A Day Without Immigrants

So today is apparantly "A Day Without Immigrants" and I just realised that this means me as well, technically speaking. Does it not seem strange that so immigrants should be held to be the source of so many problems in America, of all countries? And people in the southern border lands appear to be particularly prone to that finger-pointing, when they are living on land that was originally part of a Mexico too weakened by its own war for independence to be able to defend it from the young states to the north.

I'm coming up to the eighth anniversary of my "stepping off the boat" as it were — it's easy to work out as I just add on one year and a couple of days to my wedding anniversary, which is how long it took for my permanent resident visa to come through, plus a couple of weeks to get the last things packed and get a flight. I missed my first wedding anniversary by just five days I think. From the visa (and later job) interview questions I was asked I was apparantly suspected of being an economic migrant, which made the enormous paycut that I took to move from London, UK to Dayton, Ohio rather ironic.

On the other hand, I don't really think of myself as an immigrant. I'm think I'm really someone who is just hanging out here for a while … seeing the sights, doing a bit of shopping, being married, having kids etc.. On the other hand I've only been back to England once in all that time, for my brother's wedding in Cambridge last year. With my parents living in Spain and my parents-in-law living near Rome we tend to pay fleeting visits to Heathrow every now and then just to see if they've finished building it yet (which they haven't) and to stock-up on the few goodies that are available there and not from our local Fine Imported Goods emporium — ie. the commissary at Peterson AFB. They sell Flakes, Crunchies, Milk Chocolate Hobnobs etc, although they fly off the shelves because everyone panic-buys them apparantly.

So anyway I get itchy feet everytime I see Oracle blogsters writing of their travels, and we're regularly overcome by an urge to move back to Europe. Any part of it at all will do. We were recently thwarted in an attempted move to Slovenia or Romania, and now we're trying for Germany. My brother tells me we should be moving to Denmark — in fact a friend of a friend ended up there after some kind of incident involving rowing to Iceland in a replica of a Viking longboat, during which voyage he apparantly had an affair with the wife of the group leader which must have involved either extraordinary levels of discretion or some extraordinarily tense mealtimes — but frankly it's probably Hobson's choice where we land. If the USAF doesn't have positions for a Developmental Engineer at least available then it's not on the list.

So where was I?

Ah yes, the immigrant day thing. Well it turns out that most of my work colleagues will be in a Customer Acceptance Test for most of the day so they wouldn't notice me not being here (here being 1,200 miles from them) anyway. However, I applaud the priniciple and I may go down the Monica's Taco Shop for a breakfast burrito to show support for the cause.


4 thoughts on “A Day Without Immigrants

  1. The issue is “illegal” immigrants” not “immigrants”.

    I’m a green card holder too. I’m legal, you’re legal.

    It’s either legalize the illegals or enforce the true definition of illegal. Which one you choose?

  2. I choose the only practical one — legalisation, with conditions. The alternative is the deportation of around 8 million people, which does not seem to me to be practical.

    It’s not fashionable to take anything other than a hard-line on any issue in the United States, especially for politicians whose stances have to stand scrutiny from the lumpen proletariat, but the causes of illegal immigration are very clear — economic problems south of the border. Some of this is undoubtedly caused by such factors as the collapse of the Mexican corn farms, who can’t compete with the $10 billion a year that the US gives its own farmers.

    So there’s part of the problem, but unfortunately the solution to it doesn’t appeal as much to the hoi polloi as the idea of just building a damn big wall.

  3. As a legal immigrant from Europe, one thing I don’t miss: The fingerpointing against foreigners, or better perceived foreigners. They’re responsible for everything: unemployment, social security failures, the garbage in the street, etc. I know, it’s a complex subject, but it’s discussed way more ‘down-to-earth’ in the US.
    Also, a European Union pumped billions of Euros into Spain, Ireland, Greece and Portugal in the 80s and 90s. The economies of these countries took off gave their residents enough incentives to stay home. Why not the same between the US and Mexico? Raise the living standard in Mexico and they’ll stay at home!


  4. The other half of the cause is the economics on this side of the border – cheapo employers. In the pre-Depression days, there was infrastructure for guest workers to pick lettuce and whatnot. For various reasons (mostly racist), that was ended and the laws and regulations have been out of balance with the economics ever since. Some effort was made in 1986 to fix the problem, but of course that was Reaganomic political claptrap – I own a rental house with tenants that have been there literally for generations, I don’t even want to know how fake their papers are they share among their “cousins.”

    I happen to live in an area that is heavily populated by illegals, (my previous house and current house back up to the regional avocado wholesaler) and my personal observation was it helped make the problem more invisible – they concentrate more in the barrio and less in the cardboard boxes in the groves or down by the river (though the moveable whorehouses down by the river still are only rarely busted).

    That’s why when they started driving around in pickup trucks throwing rocks and bottles and police cars and police units responded from jurisdictions all over the county I got a bit nervous. I’ve seen riots before (1965 Watts and 1992 LA in particular), and they are not fun. There are millions of illegals around the southern California area, and should they decide to take it back for Mexico, we could have a real problem. Like a forest fire or DDoS attack, things can get bad fast.

    So was the taco shop open? :-)

    That day I had a hankering for Chinese food, so headed to a particular fast food joint. About 6 paces from the door I saw a bright yellow sign on which was printed that they would be closed for May 1. So as I stood there trying to comprehend, a lady rudely pushed past me as though I were rudely blocking the way, then looked in the darkened place all around the bright yellow sign. I managed to not laugh. I believe she worked at the Toshiba factory across the street.–>

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