Her Mom Has No Papers
Ever since I saw the video clip of the little Hispanic girl talking with the First Lady and telling the world on global television that her mother had no papers, I’ve been thinking what’s my slant her. You’re the First Lady of the United States and the issue of whether or not law enforcers have the authority to ask people of, or for, their immigration has become a political football because the great state of Arizona has made such a law.
My mom has no papers. I bet those five little words dropped on her mother’s heart like an ACME anvil can bust up on Wile E Coyote. After I heard the girl’s statement I thought, oh damn! Girl just seriously outed her mother! It was a classic case of a child hearing a little too much about embarrassingly sensitive family business and putting it out there for the world to see. Mot of the time it’s cute and kind of harmless. This time there was the potential for some super serious repercussions. The federal agency known as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would be quickly notified. The little girl could have been escorted out the room by Secret Service, one of those armor plated, blacked out Suburban would suddenly appear in front of whatever building her mom was in at that very moment, and the two would have been taken on a speedy ride to the nearest ICE house.
Ever since I heard about the whole episode I wanted to write something with some kind of correlation to Dora the Explorer. I have a three year old so the adventures of Dora and Boots are a staple in the house. I chose the picture above because it looked like the two characters are trying to hide from Swiper the fox, their adversary constantly dogging their every move like an ICE official. I thought of starting a post with some play on the Dora theme song lyrics. But I never could figure out a clever enough play on words. Then again, the Dora theme song really isn’t very clever in itself. And besides, a lot of people, many of which are infinitely more clever than I, are doing all kinds of creative things to associate Dora and boots with the current and coming immigration laws. If Dora’s mug shot is any indication, nothing I would’ve done would have been close to being original.
Ms. Obama played it cool and acted as if she hadn’t heard anything out of the ordinary. But I heard that the suburban Maryland school that Ms. Obama was visiting quickly made a public statement that they do not investigate the immigration status of the family of their students. The next day I heard that ICE made a statement that they would not be investigating the girl or her mother and would not make a case against them if the mother was ever revealed or ever came forward. That was a pretty cool thing to do. Now, I figure that little girl has done every kid in the country who’s in school from a home where parents don’t have their immigration papers a solid. Unless it’s pretty over the top serious nobody is going to see anything at any school that will trigger an ICE investigation anywhere around the country, even in Arizona.
The fact that the little girl and her mother dodged a bullet doesn’t negate the fact that we have a serious problem with the way we are approaching the relationship we have with our under the table immigrants. Some of us want to surrender our consciousness to the propaganda that Arizona’s crime is a product of its community of illegal aliens. A lot of people want to point to California’s lack of fiscal responsibility is a result of it having a higher percentage of undocumented people within its midst that other states.
But that automatic association is nothing more than blatant racism. Not every person who comes across the border is a drugged out drug dealer with murder on their minds. I’m willing to bet that the vast majority of these people are simply trying to find a better way of life. A lot of these people are simply trying to do what they can to provide for their families. Let’s imagine for the moment that the little girl’s mother in fact has no papers and is a cleaning lady somewhere or works in a factory for menial wages or works doing some other drudgery. Does this mean that the little girl’s mother, and other people who actually adds value to our community by doing these jobs, is someone who is not entitled to send their child to our schools? I would hope not.
And the fact of the matter is that Hispanics and Latinos and Latinas are not responsible for all the crime in Arizona. They are not the only ones negatively impacting the state treasure in California. They are the victims of our prejudices just like the Jewish community became victims of Germany’s prejudices. We are ready to open up our collective can of whip ass on people who appear to be helpless and incapable of mounting a solid response to such blatant discrimination.
Our conservative politicians want to convince us that all Americans need to be with Arizona as this discrimination takes place as if the people of Arizona are the victims here. The Arizona establishment has mounted an all out assault on a specific immigrant profile. Nobody should be asking anybody for their papers because of some racial profile or accent.