Obama Protects Some of Our Neighbors
The estimates are that around 4-5-million immigrants will be affected by President Obama’s plan to not pursue deportation for some families.
But the number of people helped will be far greater.
I am thinking of how much we depend on the cashiers and packers at the grocery store and the guys on the work trucks and the busboys in the restaurants. They are part of the structure of our lives, all of us.
I have no idea of the status of the people I encounter every day in my town – don’t want to know -- but the faces and the Spanish language tell me many are from Central America.
They work hard. They are smart. And as President Obama pointed out Thursday night, they are family people. They remind me of my image of America -- the people who came here and stuck together and helped each other.
The young woman who cuts my hair and worries about her young son, at home with a fever. The supervisor in the grocery store who is breaking in the new woman, instructing her how to work a checkout line. The guy who gives me a fist bump and inquires about my family: he used to work on somebody else’s lawn crew; now he has a truck of his own. He points to his initials on the door.
And the next generation moves up. They name their children Jonathan and Jennifer. I see Spanish surnames on the school honor rolls in our local weekly. They work in medical offices, with skills they studied to acquire.
In the past week, in a local restaurant, the waitress had a face that suggested Central America but her accent and gestures were straight Lawn Guyland.
I have this reaction, knowing that borders must be protected, and undesirables sent home. I know that some of the brutal taxes on Long Island go to educate and care for some people without “the right papers.” I know this is a complicated issue from reading both the Wall Street Journal and Paul Krugman’s beautiful testimonial on Friday.
We need to sort this out. But as long as Congress is caught in what I construe as racist bias against a duly-elected President, Obama needs to take common-sense and compassionate action toward families with children with rights to citizenship. They are us, and vice versa. Our neighbors.
11/21/2014 01:51:41 am
Amen! Vaya con Dios.
11/21/2014 02:08:15 am
11/21/2014 03:41:23 am
One thing that often gets overlooked is how much tax is paid by so-called "illegal aliens" or "undcoumented workers". Very often, in order to support their families, these people procure false social security numbers. The usual deductions for taxes,medicare, worker's comp and whatever else gets taken out where they live, are duly paid to the government. But these people can't really receive the benefits they would be entitled to. So chalk this one up as a win for the state. Politicians who grandstand by using the issue of immigration generally make me sick. The people they so love to demonize as "illegals" are generally some of the hardest-working people I see. We should be embracing most of them rather than treating them as criminals. They come here for a better life and only want to work as hard as they can to try to achieve that goal. Sounds just like the parents and grandparents of a lot of "good Americans" I know. And yes, I agree with George that a lot of the Republican animus toward President Obama goes beyond simple politics and is rooted in racism.
11/21/2014 03:46:07 am
11/21/2014 08:37:38 am
Absolutely, George. Where I grew up there were still some remnants of that attitude I could feel when I was a kid.
Thor A. Larsen
11/21/2014 04:48:56 am
11/22/2014 01:58:15 am
Thank you George for a sane piece amongst so much hatred.
11/22/2014 04:00:31 am
Mark, thanks so much. My high-school friend Thor has a good point. Both sides of my family arrived in NYC, went through the process, like Thor's. But these 5-million are here. Some of them make my town better. Are we crazy to not stabilize this energy and hope?
Thor A. Larsen
11/22/2014 04:34:27 am
Thanks for your comments George. I would just like to elaborate a bit on my original note. As you and many of us here on this blog, I do fully support a viable approach to dealing with the 5 million illegal immigrants in a very humane way. President Obama's approach is very sensible and should be adopted. The questions arise over the illegal aliens who have been here for less than FIVE years. There must be an approach that DOES NOT encourage continued illegal immigrants to keep coming across the borders. Hence, those illegals living here less than five years, many should be returned to their native lands based on rational approaches.
11/22/2014 05:09:25 am
Thor, that's a great point. Some/many people arriving from Mexico and Central America are leaving gang cultures where a choice, or no choice, can destroy a family. And we cannot afford to be pompous about crime south of the border, inasmuch as Americans with money are the major consumers of a major export. GV
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From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.