How Can Mexicans Humanize Illegal Immigrants?

[¡Ask a Mexican!] And do Mexicans read Cervantes in the original Spanish?

DEAR PHONY MEXICAN: How do we humanize the illegals in this country? My reasons for asking this question are many, but mainly, there's a very personal one. I've been in this country illegally for 16 years, y ya chale no? For 16 years, I lived my life like anyone else: going to school and working. Eventually, I became a teacher for the public schools. It is too long to explain how I did all this. I knew it would come to an end at some point—as the gringos say, I knew the shit would hit the fan eventually. Well, it has, and now I am a nanny to my best friend's kid. We were talking one day and decided that if anything were to happen, if I were arrested or in trouble for some reason, she may be the one to be judged as a bad mother for leaving her child with a "criminal" such as me. You see, I am no criminal; I've never done anything wrong. I was brought here when I was 14 years old, so I had no choice. The only wrong I've done is run across with the rest of mi gente; the only difference is that I didn't know why I had to do it. I was only obeying my family. So how do we share this with the rest of the world so they see that we mojados are people with feelings, families, friends, schooling, hobbies, ideas and ambitions? We're only missing a few papers along the way.

Tu Paisa Jarocha

DEAR CHICA FROM VERACRUZ: Easy—by telling your story and that of people like ustedes to the rest of America until you're azul in the face. By calling your local politicians, from school board members to Barack Obama. And, finally, by telling everyone to no longer refer to undocumented folks as "illegals"—unless it's a satirist with a point, of course!

*     *     *

DEAR MEXICAN: You've poked fun at the guardians of Cervantes before, so I just had to write to you now that I've finished reading the 1962 Walter Starkie translation of Don Quixote. Since I had very little trouble understanding it, I'm guessing Starkie modernized the Spanish in addition to translating it. Have you read Don Quixote in the original Spanish, by chance? If so, would you say that the Renaissance-era Spanish is as difficult for Spanish speakers as Shakespeare is for English speakers? Also, is Cervantes required reading for Mexican high school kids as Shakespeare is for kids in the U.S.? (I imagine it is for kids in Spain.)

Gabacha Que Lee

DEAR GABACHA WHO READS: Cervantes in the original español is a chingadera to read, what with all those damn long-s locuras and forays into Old Castilian when the Man of the Mancha speaks, but it's far more palatable than reading a bunch of "anons," you know? Starkie's translation is fine, but más mejor is Edith Grossman's version. And, finalmente, Don Quixote is not required reading for Mexi prepa kids—but Condorito sure is.

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DEAR MEXICAN: I get that gabachos complain about all the wabs sneaking across the border and taking jobs from gabachos, and that Mexicans complain about all the Guatemalans sneaking across their border and taking jobs from Mexicans. Who do the Guatemalans complain about, or are they at the bottom?

Living In Brasil But Like Watching America. But Unlike Mexico and America, Looking Forward to Our Copa Do Mundo

DEAR CARIOCA: Death squads.

 
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49 comments
Blondie305
Blondie305

I just want to point out that for many years people have worked very hard (I know the tests aren't easy) and gotten their citizenship to be here legally, BUT IT IS EXPENSIVE!

So what is that saying to the people that worked hard AND paid all that money to be here 'TO GIVE THEIR FAMILY A BETTER LIFE"(and not have to worry about getting deported years down the road and split up the family that they care about so much).

This generation of people have been coddled entirely to much, everyone expects things to be handed to them, and everybody thinks that their special for some reason and the rules don't apply to them.

This is the real world and your parents did you no favors by trying to protect you from it, because in the long run your going to get eaten up in this world anymore.

The laws were written for a reason (now they do need to be enforced, but that's another comment), and if the people crossing over the border illegally DO CARE ABOUT THAT BETTER LIFE FOR YOUR FAMILY think about how torn apart that family might be down the road if they are caught and deported.

tedcontis2
tedcontis2

Illegal Mexicans are a cancer destroying the US. The Mexican government wants to get rid of all it's trash so it urges them to escape to the US to suck the blood of the US, breed like cockroaches and reconquest the US in the great reconquista.
Ted Contis
315 E Broadway #212, San Gabriel, CA

Pando
Pando

Kind of hard to humanize people who sneak into this country to steal from us. Anyone who sneaks across our border does so for one reason only and that is to steal.  Whether it's a job, housing or a lifestyle it's still stealing.  As for the person who ran across the border at the age of 14 - when do you assume responsibility for yourself? Did you register with our government when you turned 18?  All those years you attended higher education and taught in this country.did you carry your registration papers with you at all times?

Bottom line is once you turned 18 you became responsible for breaking our laws on your own.  You can no longer blame it on your parents. 


hakon39
hakon39

The very best way to humanize alien invaders is for them to go back to their country of residence, and to come here legally.   When you come into the USA legally, you will be amazed at the welcome you will receive.

Kelly Heltsley
Kelly Heltsley

You're right, Kourtney, America is a continent. Maybe it's because there is no English equivelent of estadounidense.

Martin Nores
Martin Nores

Condorito was a funny pajaro nalgon. Reading is the best way to expand your mind, doesnt matter if its Don Quixote or John Steinbeck, and there is no need to humanize undocumented folks porque all you have to do is see them for what they are, HUMAN, just a human being trying to follow human instincts and survive some way some how. I wish I could win the powerball or the lottery so I could donate a portion to my struggling raza.

Kourtney Brown
Kourtney Brown

I really don't understand why people comment about Mexicans not being "American". Mexicans are the decedents of the original "American". Mexicans are "Americans".

Brenda Garcia
Brenda Garcia

Gustavo, I like reading your column but the comments people left on the website are cruel!! The comments left by "Hispanics" are especially cruel. It is upsetting but mostly sad. Don't you just want to scream at them?

Graciano Iracheta
Graciano Iracheta

i love this column, the comments on the website exemplify how we will never get along,,muahahaha

David MacKay
David MacKay

how do you actually ask a Mexican a question on this page, it seems like we mostly just listen

rockerotexano
rockerotexano

Spanish has long been a much more structured language than English, since Spanish is basically just a derivative of Latin, while English is a hodgepodge of Germanic languages with a lot of French vocabulary.  


While Shakespeare's writings used different terminology, spelling, syntax and pronunciation (important because of the poetic nature of his works), Spanish from Cervantes's time really only differs noticeably in vocabulary and spelling.  


 Also, Cervantes wrote a novel (the first one ever basically) which would be easier to digest for a reader than a play, which is intended to be conveyed in performance rather than through a single person reading the text.

Gabby Gonzalez
Gabby Gonzalez

Speaking from experience as I went to school in Mexico until I was 15 while Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra is not required reading. Snippets of Don Quijote fill out many pages of our books since grade school.

Alvaro Aguirre
Alvaro Aguirre

Maybe you can start by changing the way you portray them. Take a look at the image you are using!

stopthereconquista
stopthereconquista

Why do American middle class college students graduate with $50,000 in student loan debt…while 'Dreamers' get free college…..$12k/yr in Cal Grants. Doesn't seem right. Same grades. Same qualifications. Same hard work studying……but crippling debt for the same middle class families that pay the taxes that give the Dreamers grants. It's not right.


As far as hunaminzing….start by Americanizing. there are millions of good people amongst the 'illegals'…you need to totally overwhelm Americans with shows of appreciation and gratitude for being here. Sing God Bless America at Mexico vs USA soccer games instead of booing the national anthem. Carry signs that say 'Thank you America' instead of 'today I march tomorrow I vote'. Display the US flag. You want acceptance….EARN IT. 

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

There has to be middle ground.  I say throw out the gang bangers and keep the kids going to school.  The sins of the father are not cast on the child.  From a legal point their presence here is illegal.  However, from a human point these are people.  Yes, some have committed crimes to get here and yet the only crime some have committed was listening to their parents.  


So, if anyone wants to split hairs and say a kid dragged here by their parents is illegal they are probably right.  I will split the same hair and say I'm probably right in calling them an asshole for it. 

IllyrianRoots
IllyrianRoots

yeah.. lets sugar coat the shit.. Undocumented! hahaha what a fucking joke. those folks are ILLEGAL immigrants. PERIOD! they came to Estados Unidos illegally. what's not to understand there?? try sneaking into Canada and call yourself undocumented. see how that works out for ya.. it's like Gustavo is aspiring to become the left's Frank Lutz! Used car or Pre-owned? haha

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

If a someone robs a bank, buys a house, then gives it to his kid and is later caught, does the kid still get to keep the house? No.  I do have some sympathy for the lady in the first question, but there is no consequence for an illegal action if she gets citizenship.  I wonder what she taught in school..ESL?  Why not take advantage of all you have received from this country (education, etc.) and return to your legal country and improve IT.  There are millions of people waiting for US Citizenship, spending their own money, trying to do it the correct way.  Why should the kids of illegals have an advantage over them in getting citizenship, when their would be citizenship is an ill-gotten gain?  

downtownbrown
downtownbrown

Hondurans are definitely below chapines.  Sin duda, son la gente mas flojo y debil de C.A.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

How can Mexicans safeguard their dignity and honor? 

Start by not sneaking across a sovereign nation's border like a cowardly animal and then throwing tantrums every time you're asked to comply with that nation's immigration laws. 

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Pando  I can only hope you will someday embrace what it is to be American and embrace the American spirit.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Pando  This is the poem on a plaque at the bottom of the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This poem is what America is and what America stands for.  


gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

That's why they are called aliens.  And how do the Mexicans treat illegal aliens to their country?  Look into that, and let me know what you find out.  Ilegals are treated better here than any other place.  Do Mexicans provide schooling, government assistance, healthcare, etc. to illegals in their country?  No.  So why do illegal mexicans think we should treat them better?  

gregbpc
gregbpc topcommenter

But there is a United States of America, on the North American Continent.

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

Speak for yourself, I get along just fine with my neighbors.

armandocdll81
armandocdll81

@whateveryousay So you have no problem then with the compulsory and permanent repatriation of the unlawfully present adults who helped engineer their children's circumvention of our immigration check points and laws? 

fc2479
fc2479

@armandocdll81 You are so right and I am hispanic too.  How about obeying the law and coming into this country legally.  What the hell do you expect when you know you have done something wrong and eventually you gotta pay the piper.  It's too bad the Mexican government can't get their shit together and provide a country worth living in as opposed to that sewer south of the border......chinga tu madre Mexico!!!!!

Pando
Pando

@whateveryousay @Pando

Our American spirit is being sucked dry by millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS who come here to steal.  Sneaking into this country is not the only crime ILLEGAL ALIENS commit. It is merely the first one. 

Pando
Pando

@whateveryousay @Pando

Please reread the last sentence. It clearly states "I lift my lamp beside the golden door."   It does not say you can sneak into this country in defiance of our laws. 

BillxT
BillxT topcommenter

Much better to keep them from becoming contributing tax-paying citizens. Can't afford remedial rading programs? No problem there's always plenty of money for prisons (well, not so much anymore, but much more money for prisons than education).

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@armandocdll81 @whateveryousay  Oh yeah and then there is this:

"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." -  Ronald Reagan

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@armandocdll81 @whateveryousay Leave your Philadelphia lawyers speak to actual lawyers.

If you are asking me if I support the deportation of the parents I would have to say that I am not in a position to make that decision so my opinion on that doesn't count.  

I will go on to say that people are people.  The crushing poverty and lack of any future that drives parents to pack up the kids and crash the border knowing the adversity and laws they will be up against has got to be a factor.  If they are here and otherwise obey the laws of our country I would think they should be given a chance.  

So, if you believe that they should all just be sent back to South America, any number of European countries (illegals come from all over the world you know), Asia and Africa without any consideration at all that would make you an asshole in my book.  

Luckily, more people vote the way I vote than you!

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@GustavoArellano @IllyrianRoots  Comparing this to Canadian immigration is not remotely fair.  The US encouraged illegal immigration while Canada has not.  Just remember the late and great Grand Poobah of the Republican Party and truly great man, Ronald Reagan, initiated the first and only amnesty for illegal immigrants.  


"I believe in the idea of amnesty for those who have put down roots and lived here, even though sometime back they may have entered illegally." -  Ronald Reagan


And I'm a Republican, just not the rabid Tea Party overly religious type.

stopthereconquista
stopthereconquista

@whateveryousay @armandocdll81 Regans legalization added 3-5 million…..this one will add over 30 million. that's over 10% of our population and this group is more interested in conquering than being American.

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Pando @whateveryousay  It doesn't. It also doesn't refer to them as illegal aliens.  America was founded on open immigration policy.  America is a melting pot not some isolationist country.  Please embrace America as the founding fathers envisioned.  Please be a good American.

Pando
Pando

@whateveryousay @Pando 

It clearly states she lifts her "lamp beside the golden door."  Apply to immigrate here legally and walk in the light cast from her lamp and through the golden door.

 Where does it say millions of ILLEGAL ALIENS can sneak into our country in defiance of our laws? 

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Pando  I don't have any idea how you vote but I'll take the wild guess that you would vote against amnesty.  Our country encouraged illegal immigration and now we have illegal immigrants.  It seems that some want to throw them out and throw stones as they leave.  I don't believe that is fair or the American way. 

This is the poem on a plaque on the Statue of Liberty:

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"


This poem demonstrates what America is.  

Pando
Pando

@whateveryousay @Pando    

Whoa, did I touch a nerve?  


As a "TOP COMMENTER" you should check your facts before posting instead of expecting people to take "whateveryousay" as the truth.   

Do you always respond like a kindergartener? I'll bet you had your thumbs stuck in your ears and were wriggling your fingers as you voice typed that last line! 

By the way - You have no idea how I vote so why comment on it?                                           

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

@Pando I stand corrected.  Congress has gotten it right and granted amnesties 7 times.  Luckily, there are more of us voting than you.   

Nanny nanny boo boo I'm better than you now stick your head in doodoo..


Pando
Pando

@whateveryousay @GustavoArellano@IllyrianRoots

 So you think "Ronald Reagan initiated the one and only amnesty for illegal immigrants"?    Try again.  Congress has passed  7 amnesties for ILLEGAL ALIENS. 

www.numbersusa.com › Home › Issues › Amnesty

By the way Ronald Reagan also stated after his presidency ended that supporting and signing IRCA in 1986 was "probably the biggest mistake" of his presidency.

 
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