Did You Boycott Cinco de Mayo??

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I wonder if the fine folks in Arizona celebrated Cinco de Mayo with the same flair as they have in the past?  Did they raise their margarita glasses and shout OLE with the same fervor?  If you're on board with the new legislation, you'd better spit out that Tecate and drop the taco while you celebrate the coolest holiday giving you a reason to drink like a fool on a work night since St. Patrick's Day.

I'm most amused with the reaction of Cook County powers that be.  Let's boycott Arizona, that will show them.  While I understand it's not as black and white as holding hands with our illegal brothers while we all sing kumbaya, I'm a realist.  Cook County has enough to worry about with the scofflaws we have running the show...

As a Cook County resident, do I have to refuse taking in my Phoenician summer boarder?  The snowbird is booked to arrive in early June.  If my beloved White Sox decide return to their spring home in Glendale, do I have to find a new team to cheer on??  And what about the tacos and Tecate...will I have to find another menu to replace Taco Tuesday at our hacienda?

I'm usually pretty opinionated.  But the latest uprising in Arizona has me on the fence.  I know it sounds wishy-washy, but I agree with both sides. 

Yes, our country is overtaxed by illegals flooding our southern border.  The Arizona healthcare system is overburdened taking care of the uninsured.  School districts are overbudget not to mention, overcrowded, as they educate children of the parents trying to do whatever they can to give them a better life, even if that means breaking the law.

Border towns are inundated with drug wars.  Police are overworked chasing trucks with illegals hiding in the back underneath boards.  Men, women and children take whatever risks are necessary to get to the land of opportunity.

When I first heard of the legislation, I looked at things this way...if you're here and a resident with paperwork to prove it, what's the problem?  Flush out the people who don't belong here and send them back.

But then I remembered our trip to Mexico a couple of years ago.  We didn't fly into a resort, instead we drove across the AZ border to our final destination--Rocky Point.  Now, Rocky Point is a beautiful town on the Sea of Cortez.  If heaven is located on Earth...it looks exactly like the ocean front that boarders the Rocky Point resorts.  If hell is located on Earth...it's found in the drive from the border to the sea.

I was mostly horrified during our hour and a half drive once we cleared the border.  When I wasn't horrified, I was scared.  I looked around and thought this is what a third world country looks like.  The town of Rocky Point has quite a bit of character, but in order to get to the character, you must travel on dirt roads past homes that look like cardboard boxes without windows and ask yourself, how do people live like this?

It's not like there is any industry in which they can make a decent living.  There is nothing there.  The ground so dry and barren, nothing could ever grow.  There are not McDonalds and strip malls lining the dirt roads. 

And you realize that life as we know it isn't so bad.  My kids sat in the backseat of the car in shock.  Both said they would never complain again about going without something or other.  Or wish they had a nicer house to live in.  Or ask for something they really didn't need.  None of us realized the complete poverty located an hour south of what we consider paradise.

I'd imagine if poverty, window-less homes, and dirt roads were all one ever knew until seeing what freedom and opportunity  is available in a land mere miles from the border, I'd risk just about anything just to get a taste of it...and I'd bring my friends and family along.

What's the worst thing that could happen?  Uncle Sam might send you back.  And you'd be right back where you started.  Try, try again.

Most restaurants would not exist if it weren't for the Hispanic population running the back of the house.  In my experience, I've seen the work ethic most have.  They work like dogs for minimum wage.  Who else would fill work schedules?  Suburban teens?  Not likely.  Same goes for careers in lawn care, constuction, and the like.  These border jumpers are taking all the good jobs, right??

My sister-in-law must travel to and from work and the grocery store with her paperwork in her pocket for fear she may get pulled over and questioned.  I'm sure she also carries my niece's information as well.  This shouldn't happen in America.  She and my brother must also be careful who the associate with.  If someone visits their home without their paperwork in order, they face arrest for harboring an illegal.

This isn't what America is all about, is it?

But, when I jump to the other side of the fence, I'll admit I get mad when I call to make a utility payment and the phone prompts begin in Spanish.  Or I hear of another senseless death caused by gunfire on our southern boarder town.  Or face higher insurance premiums as a result of the overburdened healthcare system. 

Welcome to America--jump through the hoops like all the immigrants before you and get your paperwork in order.  There is red tape and forms to fill out, study the constitution, take the test, learn the language and become one of us. 

America is a melting pot of citizens who all came from somewhere else.  All arrived looking for the same thing--the chance at a better life.  I'm not a world traveler, but I'm aware that we've got a pretty good gig going on as American citizens.

I think the microscope is on the southern border as the main source of scofflaws who side-step the necessary path to achieve citizenship.  Immigrants who arrive by plane or boat require visas...a fence jumper merely needs a little motivation, a lot of nerve, and being quick on their feet can only speed things along.

Reform is needed.  Rules need to be followed.  I don't think legislation giving Arizona police the green light to pull over and detain anyone who looks shady is the right way to do it.





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