Friday, July 30, 2010

A few myths not to live by

I would like to dispel a few myths that have nothing to do with literature. Nevertheless, these days they come to my mind very often. So there you go:

1. There are certain jobs Americans simply refuse to do, and therefore necessitate a continuous flux of unskilled, illegal foreign workers. No stats whatsoever support such a statement, much less in these days of double digit unemployment.

2. Those unskilled, illegal foreign workers pay taxes and contribute to support this country. After being paid substandard wages, usually in cash and under table, and after sending most of it back home, nothing is left for Uncle Sam.

3. Unskilled, illegal foreign workers bring with them only their desire to work hard and do good for themselves and their families. Once you cross any border, legally or illegally, for the purpose of residing for long periods of time in someone else's country, you bring with you not only need for a job to support yourself but all the social and health needs a human being always has. You will need schools for your children and medical attention when you become ill. If you happen to be a criminal, you will need to caught, tried and incarcerated.

4.  Unskilled, illegal foreign workers have an inalienable right to become legal residents and even citizens once they have spent any number of years in the country, especially if they have had children here. Nothing of the sort is included in the existing immigration laws. The only legal process which an illegal foreign worker can anticipate at any given moment is deportation, since his presence in the country has not been explicitly or implicitly allowed.

5. If unskilled, illegal foreign workers were suddenly deported, the country would simply fall apart and the economy would collapse. Remember the "day without Mexicans campaign" a few years ago? They all stayed at home for one day and life went on as normal. Beds were made, gardens were cared for, kids were fed and taken to school, and no one ever missed them. It was just an extra holiday for them, an additional Cinco de Mayo.

6. Cubans have an unfair advantage over other Latin Americans in establishing legal residence in the United States. The only privilege Cubans have is having Fidel Castro as the head of their government instead of Felipe Calderón or other democratically elected president. They are treated pretty much as the Russians, Czechs, Hungarians, Poles and East Germans during the Cold War, i.e., as refugees from a hostile, totalitarian regime that penalized leaving those communist paradises. The citizens of Italy, Spain, Austria and France didn't ever complain of being treated differently from citizens of Eastern-block countries.

7. Whatever happens to unskilled, illegal foreign workers ad their children affects me, as a Hispanic. Thus, I am ethnically bound to support their struggle for amnesty by voting for their favorite candidates in every election. US citizens of Hispanic origin have no dog in the fight over illegal immigration. They have usually paid their dues long ago and will vote for the candidate of their choice based on the larger issues of the economy, promoting growth and employment and preventing the country from going bankrupt through reckless spending.

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