Do I have any other questions? Yes I do have more questions. You’re living in the middle of Texas, what does that have to do with the farm labor problem that you have all the answers? My invitation is still offered to you to see exactly what you are trying to talk about. I always thought that knowing both sides of the story made for a better informed conversation.
We also have “little Mexico” in our small farming community. But another thing is also occurring here at the same time. The second generation Mexicans who were born here all speaks very good English with no accent whatsoever. Many are going on to higher education, and their parents are so proud of them. I think the problems in cities wherever there are large populations of both illegal and legal immigrants has a lot to do with the mind set of the political make up of those cities.
What to me is amazing is that the political make up of those cities are largely white! It seems to me that the problem is the pursuit of power by the white politicians.
My husband was a Marine aviator during Vietnam, and the girls and I lived in Japan after he was transferred from Vietnam. While in Japan, he flew back into Vietnam as a transport pilot. Quite a difference from the A4s that he flew in Vietnam. When we lived in Japan, the girls learned Japanese just from playing with the Japanese children. My husband and I had a passable grasped of the language, but we could not speak the language. That seems to be the same as it is here in the U.S. with the Mexican population. My husband’s parents were from Germany and he was first born here. They, too, never lost their accent. But he not only could speak German but also spoke English with no accent. I think this is all called assimilation which has always made this country great. When he left the Marine Corps and started flying for the airlines, our first base was Buffalo, NY. Talk about a lack of assimilation even after several generations, the people in Buffalo all had their little enclaves. My Girls had to live the first parochial school because they were told to leave because they were not Polish. They told us to put them in school in the German community because we were German! Never mind that my family, who were German descent, had been in the U.S. from the very early 19th century.
Those people also celebrated all the Old World holidays of their respective countries. I have a hard time finding that any different than what you are describing.
The big difference between when my family migrated to the U.S. and what has and is happening now is the lack of the so called safety net. Put blame where the blame really is. The white politicians who initiated the safety net in the first place. It had very little to do with helping the needy. It had everything to do with power. We now have a political system with people making a very lucrative career out of their elective office.
You did not mention whether you knew about the Bracero program. If that program was re-established we would not have the drain on medical, educational and law enforcement agencies that we do now.
Instead of ranting and raving about the system as it is now, why not offer some solutions that are workable. All of the hard core conservatives are unhappy with the bill that John McCain offered to try and straighten out the mess that our politicians with the aid of the people who elected them produced. His bill was very close to the bill that President Reagan actually got passed. No one on the right cried at that time about the amnesty that was a part of the bill. It was even called amnesty.
Why the difference?
I have always considered myself a very conservative Republican. I’m afraid that part of the party has left me. I see little difference between the two parties as far as economics is concerned. I grew up in a very loyal conservative Republican family. They and I believe that the key to a sound economy is not spending more than is taken in. I do believe in tax reductions but at the same time spending must be curtailed. Just tell me when that has occurred when the Republican party is in power? Even when President Reagan was in office that did not happen. After his first big tax break, he actually initiated increases and the deficient increased. I really believe the hard core right of the Republican Party has lost it mind.
Seriously, I feel your pain. You are looking at it from a certain point of view; I look at it from another. We probably have a lot of the same political views on other issues. Your thoughts about assimilation may be true, but the conversion to Spanish here in Texas is rapid. Dallas is a Mexican city now with 650,000 Mexican nationals living in a city of 1.3 million. The school district there has literally gone to hell. I assume a similar fate has claimed Los Angeles.
But look. If your theories are correct, then in 1 generation, there will be assimilation of the migrant offspring -- then what? We keep on bringing Mexico's poor into the US to work on the farms? How does this all come to some type of acceptable conclusion? And President Reagan's amnesty failed, because we didn't control the border. I have no idea where we are going to get enough food, water and landfills (we generate tons of garbage a day in this country) to deal with the rapid influx of poor people from south of the border.
The only answer I see is to bring Mexico (and the Mexicans themselves have to do this) to first world status. As a compassionate human being, I do not wish to see the people of Mexico mired in poverty and political corruption forever. But if that ever happens, there goes your source of people who want to pick strawberries and peaches. Your answer, at some point, is likely a new technology to do that.
In the meantime, I will still buy produce at market prices based on what it would cost to have American workers do the job. But nobody in America will work for the prices paid.
It's kind of like oil. Some day, we won;t need it anymore. Right now, we need to drill. In your case, you need labor. The two ways to that are to keep the immigrant magnet going or pay the price to get Americans to do it.
Neither answer is perfect.
I don't have time to come to California right now -- but here's another idea. I will offer you a couple of segments to discuss this on my radio show. It runs on 6 Texas stations, but is also streamed over the internet.