Encounter With an Illegal Immigrant

I went to my local Post Office after work today to mail my niece her August 1st birthday present.  While preparing the box to send it in, a Hispanic man, about 28 years old brings in a large envelope to mail.  Gary, my P.O. guy asks him how he wants it sent but the man doesn’t understand.  Gary makes a few snide comments about learning english and says to me, “If he can’t speak engish I’m not helping him.”  I finished my transaction as the man struggled to explain what he needs. 

Let me back up and say I’m German, Irish, Puerto Rican and American Indian.  I don’t speak Spanish because we were an Air Force family, traveled alot and my Dad didn’t speak it so my mother didn’t, although she is fluent, because we weren’t around her relatives.  Also, I have red hair, green eyes and freckles and really don’t look Hispanic although I identify as Hispanic, among many other things. 

Anyway, Gary wants the guy to fill out a form with his name and address, the name & address of the person the items are being sent to, and to declare what is in the package as it is going to Mexico.  So now I know the guy is Mexican.  I walk over and Gary is still making disparaging comments.  I take the pen from the guy, fill out his name and all the other info because it’s on the package itself.  Then I pick it up and shake it slightly and look at the package quizically.  The guy gets it.  “Photos, ah, poster, no-no, card,.”  He makes a scribbling motion.  I say, “Book, coloring book, pad?”  He smiles and says, “My daughter, quartro annos.”  I say, “Cupleanos?”, I think this means birthday.  He nods yes and smiles at me.  I fill out the rest of the form.  About now I would usually get into it with Gary or anyone who riles my sense of fairness, justice and humanity, but I don’t.  I’m ashamed that I’m Hispanic and can’t help too much.  I think of my family, who are all Americans but who also struggled when they came from Puerto Rico in the 1940’s, and how well we’ve done.  I feel bad that Gary has humiliated him by making fun of him in front of people as he tries to send his four-year old a birthday present.  I take the high road, hand the form to Gary and nod at the man, Andro Zapora Cruz.  He says “Thank you very much.”  He has a name.  An identity.  He’s a man like any other man.  Sending his daughter a gift.  Period.     


Rosemary LaBonte’s Letter To the Editor Makes the Rounds On Email

Pretend, Rosemary, and everybody else who’s passing this stupid email around, that you’re a Native American Indian because then you’d have a right to write about who this country belongs to and comment on illegal immigration.  Otherwise, shut  up and stop passing this email around.  Stop espousing hate because your scared of people who don’t look like you or have your exact values.   To a “one” everybody came here and continues to come here for a better life.  Remember, not everyone came here legally through Ellis Island.  People jumped ships, came in thru Canada , came in all kinds of ways and not legally. They assimilated, legal or not, had children and strived for the American dream.  Just so you know, I’m of Native American decent and a proud American citizen.

Although Snopes says a letter to the Editor was not true, here is the link:


From the OCRegister.com Rosemary LaBonte writes:

Your editorial said it all: “Waving the Mexican flag is like waving a red flag in front of an angry bull” [“Immigration realities,” Opinion, March 28].
Clearly, all those on the street protesting the purposed shakeup in their illegal lifestyle should hire themselves a new public-relations firm. What they fail to see or advised to do to gain sympathy among Americans is to promote how much they love the U.S. and how grateful they are to be here. Instead of the American red, white and blue being waved in all of their hands, we see a foreign country’s colors. We hear the old tired explanation about working jobs that “Americans” won’t do. Get a new slogan because that one is yesterday’s news.
If you want to live in this country, tell us why you want to live here. Tell us why you think opportunities are better here. Just don’t put an “entitlement” statement with it. Let us know that you will love and defend the U.S. if allowed to become a citizen. Yes, we are a melting pot, but evidently the melting pot is poured into one bowl. That’s where the “United” in United States comes from.
If you want better jobs, then stay in school and work towards that dream. Just like everybody else. You don’t get into college unless you graduate from high school. And right now there is a huge recruitment for Hispanic students to enter college for free or basically nothing. That is something that my kids aren’t entitled to because, their ancestors floated over here from Ireland, Holland and England three centuries ago before the word “entitlement” had been invented.
If you risk dying in the desert to get here, then leave the red, green and white mentality behind you and start the new life you keep claiming you want. In the next walkout march, think about putting this country’s flag, which so many have died for so you could jabber on about “rights,” into your hands and convince the American public you want to remain here for better reasons than what you are now proclaiming.
Rosemary LaBonte

Illegal Immigrants

The first thing I’ll say is I’m no expert.  That being said….

I live on Long Island and we have an illegal alien problem here.  I’m sure many places outside LI, NY can also make this claim. Everybody from the President, Congress and on down to your neighbors say they want to find a way to solve the illegal immigration problem.  Many solutions have been and are being proposed; from building fences to keep them out to making everybody a citizen.  I have absolutely no idea what the answer is and maybe I have my head in the sand, but I haven’t heard anyone offer this soloution:

Why not offer a chance at citizenship after a two-or four year stint in the military, or a number of hours performing community service or something similar in nature?  I don’t believe rounding up everybody and sending them back is viable.  They are not going to go away or stop trying to get over that tangible or intangible fence. 

Being Hispanic, but not looking Hispanic has allowed me to hear unedited comments about what should be done and the most striking impression I get is that prejudice is alive and well in the United States.  People think we are being overrun by illegals and have no qualms about using demeaning and derogatory statements about people who want to come here, work hard and have a better life, just like their parents or grandparents did generations ago.  

By the way; I haven’t noticed that many white guys hanging out on street corners by the 7-11 waiting for the landscapers to pick them up for a hard day’s work @ $10 an hour…..