It's about our community and our spirituality!

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.

Friday, May 21, 2010 - Posted by | Life, Michelle Obama, Racism, Thoughts


  1. People try to claim that their concern with illegal immigration is related to crime rates, yet statistically, cities with higher rates of immigrants are experience LESS crime than cities with less immigrants. They like to point out one or two stories on the news and turn it into a crime wave. They also like to claim that immigrants are using taxpayer resources without paying into the system… again a fallacy… most illegal immigrants DO pay taxes. They like to claim that illegal immigrants bring illegal drugs into this country, meanwhile our federal government has been supporting drug economies the world over for a long time, as long as they kowtow to capitalist ideals. They make comparisons between immigrants today and immigrants from 150 years ago, claiming that earlier immigrants learned english, worked harder, and sis not send money home to their country of origin. Again, all fallacies. I have only know ONE PERSON who was honest about why she was against immigration… she was worried that “white people would be a minority group soon.” That’s really what it all boils down to. When immigrants were WASPS, they were encouraged and supported. Once “less desirable” ie nonwhite immigrants started entering the country in large numbers, stricter laws were passed that made it more difficult than ever to become an American. All this rhetoric about WHY illegal immigration is bad is bullshit… it all comes down to people wanting to maintain the system of white privilege and white supremacy they are so comfortable with.

    Comment by JuJuBe | Saturday, May 22, 2010 | Reply

  2. What gets me is why the government is not as concerned with its northern border?

    Comment by c | Sunday, May 23, 2010 | Reply

    • some economist (and I cant remember for the life of me who it was, but it was quite a long time ago) once said that cross border human traffic was often directly proportional to the ratio of entitlements/benefits/quality of life between the two countries. Since Canada has a relatively stable state of liveability, combined with their lawful benefits in comparison with the United States (some say better). Whereas between the U.S. and Mexico, the difference is almost night and day, in favor of the U.S., ergo more human traffic will naturally occur along the southern border than the northern.

      Comment by Mike Lovell | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Reply

  3. c: because canadians are mostly white

    Comment by JuJuBe | Monday, May 24, 2010 | Reply

  4. JuJuBe:

    While that might explain some people’s reasons for caring about the southern border vs northern border you might want to take that answer and see if it applies to Mexico’s southern border. By human rights standards they try to apply to us, they are far worse on there Central American neighbors trying to cross over, and not a one of them is white.

    Comment by Mike Lovell | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Reply

  5. Mike Lovell: I am not sure of the details, but Mexico actually recently EASED their sanctions against illegal immigrants because they WERE too punitive.

    Comment by JuJuBe | Tuesday, May 25, 2010 | Reply

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