquor between Toronto and Chicago. In 1933, when repeal was successful, he parlayed all the contacts he got running liquor and got into the institutional food business.

        Oh yeah, in 1933 my grandfather could speak English. And spoke it well. He lost his survival Ukranian and kept a little of his Russian. And Yiddish was used as a secret language between him and my grandmother to keep secrets from the kids later on. When the both of them spoke to their children, they did it in English.

        The next OneCare Happy Hour will be TBA
        "How's that 'Drill baby drill-y' thing workin' out for ya?" -- me

        by Pris from LA on Sun May 02, 2010 at 12:49:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What a fascinating family history-reminds (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, debedb, Pris from LA

          me of the Jewish kids running liquor in Sergio Leone's "Once Upon a Time in America."

          My dad's side of my family came over here speaking only Yiddish-just in time to become "legalized" via the Civil War & at the cost of having a leg blown off at Chancellorsville.

          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 03:02:51 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I wish he would have lived long enough... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            conchita, catilinus

            ...to have seen Once Upon A Time In America. However, I don't think he would have had patience for it...it's a long sprawling story, even though the story being told is just about the same as the Good(e) family's story. Yes, they changed their name in the 1930s to escape anti-Semitism. However, Bernie changed it one way and Arthur and Chuck changed it another. So we are both the same family, but some of us spell it differently.

            The next OneCare Happy Hour will be TBA
            "How's that 'Drill baby drill-y' thing workin' out for ya?" -- me

            by Pris from LA on Sun May 02, 2010 at 08:27:51 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  excellent dairy (5+ / 0-)

    I hope it get read by lots of people.

    http://www.shelterboxusa.org/

    by TexMex on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:24:06 PM PDT

  •  great diary (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, Nightprowlkitty, catilinus

    Im too tired to try to compose suitable commentary... but this send me on a zillion thought tracks! We're all just.... people.

    "Thunder is good, thunder is impressive; but it is lightning that does all the work." ~Mark Twain

    by Lady Libertine on Sat May 01, 2010 at 08:57:24 PM PDT

  •  Mil gracias - for this diary. (3+ / 0-)

    Hugs for your whole family - hard times ahead but we will weather this storm of racism!

    "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

    by Denise Oliver Velez on Sat May 01, 2010 at 09:08:16 PM PDT

    •  Thanks. I'm drinking deeply of your optimism- (4+ / 0-)

      It would be worth it if this bad law proves an epic failure becaue it arouses the conscience of the nation. The alternative, more laws like this in other states targeting yet more immigrant groups, is almost inconcievable.

      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 09:40:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  There will be more laws I'm afraid (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        conchita, catilinus, ozsea1

        but just as Jim Crow laws were removed after a struggle there will be a backlash against Juan Crow.

        There must be a concerted voter registration effort made - and voter turnout in the years ahead.  These frightened bigoted racists have seen the future of the US and in many areas the future is named Lopez.  They are attempting to stop what is inevitable.

        It is just going to be uncomfortable while they make that attempt.  For it is the last gasp of a drowning man. A cry for a "white" society that has already died but won't accept it.

        "If you're in a coalition and you're comfortable, you know it's not a broad enough coalition" Bernice Johnson Reagon

        by Denise Oliver Velez on Sun May 02, 2010 at 03:11:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Intellectually, I know you're right about (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          conchita, Deoliver47

          the dying myth of the "white" society. However, I worry about the interim damage the people who believe in a lily white 1950s Disneyland-ish view of America will cause. They will be relegated further into oblivion...eventually...after voting, sweat & tears.

          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 10:35:20 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  A group of us are organizing a boycott (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, litho, catilinus, ozsea1

    of the Arizona Diamondback game on 5/7.  Don't go.  Don't watch.

    We all differ in ways that matter. But we're all the same in the ways that matter most.

    by plf515 on Sun May 02, 2010 at 04:30:17 AM PDT

  •  In 70s I hung near Tucson and picked up (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    conchita, litho, debedb, catilinus

    hitchhikers who appeared to be immigrants. One guy I found in a gas station men's room trying shave with a double-edge razor blade he held between thumb and two fingers. Because I spoke a little Spanish, I tried to coach them on how to avoid detection. I'd give them money for a bus ticket and drop them at the Greyhound station. Told them they needed to learn to speak English as well as they possibly could. A lot of the reason I did all that was my Greek-immigrant grandfather. He had explained to me that he intentionally learned English with a Bronx accent because in New York City his Greek accent had been a hindrance to him. It had brought resentment on him from Americans.

    I've always wondered how many of those guys made it, and how they've done since then.

    Great diary, T&R'd.

    When an old man dies, a library burns down. --African proverb

    by Wom Bat on Sun May 02, 2010 at 06:03:44 AM PDT

    •  I empathize with your granddad (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita, debedb, Wom Bat

      learning Brooklynese. I learned to speak Spanish with an Italian accent-at least that is what I sound like to native speakers. I couldn't pass for a Mexican, didn't want to sound like a gringo, but I could somehow manage to sound like an Italian speaking Spanish.

      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 10:22:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  psst, catilinus (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    catilinus

    i hope you publish this diary again at a time when more folks are looking.  it's important stuff that people in general just don't know about.  i know somone, and you may too, who walked from nicaragua and then managed to cross over. another whose leg was burned badly while holding onto the bottom of a truck coming across the border and then was too afraid to go to the hospital for fear of being deported.  the list is long.  you've done a great job of humanizing what others either are ignorant of or fear irrationally.  plus you are a great writer. in other words, more and more of the same.

    •  El comal le dijo a la olla... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      conchita

      I enjoy your posts about travelling in Latin America just as much.

      another whose leg was burned badly while holding onto the bottom of a truck coming across the border and then was too afraid to go to the hospital for fear of being deported.  the list is long.

      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 11:01:07 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  and there is the heartache (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        catilinus

        of knowing you may never see your loved ones again and feeling so trapped by life.  and now we, those so privileged they aren't even aware, propose to make their lives even more difficult by making people into fugitives for the simple crime of living.

  •  Well (0+ / 1-)
    Recommended by:
    Hidden by:
    ozsea1

    As I was told I would have to wait a minimum of six months in order to bring them here legally, I opted for a different solution. I simply carried my son across the border in my own arms & bluffed my way through

    I have no sympathy for you. You willingly and flagrantly violated US immigration law. Why should I have sympathy for you when you could have waited six months, but willingly chose to come here illegally?

    It was a solution personally reminiscent to the one undertaken by the side of my family that landed in Dorchester, Mass. in the 1630s-even though this time it didn't involve the theft of other peoples' lands and life. While my son was not the first or the last "undocumented" Mexican I've helped, he was the smallest.

    Past wars and other battles doesn't mean that the US has no right to police its own borders and determine who comes in legally and who doesn't.

    •  Felcidades, pendejo (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hookah

      usted gana el buñuelo.

    •  Funny (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ozsea1

      how people whose ancestors likely came to these shores undocumented can be so lacking in empathy for those today who want nothing more than what their forebears did...

      And before you ask, my ancestors were documented; there were all manner of papers for slaves... bills of sale and the like.

    •  Part of your post I understand. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nightprowlkitty

      have no sympathy for you. You willingly and flagrantly violated US immigration law. Why should I have sympathy for you when you could have waited six months, but willingly chose to come here illegally?

      I understand you have "no sympathy" for me, but I wasn't soliciting sympathy for myself. I can't comprehend "willingly chose to come here illegally" as I myself have never entered the US illegaly in terms of U.S. law. My ancestors I consider to have been here illegaly-as per the response (burnt alive in a half-finished cabin) the earliest one received from the indigenous peoples.  

      Past wars and other battles doesn't mean that the US has no right to police its own borders and determine who comes in legally and who doesn't.

      I never said or implied the above. I will say that our border policy reeks with hypocrisy.

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

      by catilinus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:41:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  asdf (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb

    am glad to see this on the diary rescue list. :)

    am also going to ignore that last miserable comment.   better to leave it to karma to sort out as it inevitably will.

    •  I just found out that it had made it to the (0+ / 0-)

      rescue list-I was clueless that new comments had been made. I think the diary rescue phenomena is a harbinger of what DKos IV will be like. Conchita, thanks for all your great comments & insights.

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

      by catilinus on Tue May 04, 2010 at 08:44:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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