Tortilla Inspired- Getting Feisty About Immigration

There has been a really ridiculous generic post going around Facebook the past few days that goes on and on about how illegal immigrants are cruelly punished in North Korea and Afghanistan, while they supposedly get this massively sweet deal when the come to the United States. I am bothered. I really hesitated to post this, not being one to go out of my way to piss people off. I was worried people may stop reading my blog, when I finally am starting to acquire some traffic. But then I realized that this is what blogging is about- sharing our opinions, communicating, and having friendly debates. So, I invite your comments, supportive and not, as long as you can be adult.

First of all, do you know any illegal immigrants that live in gated communities, own Lexuses, and have AmEx Black Cards? Are they making Botox appointments and sending their kids to private schools? No, they're not. They're cleaning the houses in the mansions, hoofing it on foot or using public transportation, buying their clothes at the Goodwill, and watching their kids suffer in total English immersion programs in our schools. The life of the immigrant is not something to be jealous of.

Secondly, this is a country built on immigration! The only people that should be completely pissed are Native Americans, because, as we all learned in elementary school, the Europeans not only stole their land, they brought diseases and weapons as well.

And what about compassion? Humanity? If I had kids to care for and lived in a complete shit-hole where I made no money, couldn't feed my family, and worried about their safety on a daily basis you can bet your ass I'd be crossing the border with or without papers into Canada (um, this will also happen if Sarah Palin or Michele Bachmann become president). And so would most Americans! Entitlement runs in our blood. Most people are extremely hesitant to vacation in Mexico right now- think about living there! Think about what it must be like for families, or young people that are trying to make lives for themselves.

By the way, Californians, that delicious salad you ate last night, with all that locally grown produce? Super healthy and full of vitamins? Are you prepared to get down on your hands and knees for very little money to pick the ingredients? Our economy depends on the cheap labor, as sad as it.

There are definitely flaws- I am not saying our country's immigration system (or lack there of) is perfect. There should be a process and things should be done legally (taxes, driver's licenses, insurance, etc...). A better, more efficient process needs to be put in place towards helping the people already here become legal, and we need to stop blaming kids that are brought or born here. They have no choice! Do you expect a five-year-old to protest moving somewhere that is supposedly better?

I don't believe people should get things free and easy, and I know the system needs to be overhauled. I am obviously opposed to drug and human trafficking, and I do believe illegal immigrants that are in our jails need to be returned to wherever the came from. There are plenty of original Americans that work the system in the same way- they don't pay taxes, they work the welfare system, etc... The budget problems in our states and countries are not a result of immigration, they're a result of extreme spending, a lack of revenue initiatives, and this insane resistance towards a more fair taxation system.

This ever-relevant controversy makes me think of an awesome book called Tortilla Curtain, by TC Boyle. If I had to make a list of the books that changed my life (note to self- a list to be made), this would be towards the top. The novel contrasts two families- an affluent white one living in a Los Angeles, and a man and woman (who is pregnant) who come illegally to California to try to make a better life before their baby arrives. It will make you see things from a new perspective, just as it did the characters in the novel. Whether you are ready to join the border coyotes or march for better treatment, please read this.

I know this is a really controversial topic, and we're all entitled to our own opinions. I don't believe we should be a country without borders- we're already crowded, and this arrangement would end up exhausting our limited resources. But we need to be a compassionate people. We need to work towards a positive system instead of constantly bitching about the lack of one. I'm not asking you to drive to the border and adopt a family of four, I'm just asking you to step outside of your comfort zone and put yourself in someone else's shoes.


  1. This guy has a sweet/sad story. He is a great example of how we can become a better people with inclusion.

  2. Amen!!! Tortilla Curtain is one of my favorite books. It was one of those I stumbled upon and grabbed because I liked the cover art and the blurb on the back was tempting. While reading, it sure exceeded my expectations. Great post!

  3. Preach it! Sounds interesting! Sergio has it, so I'll have to read it one day!

  4. WOW! GREAT post Christine! And I am totally with you on jumping ship if Palin (by some freak of nature) becomes president.

  5. Ahahaha! I love that your tag is "being liberal" and the idea of border jumping without papers if Sarah Palin becomes president made me laugh so hard I had to share it with everyone around me.
    I didn't disagree with a single thing you said. Rock on. Any readers you lose as a result of this post are dweebs anyway...