Immigration- Don’t Come, But If You Do We’ll Pay You

In light of the recent clashes in Los Angeles about immigration along with the tightening of laws in Oklahoma, I thought I would re-post some thoughts on the subject of immigration which I posted last year. See below:

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Currently Watching: A Day Without a Mexican

Living in Los Angeles, a city founded by Mexicans and that is 50% Latino, we have a lot of friends who are Hispanic and Latino. Almost all of our neighbors are Latino. When we moved to LA from Seattle, we were surprised to discover so many Latinos who had been in LA for 4 or 5 or even 6 generations. In Caleb’s class he is the only white kid with all of the rest being Latino. (I once overheard some of the moms refer to Caleb as “Blancito,” the little white boy).

When it comes to immigration, I am way more on the side of those who are pushing towards amnesty. I was disappointed in Pres. Bush. He is actually way more moderate on this issue than many of his Republican counterparts, but I could have sworn he used to be pro-amnesty when he first took office. I guess the political pressure from the conservatives helped him change his mind.

On Saturday, we drove into downtown LA to join the Rally opposing the anti-immigration bill currently in the Senate, a bill which would force illegal immigrants to leave within 5 years. There were 500,000 people! We ended up just driving around the periphery rather than stopping since we had our kids, came too late after Caleb’s teeball game, and we weren’t wearing white shirts (no one sent us the memo). It was amazing to see so many people even just on the periphery and then to see the multitudes on the news that night!

We actually watched A Day Without A Mexican in honor of the protests. Unfortunately, it is a poorly made movie that seems to be too preachy. I loved the premise, but a funny short film had trouble expanding into a full length feature film. I was disappointed it wasn’t good, I was really hoping it would be.

It may seem odd to support legalizing illegal immigrants, but I have always thought it was odd how things actually work in California. 1/3 of our entire state is Latino. There are about 2 million illegal immigrants in CA, most of these illegal immigrants are migrant farm workers, cooks in restaurants, or ready to help with construction projects. Without their willingness to do jobs most people wouldn’t be willing to do, our economy would suffer dramatically here in CA. It seems politicians are only willing to enforce the laws which make them seem tough at the time. It has always seemed that immigration from Central and South America has been more of a “don’t ask, don’t tell” situation. You aren’t allowed to come, but if you do here’s a job. My hope is the politicians will actually create immigration laws which reflect how society actually works. Apparently, John McCain has an alternative bill which is supported by the Democratic mayor of L.A.. We shall see!

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