It is May Day

On this day last year, I was speaking with a student who was considering boycotting both school and the American economy as a gesture to the rights of illegal immigrants. Here is what he told me: “If we do not allow illegal immigrants into the country, my dad will have to pay more money to his employees at his business (no joke).” Although I was shocked to hear this comment, I was not surprised. Many suspect that the immigration issue is a middle and lower class issue, seeing that the very rich will prosper from exploiting such workers. The millions that will be protesting today will find their rallies being monitored by the government as an attempt to discourage protesting, as well as to catch illegal immigrants. Surprisingly, “W” has been more liberal on this matter than many conservatives would prefer. So, if you favor the rights of undocumented workers in this country and would like to show your support, stay at home and avoid contributing to the U.S. economy. I have failed the May Day cause already; I bought a cup of Starbucks coffee on my way to work this morning. Considering what I paid, I feel exploited. If you are against such rights, I am sure the government could use your help in catching a few illegals. Here is a previous post on this topic: Click Here.

Here is a look at May Day actions:

* In New York, groups are planning an “American Family Tree” rally, where immigrants will pin paper leaves on a large painting of a tree to symbolize the separation of families because of strict immigration laws.

*In Chicago, demonstrators will march more than three miles through downtown, ending at a lakefront park.

*In Fresno, California, organizers planned a rally focusing on children whose parents had been deported. The San Joaquin Valley is home to thousands of seasonal workers who cross the Mexican border illegally each year to work in the fields and construction industry.

*In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Ricardo Chavez, the brother of famed agricultural labor leader Cesar Chavez, was expected to speak, as protesters demanded a stop to immigration raids. A raid last year in Whitewater, Wisconsin, saw the arrests of 25 workers and the owner of a packaging plant. Mothers were separated from their children.

*In Florida, voter registration drives and vigils were planned in Miami, Tampa, Orlando and West Palm Beach, along with after-hours rallies in agricultural towns in the Everglades.

*In Los Angeles, marches will include demands for a legalization program, a stop to the raids and an anti-Iraq war message. City and transportation officials were planning for as many as 500,000 people in downtown, believing it could be the largest in the city so far this year.


30 thoughts on “It is May Day

  1. I think I work for that student’s dad. My wages say I am being exploited. I agree, this is a middle class issue.

  2. I found it interesting that all these protesters(many of which openly admit to being illegal) will openly present themselves to the government, does the government choose not to prosecute them? Because I know if someone was smoking crack at a pro-crack protest they would be arrested.Hopefully.

  3. Let’s say you have some apple trees in your backyard. Your neighbor asks to pick some, and you say yes. The next week he brings a friend. You say okay. The week after that ten people show up because word is out you are giving away free apples. You feel conflicted, but don’t stop them. A month later, tens of folks are pitching tents in your yard to get apples. Now it’s awkward.

    You’ve asked a few of them to leave, but they seem to keep coming back. You tried to look the other way when they started using the swimming pool and your hammock, but when they fired up the barbeque grill and started hosting parties it became too much. Word got out that you were checking into building a privacy fence around your property. To your astonishment, these neighbors said they had “rights” and talk of eviction was discriminatory. Now they are posting signs in your yard, marching in front of your house, and even claiming one day the property will be theirs.

    Does anyone else get bent out of shape when someone “takes cuts” in a line at the movie theater, a restaurant, or the Department of Motor Vehicles? There are thousands of people trying to get into this country legally, ready to speak our language, pay taxes, respect the government, and become citizens themselves. Often it takes YEARS for them to jump through all the hoops to complete the process. For foreingers to cross the border illegally and demand rights is beyond cheeky, but how demoralizing must it be to those going about it the right way?

  4. I tend to agree with Matt S. I’m not really concerned about illegals taking jobs away from me, because they are doing jobs that I don’t want, not to mention the fact that I’ve been told that I’m too well qualified for most part time jobs as it is. However, if we are going to have laws, we should enforce them. It’s a shame the National Guard and most of the military is tied up fighting an asinine war when they could be doing what they were actually set up to do and patrol our borders and take care of things here first.

  5. “In the meantime, let’s be realistic about the world we live in. Mexican leaders apparently have an economic policy based on exporting their own citizens, while complaining about U.S. immigration policies that are far less exclusionary than their own.”

    – Fred Thompson


    I pointed this out some months ago, but I’ll say it again: whatever you think Bush’s legacy may or may not be in ten years regarding the war on terror, it will be forever stained if his lax border policies contribute to another terror attack on U.S. soil. I may disagree with Kristi on the merits of Iraq, but I totally agree with her on using troops to shut down the border. That should have been done years ago, and Bush (and McCain) are in the doghouse with conservatvies because of it. To me, border security should not be a partisan issue.

    Plug the leak, THEN worry about the water already in the boat.

    I understand there are valid economic issues… but that cuts both ways. If there is cheap labor leading to cheaper products, there is also a massive influx in the demand for government services and health care—citizen tax money paying for ILLEGAL immigrant services.

  6. Matt Austin,

    “Because I know if someone was smoking crack at a pro-crack protest they would be arrested.Hopefully”

    You are “cracking” me up.

  7. Because I think it is more of a racial/ethnic issue than an economic one, I am willing to defend illegal immigrants here. We have been doing this for a long time. Trust, people would like to see them come so that those with “means” can exploit them — I heard the DSA president say this a few months ago.

    I addressed some of this on a previous post.

  8. Kristi,

    You sound like a conservative. Agreeing with Matt S can be dangerous (kidding).

    Carson, you like to be different.

  9. What does race have to do with crossing our borders illegally?

    Why support illegal immigration knowing they might be “exploited” by U.S. employers?

  10. Calling me a conservative is a good way to get beaten up. Just kidding. It’s more along the lines of knowing several illegals that want to do things the right way and are simply not allowed. Bear in mind that I did mention that we should call off whatever the heck it is we are doing in Iraq and bring our boys, particularly the national guard, home and have them do the job they were actually designed to do.

  11. I would not call you are conservative. However, I have known Matt S for a long time — it is not a bad thing to be put in his company. Plus, Kristi, you Matt are really at odds over Iraq.

    As for the race thing Matt S, read my link above. I touched on it some there. It is more of an argument; but, I do not hear people making a big deal about Canada and securing it more.

  12. Canada is less corrupt, has a better political system and economy, which means thet are not racing towards our border. Even Americans go to Canada for medication. Maybe race is a factor. I hate to say this, but whites have devoloped the most advanced socities.

  13. Canada respects our borders.

    Mexico wants to be our boarder.

    The only race issue here is how fast people want to leave their nation’s crummy economy for a better one.

  14. Sorry for not putting more thought into this comment but Who cares about Canada, honestly its CANADA.

  15. I like canada. I like that people there aren’t starving to death and have healthcare and don’t go to war on faulty intelligence and then stay at war even though we are doing absolutely no good. I like that people there aren’t mean and that they have a good deal more common sense than most Americans. Also, perhaps that’s why Canada doesn’t get attacked, because they exercise good sense. By the way, I know that Carson is not a grammar nazi on his blog, but your comments would be greatly improved by the use of punctuation. You don’t even have to be Hemmingway-esque; just use a bit of it.

  16. Touche on the grammar comment, but im afraid your wrong, see CANADA doesn’t get attacked because of that big superpower below them thats filled with mean people without common sense, oh and bad grammar.And by the way this has nothing to do with the blog’s relevance.Nice enthusiasm though.

  17. Easy killer. I don’t know who you are, but personal attacks are silly. I just wanted you to present yourself intelligently. Besides, how does it NOT have to do with the blog’s relevance? Grow an argument instead of just attack other people’s.

  18. That has to be without a doubt one of the most immature comments concerning a country I have ever heard in my life…I’m embarassing myself with just responding to such a ridiculous response. And of course, you can’t put more thought into your comment…what thought do you have? “Honestly its CANADA”. No seriously are you hearing yourself? They haven’t done a single thing to this country, yet people hate these Canadian men and women JUST because of their accents and “eh”. If you can’t give good reasons, ladies and gentlemen, don’t give any whatsoever. The fact that a 15 year old Hispanic freshman whose first language is Spanish is calling YOU immature is not only paradox, but both pathetic and laughably ridiculous.

    And with this immigration problem, there’s prejudism and unrevealed truth coming from BOTH sides…this is where moderate thought is needed from both Conservatives and Liberals. From the immigrants themselves, they don’t realize that they’re very much taking advantage of the system. For those who come to this country to work hard for their children, I believe firmly that they be deserve to be given a chance to having be offered at least being a US resident. They cannot complain however about citizenship…my parents came to the United States legally over 15 years ago; they’ve applied for citizenship and STILL haven’t recieved it yet. Immigrants coming both legally and illegally must realize that if you’re coming to a country with different regulations, they have to adapt to them, rather than establish alternatives…only then can an illegal immigrant be truly worthy of a fair stay in this country. For one, English is the official language of the USA. Learning the language may help. This is NOT coming from a prejudice perspective. Learning the official language of a ocuntry helps expand job opportunities and extend connections with business excecutives, contacts, etc. We all know that there are ways to legalize immigrants (I hope you know, it happened at Ellis Island…). So why don’t you as an American do something and at least help them with showing them how to?

    In comes the occurrance of. Don’t tell me you haven’t seen on the news the countless acts of abuse used against immigrants and the corruption that these tenants use to make these hard workers do their job for wages I would describe as anything but fair. Oh and the countless times police have brutalized immigrants and raped women for their own personal and temporary gain. Many might not know about this, but for this I recommend searching for other news sources besides FOX News. It may come as a shock, but other news sources actually exist, and there’s actually a balance in opinionated news…but back to the situation. They need to know what it is that drives the immigrants here in the first place. Did you know that Mexico is the 6th most dangerous country in the world? El Salvador is 12th, and Guatemala is in this list as well. You’ll be happy to know that the USA is 32nd, and Middle-Eastern countries are among the lowest in crime rates…hows about that for a war on terrorism, eh?

    Let me tell you furthermore what race has to do with illegal immigration. Here’s something for the HCHS students…what’s with all the jokes I hear aimed at Mexicans? All these immature comments are the answer to why race is involved with this situation of illegal immigrants. If we want a solution, both sides NEED to stop being immature and being prejudice with thoughts and actions. For the illegal immigrants, they never speak for themselves due to the fact that tey haven’t made an effort to learn English. That is a good start as to how both parties can meet without racial hatred and violence. Then they need to try to enlist themselves for legal occupation rather than begging to have others do it for them.

    Americans, you’re not going unblamed. You need to for one leave the Bible out of this…this isn’t Israel, this is ruled by a PRESIDENT, NOT GOD. In fact, just to make the Very Conservative crowd happy, I’ll tell you that the Lord himself told Israel “[I am the Lord] who executes justice for the orphan and the widow, and befriends the alien, feeding and clothing him. So you too must befriend the alien, for you were once aliens yourselves in the land of Egypt.” (Deut. 10:18-19) NOW try to make an excuse for being prejudice.

    Oh, and here’s another verse for you, “Love thy neighbor like thyself”. MEXICO AND CANADA ARE THE NATION’S NEIGHBORS. TRY BEING HELPFUL AND SUPPORT THEIR ECONOMY SO THAT THEY WON’T HAVE TO COME IN THE FIRST PLACE. But no, the US government uses personal avarice in their tactics for THEIR economy, and rather using their own people, they use others for building highways, cleaning buildings, disposing garbage, and mowing lawns, and because they need to support their family, they take those jobs happily without knowing the REAL story…how’s that for exploitation? 80% of immigrants say the US is a “unique country that stands for something special in the world.” Just know that they’re grateful for the extremely limited opportunities they have. 73% of the foreign born population claims that it is “extremely important” to work and stay off of welfare. Just something to think about.

    So in general, we should ALL wise up, get our facts straight, and think before we come up with a true solution.

    P.S. Keep this in mind…not all Mexicans are illegal, not all illegals are Mexican, we all speak Spanish, Spanish people are from Spain, and

  19. The whole immigration issue seems pretty clear to me:

    Illegal immigration is bad and we need to fight against it. Just like with other illegal things.

    At the same time, legal immigration is what made America America.

    Generally, I think people will try to obey the law if it is feasible (e.g. millions of people legally download songs from iTunes because it is now affordable and you don’t have to pay $17 for a CD with 2 good songs on it), so what is needed is more lenient immigration laws.

    I think a lot of illegal immigrants would legally emigrate if it wasn’t so difficult.

  20. I am hoping to get Rafael in my class one day too. As for Canada, I really disagree with the racial tone of tin man’s post; however, the truth of the matter is Canada’s political system is less corrupt — ok, for what we know. Rafael has a point in that Americans show their ignorance when we group all Latin Americans, Hispanics, Mexicans, etc in the same box.

    As for Matt Austins comment: The great thing about having Canada and Mexico on both ends is the fact that we really do have a better history with them than some nations have with its border members.

    Yes, it is a good idea that we all play nice. Nazi grammar…that is pretty funny. Sounds like a Seinfeld show. Remember the Nazi soup kitchen show — one of my favorites.

    Kristi, I agree with the Congress comment. I am thinking about running.

  21. Oh, I meant nothing racially by my comment.
    Rafeal, I love your comment. You do not like your school.

  22. This is a really touchy issue obviously so I’m going to try to be as diplomatic as possible. Lets set aside moral arguements for a momment and look at the pragmatic elements of this issue. In the U.S. today there are millions of illegal immigrants in the country and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. The U.S. does not have the man power or the political stomach to deport everyone its just not practical. These people aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Every day they stay the become more tied to the U.S. economy and vice versa. The Illegal status doesn’t do any good economically to anyone. The only people who benefit are those who get a warm fuzzy feeling when they think about the great american way and justice and think it applies to the immigration debat. Before I get to border security, just look at the demand for illegal immigrant labor. Its enormous and people are not going to stop coming over until that demand subsides which isn’t anytime soon. In a capitalist system every employer is looking at the bottom line and wages directly effect profit margins. You will not stay in business very long if you purposely pay higher wages than you need to. Lastly on the practical issues, even a wall won’t stop them nothing will short of a lack of opportunity which, luckily America isn’t short on.
    Morality/Racial Issues
    Lets look at immigration from a historical standpoint. I’m sure everyone here has heard of and is familar with Nativist Movement, but just in case it was an Anti-Immigration wave against catholics, Germans, Irish basicaly anyone not WASP. this was back in the 1840s so this issue isn’t new in the least. Everytime there is a wave of immigration there is a wave of xenophobia mainly based on insecurity over culture and job security. Luckily the immigration happens anyway, its what gives America its diversity. Morally speaking yes they broke the law and thats not good if we want a lawful society. However, just because it is a law does that make it just and morally correct? I’m sure everyone on this blog agrees with every act of congress in recent years. They come over here illegally because the system is based on unfair quotas and needless bureaucracy. To give you some food for thought. I am an American Citizen and my father who has 3 children who are citizens has trouble getting a visa. It is just completely unfair to expect the poorest, least educated and most disadvantaged to navigate and understand a system as complicated as U.S. immigration policy. Come on how many of you even knows where to begin to file all the appropriate forms to get a work visa that lasts longer than 6 months.

  23. Alejandro,

    You touched on a point that no one has addressed: people crossing without permission are breaking the law. Even in your historical account above, you pointed to the fact that America has long had a nativist movement. One has to wonder how much of the current problems with immigration is because of nativism — which is clearly not a good thing. Jingoism has never been good.

  24. Mr. Carson, have you noticed a lack of racial diversity at HCHS? There seems to be around 50 non-White students in the whole school, yet HCHS claims that diversity is one of its strong points.

  25. I don’t know about all elite private schools, but I know that the one I grew up in only had about 4 in pre-k three year old up to 12th grade. Maybe it means diverse in the private sector.

  26. Anthony,

    I wish there were more people of different races and ethnic grouops at HCHS. It is clear that it is not as great as the school or I would like. This is an issue that a number of private schools face. With our tuition being what it is, it is very difficult for a number of racial groups to afford it. I hope as our endowment grows, the school will allocate a number of funds to minorty groups in hopes of getting them here.

    I hear that board members tend to read my blog at times. Here is what we should ask them: After all the builing construction is done, can the school consider launching a campaign just to raise funds to attarct low SES students from various minority groups?

    We might already have this in place. I do know that we have students on such scholarships.HCHS is much better than my last private school — talk about white — that is pretty much all CAC had. The great thing about HCHS is they really would like to and are working towards addressing this issue.

    The school is more diverse in other ways besides race; however, race and ethnicity is the most visible diversity….I agree, the school is looking thin here — but we are working on it. Funny, another student just expressed his concern about this issue.

  27. Since this is a fairly controversial topic and I am highly opinionated on this issue, I am going to force myself to make this as brief as possible.

    I find merit on both sides of the argument.

    Like Jandro mentioned, what illegal immagrants are doing is, well, illegal. I, personally, don’t like the feeling of my personal space being invaded and this is, in a way, what is happening. To think that illegal immagrants are sstarting to expect rights in a country they are breaking the laws of simply by their presence is absoloutely astounding to me. I recently saw a small portion on the new about illegals trying to get college scholarships and all I can say is what the heck?! I could understand trying to get financial aid if you’re in a differant country and you truly want to further your education, but breaking into the country that contains the higher education you seek isn’t the best way that I can think of. Why not apply as an international student. With colleges entirely eager to create a larger amount of diversity, I can’t imagine that it would be any more difficult to get accepted. I am fairly ignorant still on the whole college situation, only just now beinging the application process, however I am simply laying out my perceptions.

    Now to the other side. My hairdresser is a legal immagrant from Mexico. He was a very hard worker and he waited for seven years for all of the official papers to be pushed through the system, being sure to follow all of the rules and restrictions so that his family could join him here. The system literally screwed him over. All of the documentation and paperwork remain incomplete, preventing his wife and three children from moving over here. He is not allowed to make any visits out of the country so the only way he has kept in touch with them is brief phone calls, which are very expensive to him, and letters. He has missed getting to see his girls grow up for the sake of making a better life for them. The system is entirely too difficult and it encourages the massive amounts of people who enter the country illegally.

    I may not be the most informed, but this is my basic perception of the current situation.

    P.S. I am also sick of the racist aspects.

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