Immigration and My Story
Repost from a diary at Daily Kos on Fri Mar 04.
Yesterday, a diarist on Daily Kos claimed `Illegal Immigrants are part of the problem not part of the solution'. The diarist wants to end immigration, at least for now.
In a time where everyone is fighting to find a Job, or fighting to keep jobs in America, there are still people who feel like we need an unlimited supply of cheap slave labor.The `cheap slave labor' of illegal immigrants the diarist cites is the story of my family and I take offense of the word slave. My parents were illegal immigrants in till they become citizens in 1996. Let me put a human face to the diarist facts, which the diarist did not provide any links too.
Immigration and my Story.
My father left Mexico at the age of seventeen to come to America with a few dollars in his hand and not knowing the language of this new land. He left Mexico telling his parents he will be back in a few years with money in this hand and a dream to live and work in the same land his parents lived. My grandmother did not want my father to work in the mines, where my grandfather worked, where my uncle die, she was not going to lose an other son to that mine who only made the owners richer. My father had to make a living on his own, and the only work in the town was working at the mine. So, he left with a cousin to America. He across the board illegally and made his way to Chicago to live with a family member he never meet.
Two years later he meet my mother, she also left Mexico but with her family to make a new start in America. They married, and started a life in a town outside of Chicago. Both of them worked very hard for everything they have. My parents had 3 boys, all of us were born in USA., we are American citizens.
One day, My mother was working at a factory when it was raid by INS. She was held and order to be deported back to Mexico. At the time, I was 7 my brother was 6 and the youngest was one. At the court date, My father told the judge, my sons are Americans and we are not going to take them back to Mexico and have them struggle to make a life in a land they didn't know. If you deport us to Mexico our sons stay here and you are going to have to take care of them. It never got that far, for some reason, the deported day never happen and my mother was let go. My father told me this story, the day he and my mother became America Citizens. I ask him, were you really going to leave us here, He said no. His point to the judge was to tell him his sons are America citizens and as parents they worked hard to feed, clothes, teach , love us and so on. Who else was going to do that for his sons, but there parents. The same parents the judge was trying to deport.
My parents become citizens in 1996 under the amnesty President Ronald Reagan passed. That summer My father went back to Mexico, not afraid to get caught at the boarder. He was able to cross the boarder freely as an America Citizen to visit his Parents. He only wanted to stay in America for a few years, but about 30 later he has made a life here and became a proud citizen in his adopted country.
His story is not unique to me and my family, it is an America story. Told countless of times across his great land of ours. This a is land where immeasurable number of immigrants from the beginning of America and to now that made a life for themselves and there families.
My Parents worked all their lives, in factories doing manual labor. The only time my parents did not work, was when my father was on strike. The strike was for increase wages, health care and improved work conditions. My parents did not take anyone else job away, mostly of the place they worked and work now, are place which only hires illegal and legal immigrants. They never ask for a hand outs, they always paid their bills. Today they get paid well, they have health care, a great house, savings, the American Dream.
Yes, my parents broke the law I understand that. I do agree we need solutions for illegal Immigration. The diarist and some politicians are trying to play on peoples fears on this issue. The diarist is against immigration due to low wages, and the loss of jobs. Some politicians is against immigration due to dislike of anything `different' from themselves. This is a winning issue for the diarist and some politicians, just blame immigrants for all of America problems. Who is willing to speak up for the voice less, power less, outcast, the minorities, among us versus the majority?
I can give countless of statically numbers to disprove the diarist 'facts', but the problem with numbers it is hard to find common ground with people who is already bias on the issue. Instead of numbers I give you an American story.
Yes, I am bias!