Too Much to Swallow

Today, May 1, 2006, “immigrants around the country are expected to stay home to protest what they consider unfair immigration laws during "The Great American Boycott,” so read today’s Sun Sentinel. What it is called in other circles is “anti-gringo” boycott of 2006. In my book, it’s “Ingrate Day.” Ingrate Liberation Day. Most say that May 1, or May Day is the day of the worker, or Labor Day. Well, it is in some, but it is most identified with those countries who favor the hammer and sickle and the policies of Marx, Lenin, Stalin, Castro, et al. May Day is that wonderful day in all this communist countries where the slave labor (for in those Countries, you work at the whim of the state), is forced to see parades of weapons, missiles, tanks, and placards saying “down with Yankee imperialism.” The only thing akin to “Yankee imperialism” my friends is when George Steinbrenner gets a little way happy buying up ball players from other less wealthy teams. But I digress.

Notwithstanding the origins of May 1, wherein 1884, the Federation of Trades and Labor Unions in the United States demanded an eight hour work day and wanted this change to take place on May 1, 1886. A general strike ensued which led to the Haymarket Riot of 1886 in Chicago, Illinois. Eventually, the eight hour work day became a reality as did many labor laws which were enacted as part of the New Deal legislation, namely, the National Labor Relations Act and the Fair Labor Standards Act. I know these laws well, because enforcing them is what I do for a living.

Unlike those who like to sing The Internationale on May 1, we here like to sing the National Anthem and prefer to celebrate Labor Day in September. According to the United States Department of Labor Website,

“The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the plans of the Central Labor Union. The Central Labor Union held its second Labor Day holiday just a year later, on September 5, 1883.
In 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, and the Central Labor Union urged similar organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a "workingmen's holiday" on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations, and in 1885 Labor Day was celebrated in many industrial centers of the country.”

Well today is Ingrate Day for those who blame the ills of the world on the United States, yet would go through hoops to live here. What irks me is the thought of all these agent provocateurs, such as International Answer, La MeCha, and other fringe groups of leftists, communists, socialists, proudly wearing their Che t-shirts, and who would proudly exclaim, “viva fidel” or “viva chavez” while in the same breath exclaiming “impeach bush” and “down with the gringo Yankee imperialism.” I can expect that drech from castro and his minions, but it goes on here in America. Well, it’s a free country and they have every right to march and act like the “come mierdas” that they are. And yes, pardon my Cuban, but they are “come mierdas.” Part of the moral relativist cabal. Part of the “end justifies the means” crowd. The same crown that burns the American flag, yet touts the flag of their origin as being their preeminent flag.

My parents came here the old fashion way: they followed the law. My mom was granted political asylum. Although she had arrived here in 1958, when things in Cuba went to hell and a hand-basket on New Years Day 1959, she had no choice but to remain. Her getting asylum wasn’t easy. It took a letter she herself wrote to Mamie Eisenhower that got the INS to deliver the paperwork so she could stay. My grandparents left Cuba and arrived through Spain (after living in Madrid with no money for nearly a year). My mother spent years getting her parents (my grandparents), he siblings all our of Cuba. They all lived in my parent’s modest house until they could be relocated.

My father did not leave his country, Uruguay, because of political reasons. He left because he wanted to make a better life for himself. He did it the old fashion way. He applied for residency and was granted it. They ultimately became proud US Citizens, the old fashion way; by earning it. My parents worked and paid taxes.

That is how everyone should receive legal residency – by following the law. But there those, whom I shall call ingrates, that do not feel that the laws are just; that they have a natural right to march into the territory of the United States and receive all of the privileges that are entitled to legal residents. There are some really radical extremists that feel that the Southwestern United States should be returned to Mexico. With that mentality, let’s everyone return the entire American Continent to the indigenous peoples and let’s go back to Europe. It’s a moronic position.

In any event, while I strongly sympathize with those who come here for economic purposes, they need to do it the right way. Follow the law. For those who come here seeking political asylum, they should be granted fair asylum hearings.

I do not favor making illegal aliens felons or building a wall. Building walls went the way of the Berlin Wall. The solution is free and equal trade between us and our neighbors. Assist these economies so that everything they seek here, can be found right at home. Most of the illegals come here, earn money, do not pay taxes, and send the money back home anyway. It is that money which feeds many of the economies down South. Yet, many choose to spit on this land rather than praise it.

As for me, notwithstanding my Spanish and Cuban origin and ancestry, I was born in Florida. My flag is old glory. I respect the flag of a free Cuba, because it is where my family came from, but it is not my flag. My national anthem is the American National Anthem, just as it was taught to me in grade school. Even though I like the words of America the Beautiful better, it is still my National Anthem. The Cuban national anthem is not my anthem even though the cause of a free Cuba is strong in my heart. I respect it, but I do not have any loyalty to it, unlike others who were born there. But one thing that keeps us as a group united here in South Florida is our love for the United States. We give thanks to the United States for giving us an opportunity to make a life for ourselves. We give thanks to the United States for giving us liberty. To those marching today, perhaps you should show some humility and give thanks too, rather than being an ingrate. And rather than burn the flag, raise it up high with the respect it deserves. And for you folks with the Che shirts, use it for what it's actually good for, wrapping fish.


Pete said...

Or wiping your ass (with the che shirt that is) Amen brother... To these people the USA is nothing more than a cash cow to milk and take advantage of. I hope the American people can see thru all the bullshit and demand for the politicos to do what needs to be done. At the same time I pray they don't go into a xenophobic panic which is what these demonstrations may cause when they see some of the elements that are in this country illegaly being prominently flashed on TV screens. The day of reckoning is near...

Lou said...

Mike, first of all, that's an awesome photograph. Secondly, I think it's a perfect metaphor to this whole immigration business that went down today. It truly is tough to swallow. Great post.

A. Perales said...

I agree with you regarding the idea of following the legal way. I live in California (central part) and this area is totally different than 30 years ago.
I do want you to be aware that many illegals lack the education to stand in line at an American embassy or consulate, fill out the application and anything else that's necessary. Being that the case, they just follow the easy way, knowing very well the possibility of being caught. These are folks who could care less if it is legal or not. If these folks are needed to do certain jobs as some have stated, then our government should recruit people in other countries to come here. One simply has to go to a Lowe's or Home Depot and find them standing nearby looking for work, perhaps being hired by the same folks who don't want them here.