It’s true, the founder of the United Farm Workers union used to go on rants about the flow of people from other countries, particularly Mexico, who try to slip into the United States and gain employment without a valid visa or proper work permits.
HIS THEORY WAS that the agriculture interests who preferred to hire migrant farm workers, many of whom were Mexican-Americans, did so because they wanted a cheap and pliant workforce.
They didn’t want to have to worry about granting the rights that these Mexican-American workers were entitled to, but were being denied.
They might just be cynical enough to fire those people born in this country and hire an even more pliant work force in the form of people who could be deported at a moment’s notice.
The ideologues try to claim (rather simplistically) that he didn’t want Mexicans coming to this country.
ACTUALLY, IT WAS because he didn’t trust the agricultural interests enough to make distinctions between people that he was willing to favor restrictions on people trying to come to this country to make a better life for themselves.
But that truly is a dying attitude. A part of me wonders if Chavez would have renounced it if he were still alive today.
Because many Latinos have come to see that the ideologues who want to think their narrow thoughts prevail amongst the masses of our society can’t distinguish people from differing Latin American nations.
Either that, or they don’t want to. They want to believe that the Latinos currently living in this country with citizenship or a visa got it through some scam, or a loophole in the law.
THEIR IDEA OF reform is to start repealing citizenship, and step up the deportations. A nonsense idea, if ever there was one.
Then again, people spewing political diatribes don’t often worry about making any sense.
Take the new study released last week by the Pew Research Center to judge attitudes toward the roughly 11-million-plus people living in this country without citizenship or a valid visa.
|EMANUEL: Now willing to take reform stance|
Some 45 percent of Latinos surveyed said they felt the undocumented (those forced to live in the shadows of our society) actually provided a positive effect on our society.
THAT’S UP FROM the 29 percent who said “positive” to a similar Pew study back in 2010.
The number of Latinos who think their ethnic brethren newcomers are a “negative” effect on the United States dropped from 30 percent to 21 percent during that same three-year time period.
Admittedly, the figure drops depending on how far away one is from the immigration process. Those of us third-generation types (as in our grandparents were the immigrants) viewed it almost equally as to whether these newcomers are a positive (29 percent), a negative (32 percent) or no (32 percent) impact.
Although I’d say it’s still a matter of people realizing that the whole immigration reform debate boils down to a matter of personal respect – with those people who have hang ups about the growing Latino population being the ones who spew the rhetorical nonsense.
WHICH IS A shame, because immigration reform is not (strictly speaking) a Latino issue. It goes so much farther beyond people coming from Latin American nations (which the ideologues think means just Mexico). Even Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel is now touting the need for real immigration reform (which he didn’t do a thing to advance back when he was presidential chief of staff).
It also makes me wonder, since in recent days I have stumbled several times on the 1984 Robin Williams film “Moscow on the Hudson,” featuring the comic as a Russian musician-turned-immigrant to New York.
The film is virtually a love letter to the “American Way” of life. Although with the way it repeatedly includes so many different ethnicities in that vision, it makes me wonder if the ideologues see something sinister and subversive about it!
Just like some of them continue to rant about the memory of Chavez – when they’re not using him to try to advance their own sinister causes.