It started around Labor day 1986 a few months before President Reagan signed into law the immigration reform act which granted amnesty to a projected 2.9 million illegal aliens.My niece, a divorced mother of two had just graduated college and was starting a career as a Spanish teacher. She made ends meet by teaching English as a second language at night to Mexicans who were in the country illegally. She met and fell in love with her second (and last) husband who was a student in one of those classes. There was no future for Mexican illegals at that time.
The family had gathered and for some reason I was there, for what I don’t remember, but suspect it was the funeral of one of my aunts. I was the youngest of my generation, so I was closer to my nieces in age then my sister. My sister, cousins, aunts all hounded this poor girl. With the exception of my mother and I from Philadelphia the women all still lived in the south, Virginia was where we were but others were living in North and South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. Every minute someone would ask “How can you, a college educated woman condemn these poor girls to being raised by someone whose highest status in life will be as a janitor?”
Finally she got fed up, and just before she left she lost her temper “Momma, in a few months the President is going to sign a bill giving my boyfriend his green card. The next day he will go to the town hall and get his contractors license for a construction business. He is a great carpenter, we will be rich.” With that she walked out and slammed the door. I never saw her since.
Sometime around 2002 my sister and I reconnected. like I said my Mom was the black sheep of the family and except for her funeral I had no need to be given the “you terrible thing” routine that nearly estranged my niece. But people get old and she reached out to me. So we began meeting periodically when my sister and her husband visited Atlantic City for the obvious reasons. At a dinner one evening she told me about my nieces annual Fourth of July party they held every year. It was a big affair, hundreds of people were there, all people who worked for my niece’s husband’s construction business, their families and friends. She laughed at how they called her the “reina madre“. You see, except for her grand children and daughter, she was the only other person at the party that spoke English. But she loved how they treated her like a queen, She went on to tell me how she enjoyed having so much fun without knowing or caring what anyone was saying. Coming from a tide water Virgina raised gossip queen this was quite a revelation.
I won’t bore you with the details. What is important is that amnesty is the gateway drug to illegal immigrants. One man, granted amnesty, married and became a US citizen. And promptly set out to build a big business offering a place of refuge hundreds of new Mexican illegals. I am not saying he never hired anyone but fellow Mexicans or that instead of recruiting locally he would call friends back home when he needed help. Nor do I know for a fact that while home in Mexico for the variety of annual festivals that my nieces family attended every year that her husband was recruiting new workers. But my niece and her family spent a lot of time in Mexico visiting family and friends and neighbors every year. They were very close to his family and kept a home down there where they lived during the off season each year.
Granting amnesty without any constraints will never end the problem. The only way to end the problem will be by having totally open borders. And that won’t end well either.
Now you know why I am against amnesty for illegal immigrants. I have also proposed in the past a solution to the excuse “people just want to come here to work” that would help reduce the deficit and address that problem. But both of these things are out of our hands. So it is time to look past old allegiances and alliances and start building an effective alternative to the Democrats that can be successful on the new landscape where we find the battle being waged.
PS: In case you don’t get the point, granting 12 million illegal aliens amnesty will only generate 48 million new illegal alien friends come to visit who will want the democrats to grant them legal status as well. Attention please Michael Gerson and Charles Krauthammer and anyone that looks to them to explain the way forward.