This Friday, May 1, will again bring about marches from people who are in this country illegally and their supporters. Illegal immigration is a very contentious subject. This year it will be even more so as millions of Americans have become unemployed or are facing the "chopping block."
I always have been insulted when individuals who are pro-illegal immigrants try to logic out why one group of people can break one set of laws while the rest of us should be subject to the exact same laws. For example, the City of Chicago has proclaimed itself to be a sanctuary city. We have individuals who get upset if the police do stings and arrest and take the cars of people who are in this country illegally and driving without a license. Yet we recently had an alderman proclaim that the city should take the cars of American citizens who leave traffic court and drive after being told to not do so. Where is the fairness?
I recently spent several months working in a Chicago public school where the student population was half black and half Hispanic. As I walked down the hallways, the classrooms for grades kindergarten through third looked like something out of a movie prior to Brown vs. Board of Education. The classrooms for first graders, for example, had all the black children in one room while all the Hispanic children were in a separate classroom.
Why? Because six years prior, two children were born in the same city and same hospital. The black child went home where he/she learned English even if it was the Ebonics' version. The other child went home with parents who didn't speak English and may be in this country illegally. That child learned Spanish as their first language.
When the time came to go to school, the Hispanic parents were allowed to choose a bilingual education program, even if the child is functional in English.
Wait a second. If the Hispanic children are getting bilingual education, shouldn't the black kids be getting the same opportunity to become bilingual by learning Spanish at the same time the Hispanic children are learning English? Where is the fairness?
Recently, a man testified before congress regarding his daughter who was killed while sitting in her car at a red light. Her car was hit by a drunk driver, who was an illegal immigrant. The father referred to the people listed on the ICE database of illegal immigrants with criminal backgrounds as "banditos." The father was subsequently chastised by Congressman Luis Gutierrez for using the term "banditos." Interestingly enough, it was not because the congressman could point to the term as being derogatory, but because he has chosen to pursue the interest of illegal immigrants over those of U.S. citizens. He was more concerned with how the illegal immigrants were being portrayed than he was about a U.S. citizen being killed by someone who shouldn't have been in the country to begin with. Where is the fairness?
I have watched while a friend of mine lost his restaurant business. Every day he was visited by the city and issued fines for violations that had nothing to do with his food handling. Fines for signage violation. Fines because his video game didn't have a current license even though it was unplugged and facing backwards so that no one could use it. Yet, every day on the streets of Austin, I am seeing unlicensed and unsanitary corn carts sitting on corners vending food. There is no running water to wash hands and, even worse, where do they use the bathroom when they stand on a corner for hours on end?
I saw on North Avenue, by the soon-to-be opened new Menards, a man cooking tacos on the city's sidewalk. I am sure we have tons of Americans who could also put a BBQ pit on a cart and stand on a corner and sell food. Yet it doesn't happen because the city enforces food-handling laws against citizens but not against others. Where is the fairness?
As this year's marches occur, I am anxious to see how illegal immigration will be portrayed. As Americans have lost jobs, houses and their version of the American dream, will we as a country still be gullible enough to believe that there are jobs that we won't do?
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