Immigration Monday
The foolish disregard what they see, the wise disregard what they think.—Zen Saying


Somebody wrote me and asked what my immigration policy is, in simple terms. It was a nice note, and I am grateful for that. And my response, in simple terms, is this: I don’t know. That’s what “Immigration Monday” is all about. Someone trying to swim through the mung, looking for clear water. I’m looking at it and hoping we, together, can work something out. Then, when I’m the president’s Immigration Czar, I can plagiarize all of your thoughts and look wise beyond my (considerable) years.


It’s happening again. I told people about the recent vanishing of workers in the American West. How the strawberry crop was endangered because Mexicans didn’t show up; how the maid services in motels from Idaho to Illinois were desperate for domestic crews because Mexicans didn’t show up. Later, how the apple crop in Michigan last year was facing trouble because the Mexican crews didn’t show up. Where did they go? Abducted by UFOs? No. They stayed home. That’s right! Immigration is already on its way to becoming yesterday’s news. (Wait—don’t send me hate mail: it has always been yesterday’s news. I can show you quotes by Ben Franklin against immigration; radio broadcasts from the 20s that sound like Lou Dobbs, though they’re about Italians and Germans. I can show you newspaper pieces from the 1800’s, the 1920’s, the 1930’s, the 1950’s that sound exactly like the stuff you read now. Except that the pieces from the 19th century are about evil Asians. Then it’s those wicked Irish. Mexi-phobia is a recent historical development, at least in border terms.)

Have you read Sitting Bull’s op-eds about immigration?

Yeah, my amigos—always look at page 5 or 6 to find the juicy immigration stories that allow you to draw your own conclusions, away from propaganda on either side. Today’s story is about the Western Work Force VANISHING. Perhaps the Rapture happened after all, it just took burger chefs, bus boys, motel maids, tomato pickers. The story isn’t obviously about Mexicans, but I guarantee you the smaller numbers of immigrants affects this data.

Check it out:

They offered $10 an hour to make cheeseburgers, but nobody would take it. (You will recall the strawberry fields rotting because the Raza de Bronce did not come, and the American workers would not pick.) Google apple crops—you will find that this year, again, the Michigan apple crops might be at risk because we are heading for A Day Without A Mexican, just like that maligned movie said.
It would seem to me that out-sourcing jobs is the same process as in-sourcing workers. It also seems to me that our efforts at border control are taking effect. Fear and dread are strong deterrents. What is interesting, in a social science sense, is whether we have anything in place to make the Moloch-machine of human sacrifice and slave labor function after we get what we want. Close the borders, sure. I dig it. But…apples? Strawberries? Burger King? Chicken pickin’? My suburban lawn crew? Maids? Toilet scrubbers? Painters? Who will do these jobs? Will the car builder dying on emphysema in Lansing do it? Not right now. Maybe later, when the Beaners are gone.

Is there some way to make Big Macs (The Royale With Cheese) in Delhi and have them teleported here?

I am watching and noting. I’m a nature writer. This is the interesting new flight pattern. I am wondering what its portents are.


Is it funny, or is it tragic? The freight railroad running from Central America through Mexico is a Wyoming rail line. They pulled out of Mexico. Now, hundreds of “illegals” from Guatemala and Honduras have spent two and a half weeks on the rails, waiting for trains that will never come. They’re walking around Mexico, looking for help. The Mexicans don’t want them. Funny thing—Mexicans seem to think they use social services they are not entitled to; Mexicans think they are trying to become Mexican citizens illegally; they think the illegals take jobs for lower wages, raise crime, steal, sully the language, horn in on education, overburden the ship of state. You know a refugee is in trouble when the slums in Chiapas are a real step up. And, apparently, nobody in the Mexican government is gifted with an ironic world view. The only thing lacking is a Mexican Rush Limbaugh.

Mexico—the new Kansas?


I’m sick of it all. But I was sick of it in 1993.

It’s my birthday week.

I have things to write that don’t make me want to jump off bridges.

Here are two guest writers because I don’t want to think about it anymore. Sometimes, you have to take a rest from the wars and watch Mr. Bean with your daughter. I offer you an eloquent reader of the blog, and our Border Patrol friend, Warrior.

Redefine The Line!
Lucius Immigrinus Tijuanensis


Luis, I find your online journal wonderful for us fellow writers and artists and for all intelligent folks looking at the world through thoughtful eyes and an open heart. And your IMs are wonderful. If this wasn't your blog, I probably wouldn't bother to respond to Warrior's comments regarding the NY Times article. (I don’t actually read other blogs – only so many minutes in the day…)
I read the Sunday NY Times article and my heart sank. It always frightens me when one group is scapegoated for the economic and social problems of a society. This issue is very much about race and our seemingly inherent racism here in the U.S. - the old, never-ending plague that will not heal or go away. It’s always with us. If these immigrants in Carpentersville were blond Amish people or French Canadians who had opened businesses and shops there, would the reaction be the same?
The Europeans who came to North America starting with Columbus in 1492 and then Cortez in 1514 did a lot more to the folks already living here than raiding the fridge and running up the phone bill (I refer to Warriors comment here). But we Americans seem to be able to live without memory, any sense of history.
The U.S. is a place where you have the freedom to come and make money. It’s what we do best (besides jazz, musical theatre, and public libraries). No loafing for us. No taking all of August for summer vacations. Not us. Work and make money. That’s what we do and that’s what the Mexicans here do in spades. Warrior’s right – they shame us home grown types with their industry. Green card? Hell, I think they should get automatic citizenship for being better Americans than I am.
There’s nothing in the Constitution about “assimilating” (which happens over time anyway), or having to speak English (which happens over time anyway). There’s nothing in the Constitution about having to like or get along with your neighbors – lots of folks do but our history is really dicey when it comes to getting along with folks. The U.S. government decimated the Indian population, enslaved Africans, incarcerated the Japanese during World War II, conducted witch hunts of “commies”, and executed the Rosenbergs.
Assimilation? It happens whether you want it to or not within a generation usually. The kids speak the language, have cell phones, ipods, play computer games, eat processed food in copious amounts, and develop diabetes and other health problems including stress and free-floating anxiety which most would not have developed back home. Hell, I was born here but I’d like to un-assimilate most of the time.
The NY Times article stated that many of the Mexican immigrants in this Illinois town, who have lived there for a generation or two, still tell their children to stay under the radar, in effect. Yes, this comes from years of living in the U.S. illegally, living in fear of being deported even though their roots are now here and their children and children's children were born and raised here. But it is a reality for them and becomes a way of life. And there are other reasons that Latinos may tell their children not to mix with whites.
In 1974 when I was a young college student, I lived with my family in Glendale, California. Glendale was then a primarily conservative middle- and upper middle-class suburb of Los Angeles and we lived in a nice house in a very nice neighborhood. My boyfriend at the time was my age and was a tall, handsome guy with the dark hair and eyes of his Chicano father and the high cheekbones of his Finish mother. He looked like a Latino. I resemble both my German-Swedish mother and my Turkish-Romanian father, favouring the olive skin and dark hair and eyes of my father.
My boyfriend and I were college students and that summer we had gone on vacation together for a week and returned home mid-afternoon in the middle of the week. We drove up to my house and got out of the car together and walked up to the front door with my large suitcase. I opened the door with my key and we went in. A few minutes later when we were in the kitchen, we heard banging at the back door. "Police! Come out with your hands up!" I was outraged. This was my house. I had no idea what was going on but I was mad. Being the hot-head that I was at that time, I was going to throw open the door and give the cops a piece of my mind. My boyfriend said to wait, calm down, slowly open the door. He knew that if I threw open the door there was a good chance we would be shot. I said evenly to the police outside the door, "OK, I'm opening the door now," and did so very slowly. Their guns were drawn and pointing at us.
They said there had been a report of a burglary taking place at this address. The neighbors, who never bothered to get to know me in the two years I had been living there, assumed that the two dark-haired, dark-skinned people walking up to the front door in the middle of the day with a suitcase must be burglarizing the place. The police asked me to show them my driver's license to prove that I really did live there. Again I was outraged but got my driver’s license and showed them.
My boyfriend liked to remind me that he was more of an "American" than I was because his father's family had been in the U.S. a couple hundred years whereas I was a second generation American on my mom's side and a first generation on my dad's side.
This was 34 years ago. So much has changed and so little has changed. I drove by the house in Glendale a couple months ago when I was visiting family in Los Angeles and it is now owned by a very attractive, prosperous, middle class Latino family. I saw the kids playing in the front yard and the parents talking with each other, standing on the sidewalk, watering the lawn. A typical Friday afternoon scene from just about any suburb in the U.S. My cousin, who is lives a very different life than I, in a tony, gated community north of L.A. thought the mother and father watering out front were the gardeners. I said no, and nodded toward the two very short, very dark skinned guys sitting on the curb, wearing old dirty t-shirts and chinos and very worn sneakers, waiting for their ride home. They were the gardeners. To her, they all look alike.
I live in San Francisco. A couple of years ago my boyfriend was a Mexican man in his 30s who is here illegally, “without papers”. He came here to make money and send it back home to his parents and siblings. He does not like being illegal. Everybody is different – some illegal folks function under the radar very well – he does not. He would very much like to be a legal resident and work and live here and be able to see his family - the most important thing in the world to him – more than once every three years. But being a typical Mexican, he does not have the prosperity necessary to get a visa to travel or study in the U.S. or start the formal procedure toward residency. I do not know all the ins and outs of every possible scenario for legal immigration to the U.S. for a Mexican but he has explored his options with a lawyer and there are no options for him. People ask, “Why don’t they come here legally?” They can’t.
People ask why my ex-boyfriend doesn’t learn more English. He works two full time jobs. One is at a factory and the other is at a bakery. He has one afternoon and every other Sunday off. When I ask him how he is, he always smiles and replies, “tired.” He’s struggling to work, make money, stay healthy, and not get too lonely or miss his family too much. He works hard. All he does is work. Is he taking work away from citizens at minimum wage in San Francisco where a studio apartment costs $1,000 a month? I doubt it.
It is very convenient to forget that most of the European ancestors of “white” Americans came here from other countries. And most of them didn’t have to apply. They just showed up. My mother’s mother came from Sweden. My father came from Canada. The family just drove across the border.
America. It’s a great country. And there is room for everyone here. Even the ignorant, fearful racists of Carpentersville who apparently only speak English and in their little xenophobic minds think that’s a good thing.
P.S. The Mexican government won’t let the U.S. close the border. Mexico would have very serious problems if they lost the billions of dollars being sent home every year by workers in the U.S. That money feeds into their economy and without it, their social and economic problems would be magnified tenfold at least. They fear that the left would come into power in a heartbeat should that money dry up.

All the best and kind regards,
Kike Adedeji


[Note: as promised, your friendly USBP/Homeland Security agent, Warrior, weighs in. I invited him to express his thoughts with no editing or fussing from me. All opinions are welcome here. By the way, I think Warrior can kill us with his bare hands.]

Redefining the Line

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” – Genesis 1:1

We need to begin by having a premise upon which all other concepts are predicated. I am a believer, and I hope you are or become one, but here we are not trying to convert you to Christianity, but giving one view which I can confidently say will sway the most ardent of disciples on both sides of this issue towards a more balanced, and what I believe to be, the only possible solution.

“…In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; Male and female created he them; and blessed them…” – Genesis 5:1-2

All people - every race, whether it be Mexican, Arab, Swedish, Kenyan, or any other of the hundreds of nationalities or thousands of combinations there are in this world, God has said they have all been made in his likeness! There are many reasons why things are not equal for people, but race is not one that should be a determining factor. There are few valid reasons, but race should not be one of them, although, it is so often not the case. We must move forward agreeing that no race is superior to any other race.

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” – Genesis 2:15

“And the Lord took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden.” This portion of the verse is one of the first verses that should bring to light the fact that God chooses where a person is to live. In which country you are born is determined by God. It is not to say that God hasn’t also given us the freedom to move and choose another place to live, but our origins are no accident.

“Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.” – Genesis 11:9

Now, there is much to this story, but the focus for us is that it was God’s choice and purposeful intention to scatter his created peoples all over the earth, essentially giving them there own country and language that was unique from all others. Here, then, is formed the basis for each country having a unique people with a unique culture and a unique language. Again, this is no accident; it is a choice God purposefully made.

So, up to this point, we have determined that God has created all people, all people are created in God’s image - regardless of human definitions used to define race, and the Lord has chosen, and it is not by accident, that a particular person is born in a particular country, into a particular culture, speaking a particular language. This also means that God is acutely aware of the challenges and trials that will be faced by that individual or group that are unique to his country of origin. We also can deduce, fairly assuredly, that God does not resist a person moving from one country/culture to another, but we will continue…

“In the day [that] I lifted up mine hand unto them, to bring them forth of the land of Egypt into a land that I had espied for them, flowing with milk and honey, which [is] the glory of all lands:” – Ezekiel 20:6

I think, and possibly as a side note, that there are countries that are in a better condition than others. I believe that there are countries, such as the United States, where people are drawn to a better life and better opportunity. Therefore, the United States having an overwhelming number of people wanting to make it there home is a very reasonable expectation.

From the verse, God clearly wanted this land of milk and honey to be the home of His chosen people, the Jewish race; however, entrance into this land was based upon trusting God and obeying Him. This can also lead into the initial discussion about legality. God is by nature just and fair. Thus, obedience to him would include following the laws of the land for legal entry into it. Obeying the law of the land is God’s desire as spoken in Romans 13:1-7 (Please read this!) and obeying God was a requirement for the Jewish race to enter into the “Promised Land” of that day. All this being said, it should be clear that it is simply not just a “ human right” for people to enter and benefit from another country without a lawful granting of permission by the host country to be there and do so.

We must agree to the sovereignty of each nation. A person can not simply claim to be a “citizen of the world” (which I have heard used as a reason for the belief that they have a right to enter any country they choose) and make themselves at home wherever they please, using the services and reaping the benefits of that country no matter how hard they may work. Simply working does not make up for the other ways the system is undermined by these thought processes and subsequent actions.

So, we add to everyone being equal in God’s eyes regardless of race, and that your country of origin not being a mistake, the fact that we are to obey God’s law which would include the laws of the particular land in which you are residing or choosing to reside.

Regarding the United States in particular, it is my deepest belief that we need to acknowledge that only the American Indians, decedents of the original settlers of Genesis 11:9, should have a much greater say over what happens in this land. I think life, technology, government, etc. has evolved quite a bit since we stole the land we now call home from its indigenous people, therefore, I believe that America is the best of what is available in the world as it is right now. However, I feel that American Indians should be entitled to some type of benefit for being the indigenous people. This is a good topic to develop on its own and I am not sure I have the answer to what this benefit should be, but I must state that American Indians are the only group of people that should not be subject to any type of Immigration law and should have a greater stake in property ownership or something along those lines, simply for being American Indian. Far different from what is in place today. The rest of us have our roots in another country, but Biblical law and subsequently American law has provided for those that are born here, or born elsewhere of American parents. I believe that these laws are valid, based upon God’s word, and thus are a legitimate basis for determining what rights to citizenship a person has outside of being an American Indian.

There are two concepts in American immigration and naturalization law that determine citizenship. It is more complex than this example, but this should form a basis of understanding:

Jus Soli – Is the concept of law that states that if a person is physically born in a country, like the United States, that citizenship is automatically conferred upon that person from birth.

Jus Sanguinis – Is the concept of law that states a person not physically born in a country, derives citizenship from the citizenship of the natural parents.

The United States has both of these laws in effect with certain provisions that must be met for the latter. By definition then, all others are aliens and intending immigrants as viewed by the law.

Being a sovereign country, if a person is not born here or of American Citizen parents (who have met the requirements), they must, by default, be under the jurisdiction of the laws of our country that regulate visitation and immigration.

“And if a stranger shall sojourn among you, and will keep the Passover unto the LORD; according to the ordinance of the Passover, and according to the manner thereof, so shall he do: ye shall have one ordinance, both for the stranger, and for him that was born in the land.” – Numbers 9:14

“One law shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you.” – Exodus 12:49

“Ye shall therefore keep my statutes and my judgments, and shall not commit [any] of these abominations; [neither] any of your own nation, nor any stranger that sojourneth among you:” – Leviticus 18:26

The importance of the previous verses with regards to this subject are as follows:

1. God has made it clear that there is one law in the land that applies to all. This does not disregard cultural identity or language differences. It does not appear to me that God has anything negative to say about cultural differences or language differences except when it would cause a person to fail to follow the prescribed law. Therefore, we can glean that God expects everyone, regardless of their status of immigrant, visitor or citizen to follow the same laws!
2. The first verse, Numbers 9:14, and many others in the Bible, show God’s serious concern for assimilation to the culture one is entering. This does not mean one has to follow the sinful or negative habits of the culture or the current fashion of the day, but what it does indicate is that the law, the language, the customs, the ability to function without special consideration, etc. needs to be attended to by the immigrant/visitor. A non-citizen that wants to benefit from this country must assimilate into this country after following the laws prescribed to enter legally.

“[But] the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I [am] the LORD your God.” – Leviticus 19:34

“Thou shalt neither vex a stranger, nor oppress him: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 22:21

“Also thou shalt not oppress a stranger: for ye know the heart of a stranger, seeing ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.” – Exodus 23:9

With the exception of American Indians, we are all “strangers” here. Our laws provide for citizenship, but God wants us to remember where we came from so we don’t treat others with disdain for something we once were and now do not have to worry about.

“And it shall come to pass, [that] ye shall divide it by lot for an inheritance unto you, and to the strangers that sojourn among you, which shall beget children among you: and they shall be unto you as born in the country among the children of Israel; they shall have inheritance with you among the tribes of Israel.” – Ezekiel 47:22

The above verses, with the last one being the most notable, prove that God wants those that follow the law and assimilate into the culture to be treated with the same respect and concern as a fellow citizen. Even up to and including receiving an inheritance!

Much has been put forth here, however, I believe I have made the case, based on Biblical principles, that we are to have an immigration and naturalization policy in the United States. That the United States must expect to be a home to immigrants and will be sought out as home by many others for the remainder of its existence. It is the “Land of the free” and has many of God’s blessings still alive and well for those who live here.

I believe that I have made the case that God expects us to treat immigrants and visitors with respect and consideration, and with some conditions met, as our own family.

I believe that I have established the fact that nations are sovereign and that the laws of that land (that are in accord with God’s laws) need to be followed by citizen and stranger alike. That it is the right of a nation to determine who and how many non-citizens can enter and benefit from the opportunities this country has to offer. On the flip side of the coin, it would be obvious that the necessity also exists to provide for the deterrence, detection, apprehension, removal, or punishment of those that try to circumvent the laws of our land with regards to entry and exploitation.

I do believe that those of us that handle this challenge must strive to maintain the dignity and humanity of those that come to the United States seeking a better life, but I think it is also incumbent upon us to enforce the laws and develop serious consequences for those that break them or aid and abet those who will or do. I also think that we should try our best to streamline our processes as an incentive for those that have needs that would drive them to enter illegally, but still follow the proper procedures. Not that we should have to, but it may make it more valuable to do what is right.

Mexico, being essentially a third-world country bordering a Super Power, presents special challenges, however, it is my experience that Mexico is far from the worst and clearly not the only source of problems that America faces with regards to illegal immigration. So, I would like to put forth that people should not solely focus upon just what is obvious. This picture is far bigger than just Mexico and “terrorism.”

We need to seal our borders and treat it as if we are protecting the very sovereignty of our nation. We need to enforce the laws that are currently on the books, focusing on deportation, specifically of illegal aliens that have committed crimes. We also need to put teeth into the laws that are violated by persons who aid and abet (hire) illegal aliens. There must be stiff penalties for those who use fraud to enter, stay or obtain benefits illegally. We need to strip any government benefits from anyone that is not lawfully here.

In spite of all that was said, we must also realize that America is the modern land of milk and honey. We need to develop a plan that is fair and equitable to help people that are willing to legally pursue their entrance into this country, will assimilate and contribute to the positive growth of the nation. Blanket amnesties are a tragedy and don’t work to defend the structure of the United States, but on the contrary, do much to undermine it.


See ya, same time, same channel, next week. Adios, amigos!

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