Why Don't More Mexicans Apply for Green Cards?

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DEAR MEXICAN: What's up with the scorpion symbol? I've seen it on the rear window of many a lowrider truck, and I'm baffled by what it means. One of my pocho friends says it has something to do with drug smuggling. Is that true?

Gabacho de Albuquerque

DEAR GABACHO: I seriously doubt the truck on which you saw a scorpion was of the lowrider genre—those are driven by Chicanos who usually leave their windows clean so that everyone can see the car-club trophy on the back of the seat. What you saw was a truck or a giant SUV driven by a paisa—a Mexican term for a hillbilly. And more likely than not, that paisa is from the state of Durango, where the alacrán is a symbol of pride given its prevalence amid the desert and mountainous landscape. That said, narcos have appropriated the scorpion for the obvious, menacing reason, just as they've done to Tweety Bird and Santa Muerte—but to say everyone who puts those stickers on the back of their trucks is a drug dealer is akin to saying everyone who wears pointy boots is a pendejo. Oh, wait . . .

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DEAR MEXICAN: Why don't Mexicans get green cards and come into the United States legally? After talking to people who have, the process is not hard and takes a maximum of only three years to do. By coming in illegally, they are taking the jobs from legal Mexican citizens and taking advantage of the U.S. social-welfare systems. This causes increased taxes, not to mention the increased costs of all types of insurance. These costs are forced onto all legal citizens, including Mexicans. Do the Mexicans who cross the border illegally have any respect for people or their own culture?

Shane the Shooter

DEAR GABACHO: Who says Mexicans don't come here legally? The Pew Hispanic Center shows that nearly half of the 11.4 million Mexican immigrants in el Norte are legal, with about un tercer of that half permanent residents and the remaining 16 percent—that's a lot of Mexicans—with green cards! But factor in all the other immigrants wanting to get their micas, and the pie-en-el-cielo scenario you paint of folks going through the process within three years is as laughable as Mitt Romney reconsidering a presidential run. I know people whose green-card applications have been held up for more than a decade because of the backlog of cases. And as I've said many times in this columna and elsewhere, no one's going to wait for a superfluous piece of paper when they're starving and salvation is just a couple of thousand miles, a bus ride and some evil human smugglers away. As for the rest of your babble? Babadas—you can look it up!

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