Tuesday, May 22, 2007

I Object

I had a comment to contribute to Shrinkwrapped's post The Immigration Conundrum but it became too large, so I am posting it here for prosperity.

Please read the above post, which is excellent, for context.

My post continues:

Although I know full well the plural of anecdote is not data, but I am a good example of the change that can occur in opinion over time and experience.

I was born and raised in a border city. From childhood my friends and peers were a mixed group of races with a bit of Anglo, Hispanic, and Asian communities all colliding at once. It’s probably one of the few places in the world where you can order your squid enchilada with wasabi and a side of french fries (it’s good, trust me).

Over the last twenty years what was a thriving multicultural community has become somewhat of a nightmare. Some things I’m going to relate may sound like racist generalizations, but living here you’d find it’s just the way things are.

There are parts of my city where white, black, and Asian people cannot go, the police cannot go there without backup. You would be amazed that within our 21st-century city there are areas that look like Tijuana barrios, complete with sewage in the streets and livestock running free. The gangs are virulent and extremely aggressive. In some neighborhoods the Mexican flag is a omnipresent object. Seeing bumper stickers of a cartoon man wearing a sombrero urinating on the US flag is common. The largest problem our schoolteachers have here is the extremely high percentage of children who don’t speak English, don’t care to, and who’s parents don’t care either. One can pretty much assume that the person with whom they are involved in a automobile accident has no insurance, no license, and will “forget” any English they know when the police arrive.

Even in fairly well-off middle-class neighborhoods, one cannot put their laundry to dry on a line, it will be stolen. Anything left in the yard will be stolen, cars are broken into constantly. In my own personal experience I’ve lived in multiple places where I had to literally go sit on top of the community washer and read a book, or I’d see my clothing on the Mexican children in the complex the next week. Illegal Mexicans live in the canyons around neighborhoods, which become centers for drugs, prostitution, and other illegal activities. When I was a child the police made us take down a tree fort that we built in the canyon next to my house. Today there is a camp of 50-70 people there, complete with wrecked cars, raw sewage, open fires in the brush, semi-domesticated animals and assorted animal manure, and the police refuse to touch it. Even when the camp residents steal from the surrounding neighborhood, and citizens are assaulted, nothing is done.

I have indeed met some people who are clearly illegals who are good people, just trying to make it somewhere, but increasingly over the years my experience has been of very aggressive, combative people, who are furious with you for existing, even as they demand what they perceive as entitlements while literally trashing everything around them.

I’m angry that these people, who flaunted the laws from the beginning, continue to flaunt them, do not care about America, demonstrate no sense of caring about anything around them or even of their own possessions, are going to get a free pass, that I will have to pay for. I don’t want my children to grow up in a (excuse me, but it’s the truth) shit-hole like Tijuana, and that’s what they seem to want to –illegally- bring here. I’m angry that when anyone who can sneak over here can get benefits and entitlements, my citizenship is worth practically nothing. I’m angry that I must obey the laws or face the consequences, but a blind eye is turned on wrongdoing by this group of people.

I used to enjoy our multiculturalism. It made me feel good to be around different groups of people and cultures. Now, I am filled with rage if I’m asked to “press 2 for English.” It makes me seethe when my voter registration is printed in Spanish. Every time I see a “piss on the US” bumper sticker I seriously consider taking my college-trained self and highly intelligent husband and moving somewhere where citizenship means something.

It’s wrong, I know. I should be sympathetic, I know. However, I will accept no solution other than the rule of law. Without that, yeah, we might as well get used to living in TJ, that’s what we’re going to look like in 25 years.


At 23/5/07 10:37 AM , Anonymous Sarah Rolph said...

(Posted by Jetgirl on behalf of Sarah Rolph due to blogger meltdown)

I think this is a great essay, except for the first sentence of the last paragraph. There's nothing wrong with telling the truth. I don't think there's anything racist here at all, if this reporting is factual, which it sounds like it is.

Very disturbing, but I appreciate the information. My perspective on this issue has been formed by very different experiences and observations. It is always helpful to hear first-hand information.

One thing of the things that bothers and surprises me most about this story is the reported lack of action by the police. What the heck happened that they could go from enforcing tree-fort regulations (too far in one direction!) to not enforcing laws against actual crime. Are they overwhelmed? Or is it a cultural issue? Pretty scary in either case.

At 23/5/07 11:05 AM , Blogger Jetgirl said...

Thank you Sarah.

It is factual, insomuch as my personal observation can be qualified as "fact."

Your criticism of my last paragraph is ironically the same thing that affects the police, as far as I can tell. We are under conditions, mine social, theirs beauricratic, to not persecute certain segments of society either on a legal or philosophic level.

We have a few extremely trigger-happy illegal alien activists down here who will sue at the drop of a hat, to me it seems to keep illegals in their dismal conditions. For instance, if you go in the canyon and try to clean up some of the refuse, even if it’s on your own property, you can be sued for destruction of the illegal’s personal property. If you speak out about illegal aliens you can be sued for causing a “climate of fear” and other racism-based claims.

It doesn’t matter if they win, it’s generally destructive enough to a typical citizen’s finances and life just to be taken to court, so people watch what they say and do.

I know that LEO’s are just as frustrated. Imagine having to go out to your job every day, where you are sworn to uphold the law and protect the peace (and all the cops I know take that vow extremely seriously) by driving by a corner packed with what you know full well are illegal aliens and lawbreakers, but being commanded by your higher-ups to pointedly ignore them for fear of lawsuits against the department. And lawsuits there are. The laws are only enforced predictably against citizens.

I do think the tree-fort enforcement makes sense from my perspective now. Brush fires are a constant threat in Southern California, and having kids setting up “camp” in the middle of it is not wise. Also, rattlesnakes and liability. Of course, now the fire hazard is the illegals, who actively set up fire pits etc, and destroy protected brush areas.

It’s truly frustrating, and everyone is on their last nerve about it.


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