By Gustavo Arellano
By R. Scott Moxley
By Alfonso Delgado
By Courtney Hamilton
By Joel Beers
By Peter Maguire
By Charles Lam
By Charles Lam
DEAR MEXICAN: I'm a pocha immigration attorney. I have so many questions for you I'm thinking I should just hire you as a consultant. Why do Mexicans seem to want me to lie to them and steal their money and tell them they can become residents even when it's hopeless? Why can't Mexicans answer yes-or-no questions with a "yes" or "no"? Why do they have to give me long narratives that make no sense? If Mexicans claim that part of the reason they don't want to be in Mexico is because of government corruption, then why do they ask me to lie for them and help them to lie? Why are polleros the rudest, most aggressive clients a lawyer could ever have? Why don't mexicanas want a female attorney, while mexicanos seem to think it's kind of cool? When I go into fast-food restaurants in my power suits and order tacos, why do the mexicanas selling me the food giggle and make fun? Why can't they just be happy and proud for one of their own? When I tell a Mexican that I don't think their case is winnable, why do they change from using "usted" with me to "tu"? When I tell a Mexican bad news, why can't I just speak normally in Spanish? Why is it that I get so nervous that my pocha accent comes out super-strong?
DEAR WABETTE: If people want to hire me as a consultant, I charge by the hour, with payments acceptable in tacos, tequila bottles and Chicano Studies books. So let's empezar your bill starting . . . ahorita. Mexicans want you to tell them they can become residents because they are paying you to make their hopeless situation a legal one, lies or not. Their "long narratives that make no sense" are otherwise known as America's immigration system. They ask you to lie for them because the alternative is going back to Mexico's cesspool of corruption—again, it's your job as an immigration attorney to make the hopeless hopeful by making the impossible happen, ethics be damned. Polleros are going to be rude because they're criminals—and outside of Daniel Stern's character in Born in East L.A., do you know of any gentleman human smugglers? Mexicanas not wanting you to represent them isn't a pocha thing, but a female thing, so go write to Jezebel about that one; Mexican men wanting you as an attorney, in turn, is all about an hombre ogling you. As a pocha, you shouldn't be eating fast food in the first place—and the mexicana-on-pocha hate is another female issue that Jezebel can answer. When a Mexican switches from addressing you as usted to tu, it's because you're no longer someone deserving of their respect, but the shyster scamming them out of cash. Finally, you start talking like a pocha when you tell them the bad news because you don't like delivering bad news—that's understandable. Let's see . . . carry over the dos, add three, include a first-timer discount, and your final legal bill with me is a taquero for 30 people, a bottle of ON Tequila and a first-edition autographed copy of Occupied America. Pleasure doing business!
* * *
DEAR MEXICAN: Why do so many Mexican parents let their kids play in the street unsupervised? I'm sure this practice isn't limited to Mexicans, but it seems as though some neighborhoods are filled with Mexican kids playing in the streets, not paying attention to traffic (no matter how quiet the street might be) and with no parents in sight. Are these parents lazy, stupid or encouraging self-reliance?
DEAR GABACHO: Every chamaco is going to be a different story, but the main reason Mexicans let their kids play on the street is because there's nowhere else for them to play. The lack of park spaces in barrios is an unfortunate phenomenon well-known to city planners and best examined in Cal State Los Angeles professor David R. Diaz's influential Barrio Urbanism: Chicanos, Planning and American Cities. Compounding that is that most landlords in barrios don't allow kids to play in common areas, leading families to let them loose onto the mean streets. ¿Triste, no?
Back when I was a kid ALL kids played in the street. Now kids are staying in playing on their electronic equipment or parents are just too paranoid to let their kids outside.
That column is fucking stupid. In print or online. It doesn't inform, it just reinforces the stereotypes. It's too easy. At least it could be funny but noooo.
What's the big deal? This is America. Land of the free. Maybe where you all come from it ain't safe to let ur kids play on the street because you're all a bunch of pussies to fight for safer streets. It maybe un-safe here now, but that's because all you assholes brought that shit up here with you.
Maybe the answer is as simple as; the proportion of Mexicans within said persons presence is larger than the proportion of other nationalities...idk...Something I can say is it would be invaluable for Mexicans to have more civil rights activists maybe whomever is asking is answering their own question and needs to step up their game....
Because a lot of them, during the Amnesty in the 80's were really screwed over and were over charged in the filing of their paper work, never got completed, or completely filed...so, they spent 10's of Thousands of Dollars to bring themselves, their family members, and end up getting ripped off, cause maybe one family member was accepted, but no one else. So, they do not trust high Priced Attorney fees for legal matters of that sort, and not have had anything done, they are betrayed. I'm just speaking through personal experience with helping out the Latino Community in Santa Ana. Live Long and Prosper!
Truth May Day 2007 city of los Angeles had 26 million dollars the people who got hit got Penni's y los abogados pues con mucho dinero que se quedaron rateros!!!!
I guess you people don't read the column. Misinformed, racist, stupid or insightful- people ask questions about Mexicans. Arellano answers them- usually setting people straight, but he's not afraid to speak the truth about his culture, too!
Isn't it supposed to be good for kids to be out playing in the streets than being confined and glued to the tablets or iPads or TV
Here we go another epic picture , OC weekly isn't known for prestigious journalism so it isn't surprising .
"I'm sure, somewhere, at some point in history, stickball has been played on a lawn".
I like that response because it sounds smarmy!
lawyers are nothing more than judges in plain clothes and judges are nothing more than lawyers in black robes appointed to the bench by someone else, and lawyers lie for a living.
"I have absolutely no influence over the outcomes of these trials". - Judge Derek Johnson Harbor Court (I overheard him say this to one of the court clerks while I was in courtroom.)
"HOW MANY TIMES HAVE WE TOLD YOU THAT WE DON'T SPEAK SPANISH HERE, WE SPEAK ENGLISH". WE DO NOT UNDERSTAND IT.
'GOBBLEDYGOOK' TO US. ME CANNOT TRANSLATE, VENDEJO
The "long narrative" bit drives me crazy too. Try teaching middle-classe Mexican college students. ¿Hiciste tu tarea? -A pos bueno, mira es que....
Please get the attorney to send a selfie in full business attire. Yeah, she's right about the hombres thinking their consult with a female attorney will end up like either the "Sex You Up" or "Amor Clandestino" video.
I'm sure, somewhere, at some point in history, stickball has been played on a lawn. I've just never encountered it. And tennis balls don't bounce to well on grass (Wimbledon excluded). Furthermore, I believe that we called street hockey "street hockey" because of its setting. As for football, there is nothing better than a curb to delineate out-of-bounds, and make the perfect tippety-toe sideline catch.
That the current crop of GenX mommies can't fathom a world without after-care, and form long lines of traffic to drop off and pick up their kids at schools two blocks away from their homes, has nothing to do with kidnappings (which happen about as often as amber alerts), and everything to do with modern suburban angst over children having free time to play their own games.
Kids in cities play in streets, because there are streets right outside their doors to play in. It's as Irish and Italian and Polish and Greek and Lithuanian as it is Mexican. Just not very Leafy Lane WASP-y. Boo hoo.
For me personally, it's not the playing in the street that bothers me...it's parents (ANY parent) not teaching their children to be mindful of the traffic...and to cross at intersections and not dart in between the parked cars. Just be aware and safe, that's all I ask.
"Why do Mexicans Let Kids Play on Streets Unsupervised?" With the new law that will let them get drivers licenses, they're out learning how to drive and even they know that running over a Mexican kid is worth bonus points.
Wow I couldn't get through that without feeling annoyed by this self loathing "power suit" wearing so called attorney
Look, it all about finding out the right answers are that these fat incompetent illiterate --geography ignorant immigration officers and officals in the different offices want to hear, and if you don't knw those answers, you really can't be helping them. Ah God, and as far as immigration goes -- Geezzz -- I love Mexicans & the more Mexicans we have, the better, but at the sametime I don't understand why they want to come here, (well I know why fucking NAFTA & a very curropt US backed political system in which a president can win & be declared legitimate by the state department even if he or she just get 30% of the vote.) But -- the US is really turning into a shit-hole, the constitution and civil liberties are flushing down the toilet, and the place is turning into an open-air prison where according to homeland secuirty at least 30,000 drones will be flying all over the place and monitoring everyone -- and yes more people will get killed form drones than from terrorist attacks.
Sometimes the Usted to Tú could mean they are feeling more comfortable with you & have accepted you so they're going to be more freindly to you!
I like seeing the kids (Mexican, black, white and Asian) playing in the street. When there are kids in the street at dusk it usually means there's not adults hanging around on the street.
Re: Pocha Lawyer. I am one. Not an immigration lawyer, but a business litigation lawyer. And, understanding the cultural quirks of your clients is like a basic lawyering skill. And, if you are just now figuring out that Mexicans don't tell linear stories, you are either not very bright or just started practicing law two days ago. Because, as anybody who has ever dealt with Mexis knows, they don't tell linear story. By the third meeting, you may understand what the point of their story is. But that is the thing about being a lawyer, you need to dig and dig and dig before you get to the real story. Your clients often don't know the story or are so personally involved in the story that they need a third party (competent lawyer, maybe?) to draw it out. Sorry, maybe you are a different kind of lawyer than I am. But I never charge for just a consultation or two, or three, and I usually realize that the consultation will take two or three meetings and/or long phone calls before you truly understand your client's stories. And, if you are having problems with Mexis, don't even try to represent Asians (esp. Chinese and/or Korean) and/or Armenians (OMG Armenians) because they will *definitely* be beyond your comprehension. Yeah, definitely over your head. Sorry to say, but obviously true.
Mexican issues are women's issues and vice versa. Intersectionality is real. Don't do what so many movements have done and say, that's a "Jezebel" problem. Let's own our issues.
Playing in streets? My Mexican American kids wouldn't know what that's about even if a piece of asphalt fell on their heads. (All about the videos and tech, argh) The only street they play on are the ones they build in Minecraft (stupid game).
@Delia Ibarra True to the stereotype, Armenians are horrible to do business with. Even with contracts in place they, without fail, have wanted to negotiate after the fact with us. We are an ad agency and they want to try and negotiate tv buys after the purchase, payment and airing of the ads. Simply awesome.
@007geyer I was! A licensed-to-drive, drunken Mexican illegal ran me over. At his trial he claimed he thought that I was another Mexican illegal--so he didn't think that it should matter. When he found out that I was an American citizen he said that he felt terrible for doing it.
Now, someone should hand you a sense of humor and you should take it.
@STOPTHERECONQUISTA Well now we know you're not a plain ol' white boy.