First of all, this is coming from a white woman who was born in Maine, and still has deep Yankee roots… I’m so white that I can go out on Halloween without a sheet and be taken for wearing a ghost costume, so don’t let the name “Diaz” fool you. I picked that up when I married my husband, who was born in Puerto Rico.
Next, and back to that white thing…
I have great grandfathers that I’ve identified, who came over to the US in the 1600s. They immigrated, there were no borders, but they invaded land owned by others – Native Americans – and just took the Native Americans’ land to be their own. My great grandfather Reverend William Blackstone took over what today we call Beacon Hill and Boston Commons, so I’m thinking that there were some Native Americans who were there first, and he just moseyed onto the property and took it over for King James.
Consider that the people from Mexico are Native Americans. While we think of Native Americans as the Sioux, Cheroke, Abenaki, Algonquian, Apache, Arapaho, Blackfeet, Cherokee, Cheyenne (full list here), our history has not recorded our friends from Mexico, who were living in what we call today California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas… but history has recorded their presence with city names, like Santa Rosa, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, Los Alamos, etc. So, they were here before Padre Junipero Serra came from Spain to convert the people in North America to Christianity. I believe the Spanish began this conversion in New Mexico, but I could be wrong. I do know that Padre Serra began establishing missions in San Diego, then once built walked about 30 miles up the coast to establish the next mission, and so on until the California coast line had 21 Spanish missions established. (The town of Sonoma was the last mission, and the only one that went inland.)
So, here we are with California being taken over by the Spanish… Serra was accompanied by an Army, and the natives (of North America, so they’re Native Americans, right?) were brought into servitude. Once they began to build the mission for the lovely padre, they were not allowed to leave by the soldiers. So, they were taken over, right?
Once borders were established, these Native Americans who were below the borders weren’t let back in again legally.
Consider animals (other than humans) whose migrating patterns have been altered by the encroachment of towns… They still return on occasion, because there’s something in their DNA that makes them go back, again and again.
Now consider the migrating patterns of humans. On the east coast, they’re called Snow Birds. People still migrate, when we need to, for some reason.
So, here we are with closed borders. Mexico doesn’t provide enough work for those who are natural farmers, and the farms are over a border that’s hostile. And yet, these migrating Central Americans still have the urge to be farmers in order to feed their families.
Yes, coming over the border is illegal, and if I invaded another country illegally, I’d be held accountable… I don’t have to migrate, because I’ve been able to find employment and I’m not a threat to our government, so I’m in a pretty good place… But… that place was established for me by my grandfathers over 400 years ago.
There is a simple solution, I believe… Seasonal worker passes, establishing more than are needed, so we don’t have a cut off, and then we’re back on track.
In Maine each year, Jamaican farmers are brought in to harvest apples. They come, and they go… It’s quiet and simple.
Migrant workers with visas from Mexico must be established now, because those idiots that hold signs “will work for food” don’t get their hineys to the vineyards during harvest. This tells me they really won’t work for food. I had a friend about 15 years ago try to hire a white dude with a sign, and he told her his price was $20 an hour… (For unskilled labor?) She left him on the street.
Fred Franzia (Bronco Wines ~ Great Web site, Fred) weighed in yesterday… A man whose existence is dependent upon Central Americans doing for him what white America just doesn’t see as a career path, unless they own the farm – for the most part.
Wine Business Monthly’s editor Cyril Penn quotes Fred as saying, ““Let me tell you, you wouldn’t have any wine on your table if it wasn’t for Latinos working in the field.”
This is so true.
While our government’s wracking its collective brain to find a solution, (or is it?), we have the way to farming the east coast with immigrants from Jamaica, and this methodology simply needs to extend that program to the Mexican work force.
Is that so hard, and why hasn’t that been put on the table, yet?
Working visas seem to work for every other culture coming into the US from all over the world. Seems like if there was a better plan in place, President Obama, a lot of illegal immigrant problems would just simply be resolved.
How can something so easy be so hard?
It’s been 23 years since the Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 began the concept of legalization to agricultural seasonal workers and immigrants.
What’s the big hold-up?