A lot of people in America have some very strong views when it comes to the problems that plague this country. One of the biggest hot-button issues is that of what the far left refer to as “the undocumented worker problem,” the moderates refer to as illegal immigration, and the far right call “those fucking Mexicans.” The debate ranges most strongly in the southern border states of Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and California, and it’s a part of the national consciousness to the point where people have actually published computer games on the subject.
I was running some errands the other day and my interest was piqued when I came across a copy of this game in the bargain PC games aisle in a local store. I picked it up and flipped it over to read the copy on the back, but when I did so, I saw something that made me laugh, hard: there was a sticker there, one of those clear, round plastic ones – the kind sometimes used to seal packages closed. However, this one was smack dab right in the center of box, and it was completely plain except for four little words, printed in smudged blue text:
I’m not particularly worried about Mexicans coming across the border and taking our jobs. This is because most of the jobs illegal immigrants take – like picking crops and digging ditches – are the kinds of jobs I don’t want to do. I’ll go and join the Tea Party the moment we start getting hordes of fluent English-speaking South and Central American nationals streaming over the border and start snapping up all the publishing contracts; until then, I’m very grateful that I don’t have to get up to stand outside the construction site at 6 AM to wait for el Jefé to come by and pick me for a day of shoveling dirt.
This isn’t to say that those kinds of jobs are beneath me; not by a long shot. I grew up in a blue-collar household and would regularly help my father with his contracting business on the weekends and over the summer, which meant I’d come home covered in dirt and exhausted more often than I’d like. Now, I enjoy working with my hands, but not for money – and I have a lot of respect for the carpenters, plumbers, and landscapers out there who do.
Now a lot of illegal immigrants do work as manual laborers. In fact, my father’s long-time right hand man is from El Salvador, and while he did come to the US illegally, Dad worked with the guy to get him legal, with the results being that he’s now a naturalized American citizen. So in a way I guess he took my job. And for that I can genuinely say gracias!
I’m sure racism plays a large role in people not liking Latinos flooding the country illegally. When you’re confronted with unfamiliar-looking people speaking a foreign language in your town practicing customs that appear bizarre to you, it can be disturbing. Lucky for me growing up in an integrated neighborhood where I was chased around by kids that were every color of the rainbow, seeing people that look different than I do in the mirror doesn’t make me all that nervous.
This means that a lot of the arguments for curbing illegal immigration don’t really bother me all that much. No, I don’t speak Spanish very well, but I’m not so paranoid as to think that every time I hear it someone’s talking about me, and I’ve already discussed my desire to not pick strawberries for 12 hours a day, so I’m really not all that concerned about people breaking a law that is clearly malum prohibitum and notmalum in se (did I mention I did two and a half years of law school before getting cancer?).
The one thing that does concern me is the massive clusterfuck drug war that’s been going on in Mexico for years and that’s been boiling over across the US border. I really don’t give a shit if Jorge and Carmencita Pendejo come over the border because they’d rather not get shot by some 19 year old concha with a submachine gun and a kilo of coke stuffed down their pants. What I do care about is a bunch of coked up assholes streaming into Arizona and selling their Colombian Dancing Dust to the trucker carrying my crate of dragon dildos cross-country. UPS Ground takes long enough as it is, and a man’s got needs, damn it.
Yes, they’re a real thing. No, I’m not linking it. Google it yourself, you sick fucks.