Monday, April 11, 2016

immigration in the eyes of a teen

Another 'debate' online. I was writing about practical issues dealing with illegal immigration.

        I see a dichotomy between visa overstayers and wetbacks, or border jumpers, or whatever you want to call them.  It might seem esoteric, but visa recipients undergo a cursory screening process. Very cursory, admittedly, but better than nothing. These are the folks who come and stay too long. They tend to keep their passports current to their home nation, as most of them are here to work, slip under the cracks, and return home when either they've achieved a financial goal or when scooped up by ICE. Once caught or repatriated, for having overstayed, the visa gets revoked. This is a misdemeanor crime, visa overstaying, apparently.
    Wetbacks just come here, and sometimes deportees who got booted for visa overstay join them. This is a felony. They get forcibly deported when caught, but often jailed first, when caught in the commission of a felony.

 So on the issue of repatriation, I jokingly mentioned this:

not my picture. But funny in a dark way.   

...and this brought up the issue of the cost of enforced repatriation. It certainly wouldn't be cheap. I can't help but think that a lifetime of free emergency medical care, such public benefits that are doled out, and enforcement and policing of the lawbreakers among these folks is probably more than the cost of a ticket home. Granted, it's an annuitized cost, I suppose.

   After reading about the recent kidnapping and rape of a child by a pair of latino illegals I suggesting this as a means of repatriating felons:

cheap and effective

    Now, that's also a joke, but not everyone thought it was funny. I was called names. And that's OK, I'm a big boy.  When asked if I'd ever imagined what America would be like without illegals to perform our cheap labor, I noted that in the future, at age 14, my kid wouldn't be competing for a minimum wage after school job against 45 year old Guatemalans who look like this and might take a machete to the competition.

My kid would hate that- he hates being taken for hispanic because he sure as shit looks like one. He doesn't speak spanish, and refuses to learn because well-meaning teachers always try to translate shit for him, and his school sends home letters in spanish, too, which pisses my wife off to no end. They speak Portuguese, being Brazilian, though my kid much prefers English, but we try to ensure that he doesn't lose his ancestral tongue, like me, who only knows maybe 200-300 words in Gaelic.

       Anyhow, a country with less illegals means more jobs for our kids to do.  My kid busts his balls for cash at home when I think to put him to work and pay him for it. We walked into a McDonald's one time in our hometown, after talking about working and the difference between minimum wage and the ability to command a higher salary, and my kid looks at the employees, neck tattoos, everyone frowning, two 400-lb African women screaming at each other in their own language, and my kid says that he'd rather never work there if it could be avoided. Who can blame him? It was like an international trailer park in there.
 Naturally the cashier asked him what he wanted in Spanish. This was the first time I saw him confront someone over it, which is why I remember it. He responded in Portuguese. Hearing something that is almost familiar but nonsensical, the cashier gets a look like a dog hearing a strange sound.

"What the hell is that noise coming from your mouth" is pretty much what he said, followed up with a dignified "I don't speak Spanish," in English.

     At any rate, I don't think my kid will be working at Mickey D's. And that's too bad. I worked after school and on vacations at Burger King at 14, when I wasn't fishing. I learned a lot about the value of labor, and more importantly, how to interact in a job environment that didn't include grabbing a 10-lb live codfish by the tail and swinging it like a baseball bat at someone's head as motivation to work faster.

  My kid, being first generation and having a mom who is an immigrant,  is going to grow up with the right balance of empathy and self-preservation when it comes to dealing with this issue. I can be pretty vulgar here- it's not an act, but I do have a dichotomy when it comes to how I discuss things at home. I tend not to swear so much or rely on hyperbole. My boy grew up with his mother's stance on immigration, which I've since adopted, too. It's our (the citizens', I mean) fault, and no illegal immigrant takes jobs from citizens- the jobs are given away by citizens who hire and employ illegals as a means of avoiding paying taxes or competitive salary. If we want to blame the right people for the immigration disaster in the US, we need a mirror to do so... but that doesn't exempt us from taking responsibility by protecting us and our own, and failing to enforce existing law is the root cause of all this.


Anonymous said...

The trebuchet has at least 2 significant advantages: 1) it is reusable; 2) it is (more or less) portable so can be moved to wherever it is needed.

Anonymous said...

I didn't work fast food as a kid; I went with bagging groceries from 13-18. Not long after, I was at Wal-Mart (in '83, you didn't see many around here) putting together mowers, bikes, etc. As a mechanic's kid, that was easy. Let him play to his strengths & interests--keeping to the strengths. Gotta earn the money to further the education. The GI Bill was--well, hell, it's one of the reasons I enlisted, so it was earned, but--a life-changer.
--Tennessee Budd

Anonymous said...

I work in a video store thats claim to fame was it was just outside an airforce base and it had the largest porn collection within a 4 hour drive.

You know you have a crap job when part of your job involves scrubbing sticky stains off of vhs cases. The plus was I was under 18 but they paid me the over 18 minimum wage of 4.25 an hour ( vs 3.75).


Anonymous said...

Oops worked not work. This was back in the late 80's.