The Duplicity of Immigration Reform
BY RUTH ANN SATCHFIELD
In some areas of the country, too many people resent those who have come here from Mexico. Often, we do not hear much about the people who have come from other countries, but we have many communities of different nationalities throughout our country. In Texas, we have groups from not only Mexico but also Vietnam, Germany, China, Middle Eastern countries, and others. Many of the doctors in Texas come from the Middle East. I do not hear people complaining about them. Companies have been importing research scientist to South East Texas areas and hiring them at a lower rate than Americans. Our children get their education so that they can merit those jobs, but companies hire from overseas. Why don’t we hear about this? It is because the companies do not want us to know. My only problem with this is the fact that there are Americans who should be hired first, but they are not. It is not the immigrant’s fault; it is the fault of the corporations. That is all legal, some say; probably, but some sponsored employees have limited visas and just do not go home.
Why is there so much talk about the Hispanic communities and no others? I think it is because they are considered poor and uneducated. How many educated people do you think are going to pick the crops in the fields, clean houses, or do yard work? There are not many Americans who want those jobs. There are Americans who want the jobs of research scientist and the like.
Often, people do not take into consideration the emotions of the immigrant families in this country, or the rules that affect them so negatively. I have a friend who married a United States citizen and had a son. When that marriage did not work out, she married another man who was not a United States citizen. He ended up being caught and sent back to Mexico. Because of her divorce, her status changed. Since I am not a lawyer, I do not understand it all, but it was a hassle. By that time, she had three American children. She was doing house cleaning and getting help from friends until she got her paperwork straightened out. It was impossible to get a regular job, and law enforcement were even raiding churches looking for “illegals.” This was not in Texas, and that state’s crops rotted in the field that year. What do you think it feels like for children to know that their mom could be picked up at any time and deported, not for anything she had done, but just because of prejudice to Hispanics in that area? Two of her children had already lost their father. Some jobs she had to work for cash; employers would cheat her out of her pay, if it had not been for her American friends that called the boss on the carpet and threatened to have him arrested. This is very common in this country. We have laws to stop it, but most victims are afraid and do not have friends who can help them. I think this is a part of the reason Republicans do not want immigration “fixed.” As long as there is this subculture, they can keep wages low for everyone, and cheat those who appear unable to fight back. She was one of the lucky ones. Her paperwork was in the works, so she was safe. She was not accustomed to standing up for herself against a man. These particular men know this, and use it.
I know a wonderful woman who cleans houses for many elderly people and at a decent rate. She and her husband are not well-educated and do not have insurance. They raised two wonderful sons who have excelled in school. One son is in college studying to be a doctor. The parents work menial jobs from daylight to dark, trying to give their sons the opportunities they did not have. People should not be judged on the amount of money they have. They should be judged by their character. I have known the very-wealthy, and the extremely-poor. There are good and bad people among both. How many times have I heard the Republicans say that the poor do not work hard enough? Most of the poor I know work several jobs, and are still losing ground. I have known of rich kids who inherited everything that they have, who think that they are valuable citizens, but who have never really worked at any job. Of course, they demand to get what they want, and they do: they are the spoiled rich. When these kids immigrate, they do not seem to have the legal or social difficulties of the poor people. Why is that?
Not as many people are braving the deserts to come here. Maybe the reason is the job situation, or the horror stories. It has not been very long ago that a trucker walked away from a trailer full of illegal immigrants, leaving them to broil, locked in with no food and no water. The trailer was full of men, women, and children. Think about that. What must it feel like to be so desperate as to risk your life – and the lives of your family – to go to another country? That was what my ancestors did; yours may have too. Many die crossing the desert, and women are routinely raped; yet for years, they came. Many Republicans call them “illegals,” like they are less-than-human. They are people, and could be you or I, if we had other circumstances.
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