My experience with undocumented immigrants

immigration comic

All my life I have been surrounded by undocumented immigrants, and my life has been enriched and better for it.

I grew up in a town that depended on Agriculture. That required migrant labor to harvest. No white person was willing to work in the hot fields for pennies. Those undocumented immigrants didn’t steal jobs from white people. They enabled an economy and living for those white farmers.

My classmates and friends were undocumented immigrants. I helped many people in my life learn English and I continue to help others learn English. I felt proud and happy when they spoke English because of me. It is a great feeling when you can teach someone a skill that will benefit them their entire life. I thought about being a teacher growing up. Well the truth was, I was already a teacher and my students passed the English test of living in white culture.

immigration comic
immigration comic

As my life continued I fell in love with a Mexican woman. I helped her learn English. I lived in a community with many undocumented immigrants and I helped them learn English as well. I even helped support a friend’s family member to come to the US so she could become a citizen. She thanked me after she arrived.

I even once drove a vehicle in which undocumented immigrants were in. The police officer stopped us because the car had a problem and I spoke and no one got into trouble. I protected people from being locked up and if that offends you then tough.

The fact is that all of those people who were undocumented did nothing but contribute to the US and helped their communities. They paid taxes and didn’t ask for or expect free handouts. They only wanted a chance to live and they couldn’t do that in the poverty of their original communities in Mexico or Central America.

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I have known tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants and I personally have never known one that had trouble with the law. I take that back. There was one person who went to prison for dealing drugs. However in his defense his hometown like many in Mexico economically disadvantaged and it was that or die. Not a real choice when there are no jobs. When he was caught, he had lived as a good Christian man for years. He was caught for a traffic violation, not doing any serious crime.

That one man went to prison and I visited him there. He wasn’t a bad person, he just didn’t have the chances that the rest of us had in life. I even had a petition for the judge when he was sentencing him so that he could see that his fellow church members felt he had changed and wasn’t a danger to society.

He served his time and was released and I met him in Mexico when I went there to visit my girlfriend. He was married and had a good job, partly because of the experience he had working in the United States.

I continued to meet people who were undocumented in my life. You don’t have to search hard. They are all around us. We don’t see them because we don’t ask about other people’s lives or listen to them. Once when I was in a nail place getting my nails done I made small talk with the person working on me. She told me that she and the other staff members were undocumented and not being paid appropriately. I was torn about what to do. If I turned the place in then they would lose their jobs. Yet I couldn’t support a place that abused its workers. I gave her a big tip and never went back.

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These places were not in some bad part of town they were in the nicest parts of town. People who you think are good businessmen illegally hire workers that they know are undocumented. They look the other way because they want cheap labor. Why are US citizens allowed to take advantage of the illegal and vulnerable in this way? Why do we allow it?

We allow it because deep down we love money more than people. We would rather make an extra few hundred dollars a day than pay people what they are worth. We would rather have workers unable to ask for raises than support them on a worker’s visa and have them be the truly valuable people they are.

Even now I know people who are students and on a student visa. I spoke to an immigration attorney and she agreed with me that the immigration system is messed up. That person who is a student and has multiple degrees from prestigious universities is struggling to be a citizen when all she has done is support the US economy and business.

The arguments against immigration have proven to be invalid. Just google them. How hypocritical it is to say that the US can’t allow immigration when our strength lies in our immigration. Let’s say that we could totally block all immigration today. Do you know what will happen in 100 years? The US will die out. We can’t even sustain the birth rate with immigrants. People who seek to block immigration are seeking the end of the US.

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I love different points of view. I love being challenged by other philosophies and cultures. I love being around people who represent all the nations of the earth. Do you?