Wednesday, April 05, 2006


My mom's family hail from California. They have been there so long (since the 1840s, pre Gold Rush) they are downright snobbish about their California-ness. Anyway, I grew up with a very skewed and prejudiced view of anything Mexican. I do not deny it. I have since successfully relegated Mexicans and their situation to nothing more than anyone else's situation. The blanket of prejudice has been discarded. I don't look at Mexicans now and think "wetback" or worse. They are just people trying to get by the best way they can. And because they have the freedom to make choices, many choose to enter this country without going through the proper channels. Good for them. I tend to admire scoflaw attitudes. But that's just me.

But if they get caught and are shipped back - oh well. They knew the risks going in. At least we don't shoot them. Yet, anyway.

What bothers me the most is the hypocritical and arbitrary policies of the power structure in this country. We turn a blind eye to their presence for years and years. And now in a knee jerk response tied to our paranoid over the top reaction to 9/11, Mexicans are all of a sudden a problem. The problem has existed for a long time and any solution tied to fence building, physical or otherwise, is an exercise in futility. The tide will not be turned back through legislation and harsh treatment. As long as we seem to offer something better they will find a way in.

I admit something needs to be done. But instead of concentrating on keeping them out, we should be concentrating on helping them to not even want to come. Why we cannot figure out a way to work with Mexico to better their situation in Mexico is beyond me.

The only answer I can come up with is the head honcho business and government types in this country have no real interest in keeping them out. They really want the cheap pool of labor that flys under the legal radar. Illegals are good for the bottom line. So all we get is periodic lipservice and a token uptick in enforcement and then it is back to business as usual. No one in control on either side of the border is interested in lifting these folks out of the poverty they have experienced for generations.