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Nobody Likes a Mob and Nobody Likes Complainers: On U.S. Immigrant's Loosing Battle On Policy

Source: dieselboi on Flickr.com
(Wordcount: 1,107; Pages: 3) In an article in the New York Times on the May 1st immigrant solidarity protests, Senator Pete Domenici [R] of New Mexico was quoted as saying that the protesters have their message "confused". As the product of immigrant parents, I couldn't agree more.

First and foremost, immigrants claim to love this country, but re-write the anthem, wave their flags, choose to not learn the language, and patronize their own businesses. If I were an expert, and I am, I'd interpret this not as a love for their new home country, but a love of the tolerant (or "stupid") government that let's them import their country here, to take advantage equally with citizens of the unbounded economic opportunities. It's not without irony that Americans, in their constant promotion of democracy, have damaged other governments of the world and their economies, consequently encouraging flight from those countries and into the U.S. (If immigrants are going to live in economic hell, they might as well live it in dollars, no?)

Every new culture entering or already here has been brutally or happily assimilated. They have all understood that this wasn't their home, but if they wanted to succeed as guests, they had to play by the rules of this land. That includes learning the language, singing the country's praises, and obeying the country's laws. What makes this current crop of immigrants so special that they don't have to do the same thing?

Oh, that's right, they're illegal! As non-citizens, they technically have no rights, including no right to live in our homes or breathe our air (but if they want to buy our stuff, that's certainly encouraged). So, since they're not even supposed to be here, they get together in a "bunch", as Miss. Rep. Senator Trend Lott likes to refer to them as, to whine, scream, cry (in Spanish), and expect a 200-year old government to just say, "sure, we'll just go ahead and make you all citizens, diminishing the value of the process that we put millions of other immigrants before you through to become citizens, and setting an uncomfortable precedence for future illegals." If I were a senator, I'd introduce a bill tomorrow to strengthen up our border patrols with the shocking imagery of 12 million illegals having gotten through! I surely wouldn't be worried about losing votes - they can't vote anyway!

To be sure, in this country, everyone's technically the son or daughter of an immigrant. But every single one who made the decision to become a citizen went through a strict and heavily enforced process to become one. Many went a step further by establishing businesses, running for political office, or joining our military. One of our greatest imports, Alexander Hamilton, born in the Caribbean, actually did all three, not to mention founding the Treasury and Coast Guard. What have these illegals done, besides entertain the rest of us with song, dance, and sport?

On the other hand, the consequence of suddenly cracking down and deporting illegals is too reminiscent of a Nazi invasion to be allowed, so what solution remains if all this cheap labor can't be forcibly removed yet isn't about to undergo a massive citizenship procedure? When the Emancipation Proclamation was first introduced, the biggest question of the day was, now what? Originally intended to prevent the South from using slaves to fight their war, like most major American decisions, it didn't have a solution for what to do next. Sure, freeing slaves was a cool thing to do, just as long as they don't think of hanging around you. And you certainly didn't want them living anywhere in the same zip code as you. After 150 years of integration, do you really want some "coloreds" living across the street from you, lowering your property value with their loud baby-mamas and drama, playing b-ball with their homeboys, and chugging down gallons of "the tonic"?! That's why they invented the suburbs, so you can get away from them; because some moron passed some law saying it's illegal to steer them away from you. (Once again, we accept a visit from that constant party-pooper, irony: despite years of fighting for these rights, minorities are still predominantly relegated to ghettos, which the casual observer might easily believe they are quite fond of, what with all the odes dedicated to the ghetto and government housing in so much rap music.)

Many, as I did when I saw the images, compared these protests to the civil rights movement, however, unlike those glorious, passionate times, our immigrants have no galvanizing leadership to give them the voice they desperately need in Washington D.C. and beyond. Rangel, Sharpton, Farrakahn, Jackson, Simmons, and Powell aren't leaders. And it's a sad day when J.Lo, Fat Joe, A-Rod, and Daddy Yankee are looked up to as "Hispanic leaders". (Regrettably, with the exception of incognito politicos like Mel Martinez and Alberto Gonzalez, the pool of nationally prominent Hispanics consists mostly of entertainers). All that immigrants, and for that matter, all peoples from developing nations have are wanna-be despots in the guise of concerned leaders. None can affect change for any other person but themselves, an unfortunate phenomenon reflected in South America's prior dictators and Africa's current crop of leaders.

The P.C. thing to do is support the cause, right? But it appears to me that our own people just don't have a clue on what to do now or later. Bush, I believe, had the right idea. Yes, that Bush. He gave illegals a break until they could get their situation fixed right up. This would have given illegals time to establish themselves somewhere, legally, and the rest of the country time to adjust to a new political force in their communities. Many, of course, didn't do anything since Mr. Bush's credibility is less than stellar, even among those who are citizens. And what resulted was a mob who isn't much of a political, or economic, force, for that matter.

Honestly, it's no secret that immigrants send most of their money back to their families from wherever they came from, and the money they spend here is always on the cheapest stuff. Closing your business for a day in a predominantly ethnic community probably cost the whole economy about the same as filling up every SUV with a half-tank of gas at today's rates. All the protests really did was do what hard-very-hard-working, blue-collar slaves love most in the world, extend the weekend an extra day. And ironically, this just made them look even lazier to the tax-payers who are supporting social services for them and the politicians trying to kick them all out.

Al Berrios is Managing Director of al berrios & co., an innovative strategy consulting firm advising leaders on the impact of human behavior on their strategies and on how to change their organizations to address the behavior. Write to Consumer Strategies Report at editor @ alberrios.com.


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