I would like to tell you the story of my experience with this issue of illegal immigration. Something that has become as American, as our humble apple pie.
Many years ago, some 32, to be exact, I met a guy who used to go by a name that didn't match his bad English. Because by then being politically correct had already been invented, those who worked with him were left to wonder (but only behind his back), what the deal was with the guy.
Doesn't he know that is not a Mexican name? And if he is going to go around pretending that is his name, at least he should try to get rid of that thick accent of his
Can't someone tell him it would be fine with us if he just went ahead and confess his real name is José, or Juan, or Pedro? it would've spared others the work of having to contain their cyinicism everytime he struggled to pronounce his name.
Because he was a decent and hard-working fellow, most didn't really care whether the guy had papers or not. Besides, there weren't that many illegal aliens in Palo Alto at the time. The few that were known of, had been absorbed into the workforce, and quietly went home to the other side of 101, at the end of their shifts.
But nonetheless, a few people were bothered by this guy's deceiving tactics, and did what they could to make him feel unwelcomed. He needed to know that our country valued truthfulness, and if he was not brave enough to come forward and fess up his real status and identity, he was not deserving of friendship.
I didn't know it at the time, but this is probably what created the idea of illegal aliens being invisible. They have been everywhere, but we all pretended no to see them.
In any case, I stayed in touch with this illegal folk, and little by little, as he trusted me, he eventually told me the reason he had crossed the border, without the proper documents.
It turned out that a couple of years before, his brother had vanished while working in Las Vegas, and not being able to bear with the anguish of not knowing what had been of him, he decided to come north to try to find him.
With not much English or resources to launch his search, he ended up in Palo Alto.
Like most illegal aliens then, at the beginning he would go back to his country from time to time. But as the crossing became more difficult, he started a family here, and made the US his permanent home.
Because today I've run out of space, I will stop here. It will have to be on another day that I tell you more about this guy. He is still around, and I couldn't believe my eyes last time I bumped into him... he was blogging for The Almanac!
I am telling you, if allowed, these illegal aliens will eventually end up everywhere.