published Sunday, July 24th, 2011

Born in the U.S. and struggling in Guatemala

The fourth-grade class at a rural school in Totonicapán, Guatemala, poses for a picture. Jennifer Xiloj, 10, in the middle, was born in Chattanooga but moved to Guatemala last year.
Photo by Carlos Ventura/Chattanooga Times
The fourth-grade class at a rural school in Totonicapán, Guatemala, poses for a picture. Jennifer Xiloj, 10, in the middle, was born in Chattanooga but moved to Guatemala last year. Photo by Carlos Ventura/Chattanooga Times
Between Two Worlds

COUNTRY PROFILES

Guatemala

• Area: 42,042 square miles; smaller than Tennessee

• Population: 14.4 million

• Religions: Roman Catholic, Protestant, traditional Mayan

• Languages: Spanish, 23 indigenous languages

• Literacy (age 15 and over who can read and write): 69 percent

• Infant mortality rate: 26.02 deaths per 1,000 live births

• Life expectancy: 70.88 years

• GDP Per capita: $5,200

United States

• Area: 3.8 million square miles; slightly bigger than China

• Population: 313 million

• Religions: Protestant, Roman Catholic, Mormon, other Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim

• Languages: mainly English, Spanish

• Literacy (age 15 and over who can read and write): 99 percent

• Infant mortality rate: 6.06 deaths per 1,000 live births

• Life expectancy: 78.37 years

• GDP per capita: $47,200

Source: CIA World Factbook, Guatemalan government officials


BY THE NUMBERS

• 340,000: Number of children born in the United States in 2008 to at least one illegal immigrant parent.

• 4 million: Number of children (18 and younger) of illegal immigrants born in the United States.

• 37: Percentage of adult illegal immigrants who were parents of U.S. citizens in 2008.

Source: Pew Hispanic Center


MORE:

* War, poverty trigger Guatemalan exodus

* Long road to legal status

* Immigration routes lead to Tennessee, Georgia

Follow us on Twitter for the latest breaking news

CHIVARRETO, Guatemala — It’s lunch time at the elementary school in Chivarreto, a tiny Guatemalan village surrounded by rolling hills, tall pine trees and narrow dirt roads, where running water is available only a couple of times a week and most households lack showers and indoor bathrooms.

Today, lunch is atol, a hot drink made of corn and soy dough boiled with water, cinnamon and sugar.

In her fourth-grade classroom, Jennifer Xiloj, a 10-year-old dressed in jeans and sandals, kneels down, places her white flower-print plastic cup on the dusty cement floor and pours herself a cup of atol from a red bucket.

School lunches are one of the things Jennifer misses most from her days at Chattanooga’s East Side Elementary School, where chicken sandwiches and pepperoni pizza were on the menu along with salad, fresh fruit and milk.

Her meals at home are just as limited as those at her Guatemalan school. Meat is a luxury she gets to enjoy maybe once a week. There’s no more opening the refrigerator and pouring herself a glass of milk. In her new home, there is no refrigerator.

Even though she’s only 10, Jennifer recognizes the chasm between her old life of possibility and her new life of hardship and want, the very thing her parents were trying to escape — and thought they had — when they illegally entered the United States in the late 1990s.

Jennifer was born in Chattanooga, but was yanked out of the only life she knew when her mother took her to Guatemala last year. Work in Chattanooga was scarce because of the recession, her mother Inocenta Garcia said, even more so because she was in the country illegally.

Jennifer is one of untold numbers of children in the crosshairs of a vitriolic immigration debate: children born and raised in America — and thereby U.S. citizens by law — but forced to move to other countries when their parents are deported or pressured to leave.

Opponents of illegal immigration say that’s fair; the parents knew the risks when they crossed the border without permission in the first place. In their view, Jennifer is exactly where she belongs.

The discourse is so heated and the issue so divisive that some Americans patrol the border with Mexico on their own time, with their own weapons.

And states like Georgia, Alabama and Arizona have passed some of the toughest laws in the country to deter illegal immigration.

There’s also a renewed debate on whether children like Jennifer should even be granted U.S. citizenship.

Derisively referred to as “anchor babies,” the children are targets in the battle, with some — including Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal — arguing they should not be granted U.S. citizenship because the parents can use the children to legalize their status. When American children turn 21, they can sponsor their parents to come to the United States legally.

Nationwide, there are more than 4 million citizens born to at least one undocumented parent, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.

But there are no numbers on how many U.S.-born children are leaving Tennessee or the United States for their parents’ home countries.


It is likely that as deportations increase, they’ll drag along more children like Jennifer in their wake.

In 2010, the elementary school in Chivarreto enrolled for the first time American children, including Jennifer and her 5-year-old cousin, Thalia, who also was born in Chattanooga. Thalia’s mother signed a voluntary departure form after being caught in a federal immigration raid in 2008, while her father remains in Chattanooga.

These U.S.-born children face the same hard futures as other Guatemalan children, especially those living in rural areas, where only 35 percent of them will have access to and finish middle school; only 20 percent will have access to high school and less than 1 percent will go on to college.

Totonicapán, the state where Jennifer’s village sits, has a lower level of human development than Cambodia, according to the United Nations.

“It’s hard because you know what their potential is here,” said Marisol Jimenez, an English as a Second Language teacher at East Side Elementary, the Hamilton County school with the highest percentage of Hispanic students — 53 percent. And the majority of those students were born in the United States.

“For reasons we can’t control, kids who would make wonderful additions in Chattanooga are having to leave,” she said. “You know they could be somebody but may never get a chance to reach their full potential.”


The situation is not much easier for the teachers in Guatemala, who suddenly have a student who may not speak Spanish, let alone one of two dozen indigenous Mayan dialects spoken in the Central American country, which is smaller than Tennessee in size but has twice as many people.

“At first I was surprised by her arrival because, unfortunately, the need in this country is great,” said Ceferina Maldonado, Jennifer’s fourth-grade teacher, speaking Spanish.

More than half the female youth in the state of Totonicapán live in poverty, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund. And about 70 percent of children under 5 in the state, located in southwestern Guatemala and one of the most rural areas in the country, are affected by chronic malnutrition.

When Jennifer — or Yenni as she is known now — arrived on May 15, 2010, she got sick. She had rashes all over her body, parasites and headaches.

“The water here doesn’t have chlorine like [in the United States], so she got sick, then got the flu,” Maldonado said.

Jennifer suffered a lot in the first three to four months, Maldonado said.

A year later, she’s thinner than when she first arrived. The lack of lotion and the ever-present, coating dust from unpaved roads has parched the skin on her feet and hands, especially rough around the knuckles and nails. Her long brown hair, which she wears back with a plastic clip, looks dry. There’s no money to buy shampoo or hair conditioner.


When Jennifer is asked which country she prefers, the United States or Guatemala, she answers in a quiet voice, “I like it in the United States more.”

She misses her teachers, her school, her friends. Getting letters and pictures from her friends at East Side “makes me feel happy,” she said.

Even at her age, Jennifer knows her native country is a lot wealthier than her mother’s country.

“Here there’s no money. Over there [in the United States], they are a little bit rich and here they are poor, you see,” she says in grammatically incorrect Spanish, while nervously twiddling a piece of dry grass between her fingers under a tree across from her mother’s pink-painted house.

The psychological trauma of change is just one of the many effects suffered by children moved from their homes to their parents’ native countries, teachers and experts say.

Especially in Jennifer’s case, where the move from Chattanooga to Totonicapán was a matter of weeks.

Her teachers at East Side Elementary found out they were losing yet another student when her mother asked for her school records. Three weeks later, she was gone.

“She didn’t want to go but was OK with it because her mom was going,” said Jacob Vrieswyk, Jennifer’s English as a Second Language teacher at East Side; he still calls her in Guatemala every few weeks.

On her last day of school at East Side, Jennifer was allowed to visit her favorite teachers and friends to say goodbye. As she walked from one classroom to the next, staring down at the floor, biting her lip, Vrieswyk — or Mr. V as students call him — tried to make small talk but it didn’t work. Jennifer remained quiet.

“She knew that day would be her last day in that school,” he said.

She tried to hold everything in, to keep it together. But when she hugged her teachers, tears just flowed, rolling down her cheeks.

Teachers shed tears, too.

“It’s hard to let go of someone you feel doesn’t have a home,” Vrieswyk said.


Starting at a new school in Guatemala was also a challenge.

For the first few weeks in January, Jennifer, who is taller than most of her classmates, sat quietly in her small wooden desk, her back against the window. Her classmates were afraid of her. She came from the United States. She was different. She spoke English, not K’iché, the Mayan language spoken in the region.

Out of the 10 subjects Maldonado teaches, Jennifer struggles with language the most, even things as simple as the squiggly line over the “n” — the tilde — which doesn’t exist in the English alphabet.

They also teach K’iché, which she’s still trying to learn, especially to communicate with her grandmother, whom she just met and who doesn’t speak Spanish.

In the beginning, Jennifer complained about not liking the village or the food, Maldonado said.

Her diet consists of food such as tamales (corn dough wrapped in banana or corn leaves), beans, soups and chilacayote, a type of squash her mother grows.

She was afraid of the dogs that roam the dirt roads. Of the cows and pigs her mother keeps in pens in their backyard. Of the people, all unfamiliar to her.

But now she at least likes to pet Doc, Tarzan and Kikio, the family’s three dogs. And when it’s time to feed the turkeys and chickens, she starts calling, “pipipipio, pipipipio,” mimicking the sounds the birds make, as she crumbles corn dough onto the ground.

Now there’s more trust with her teachers. “Thank God,” Maldonado said.

Jennifer enjoys learning Spanish, has new friends and has adapted to a place where she bathes once a week in a temascal, a type of sweat lodge, instead of a shower. It’s a place where her house chores include herding sheep and cleaning after the pigs.

Her school has no computers or cafeteria. There are no red colorful slides and swings as there are at East Side. Her school has only seven classrooms separated by a dirt courtyard with a basketball hoop tied to a lamp post. Without a playground, children turn the metal struts that usually hold trash cans into swings, and a teacher sets up a table right outside the classroom to sell gum and lime-flavored icicles and chips to the kids and fellow teachers during lunch.

In Guatemala, Jennifer says, everything is broken, starting with the town’s playground.


Children like Jennifer are one more reason the government should enforce immigration laws more strictly, said Steven Camarota with the Washington, D.C.-based Center for Immigration Studies, an organization that advocates stricter controls on immigration.

“If you think of immigration as just an economic issue, that’s very foolish,” he said. “If we allow the illegal immigrants to stay, that has an adverse impact on some Americans. If we allow the illegal immigrants to go, that has an adverse impact on illegal immigrants and maybe their U.S.-born children, too.”

And every year the government fails to deal with the problem, more than 300,000 children will be born to at least one illegal immigrant parent, he said.

“U.S.-born children are one key example of why you want to deal with this problem sooner rather than later,” he added.

A couple of hours south of Jennifer’s town live the Miranda and Agustín girls — a blended family of five girls, all cousins. Like Jennifer, they were born in Chattanooga, but unlike Jennifer, they’ve now spent most of their lives in Guatemala.

The girls moved to Guatemala in 2007 when their parents, feeling the heat of immigration scrutiny and fewer jobs in Chattanooga, left the city and returned to their home country.

After four years, the girls’ memories of their native country are slowly fading, along with their knowledge of English.

“When I got here, I didn’t speak a lot of Spanish, and I would get it confused with English,” Alma Miranda said in Spanish. She was 6 when she left Chattanooga.

Now, English is the foreign language she studies a couple of times a week.

The girls miss celebrating their birthdays the “American” way with birthday cakes and lots of presents.

“Here we only eat tamalitos and have very little presents,” said Lucita Miranda, 9.

Still, they don’t have much in common with Guatemalan children. They never learned how to balance water urns on their heads like most girls do, nor do they eat a lot of corn tortillas, a daily staple in most households.

Without hesitation, they say they feel more American than Guatemalan.

They pretend to be Merliah, a surfing champion from Malibu, Calif., and Erris, the evil aunt from the cartoon “Barbie in a Mermaid Tale,” which they watch over and over in Spanish.

But at 9 through 11 years old they don’t play video games or listen to Justin Bieber. And they are learning to type on an old manual typewriter. For play, they turn to traditional children’s games such as “campanita de oro” — the Spanish version of “Ring Around the Rosie” — and different versions of tag.

Their school, a 10-minute walk up a steep hill from their home, offers a computer class a couple of times a week as well as English, but Linda Agustín, 10, complains teachers can’t pronounce the words right.

Teachers go on strike a couple of times a year, often to seek more funding or better salaries. When those days are combined with volcano eruptions and tropical storms, the number of days students go to class in some schools can drop from 180 days to about 80 last year, according to local media reports.


During the day, Artemio Agustín and Delfina Miranda take care of their four nieces and nephew, including Alma and Lucita, as well as their own two daughters — Linda and Edna — while the other parents work in Guatemala City. All of them lived in Chattanooga and returned to the Central American country for similar reasons to Jennifer’s mother.

For more than eight years, the couple worked making parts for gas appliances at a Chattanooga company until they were called into the manager’s office and told their documents didn’t match government records. They had three weeks to fix the problem.

But it was a problem they knew they couldn’t fix. They were undocumented.

“We got desperate,” said Artemio Agustin, sitting at his kitchen table in his three-bedroom home in San Bartolomé, a town known for its cabbage and lettuce fields, peach and pear trees.

“A lot of undocumented people were being caught [by immigration authorities] and we were afraid for our girls,” he said. “We didn’t want them to be left alone, so we decided to come back.”

Four years later, they regret the decision.

“When you get here, you realize that things are very hard,” said Delfina Miranda. “But now we are here and there’s nothing we can do.”

The parents feel guilty about taking their daughters to Guatemala, away from better schools and easier access to health care — resources that illegal immigrants are accused of draining when they live in the United States.

The Agustín family, who lives in an urban area outside the capital, has a better standard of living than many families who live in a rural area. They saved enough money from living in the United States to be able to return to Guatemala on their own terms, unlike those who get deported.

They lease a house in Guatemala City and use their savings to buy food and pay the electric bill.

They haven’t bought any clothes for the girls since they arrived four years ago because they took bags filled with shirts and pants of different sizes. They even have a computer, a stereo and a television — all bought in Chattanooga.

They built a two-story concrete home two years ago, living on the second floor and renting out the first. And Artemio Agustín is starting a business making and selling shoes out of his garage.

The five girls are thin and healthy. They have shiny black hair that falls below their shoulders. They have an indoor shower, shampoo, body soap and lotion, just like they did when they lived in Chattanooga.

Both Artemio Agustín and Delfina Miranda knew their daughters, like Jennifer, would struggle if they took them back to their village in the northern state of San Marcos. Neither of them finished elementary school and they feared their children might follow the same path. They knew their children would get sick from the water.

So they moved to Guatemala City and later to San Bartolomé Milpas Altas, just outside the capital, where life would be a little bit easier for them.

But things are still difficult, Artemio Agustín said.

“If people around here find out you have a business, they come and ask for protection money,” he said.

Violent criminal activity continues to be a problem in Guatemala, including murder, rape and armed assaults, according to the U.S. Department of State.

The girls didn’t tell anyone at school they were born in the United States because people automatically assume that means they have a lot of money, although San Bartolomé is still considered to be relatively safe and nothing has happened to them.

Food is still expensive.

A pound of grapes sells for about a $1.25, less than in Chattanooga, but basically impossible for about half the country’s population, who live on $2 a day.

Each of the girls’ uniforms — a white shirt with pleated blue skirts, a sweater, white socks and black shoes — costs the equivalent of $40. For a family making $4 or $5 a day, each uniform means a week of work.

“It is not their fault,” said Artemio Agustín. “We are the ones to blame; we brought them here against their will because they are just kids.”


In 1995, Artemio Agustin paid a smuggler about $1,000 to get him across the border. He first arrived in Florida, where he worked in the fields, picking tomatoes and oranges for more than a year before moving to Chattanooga, where he was told there were better-paying jobs.

In 1998, Delfina Miaranda borrowed about $1,800 from a village neighbor to be smuggled into the United States. She was 18.

Neither had plans of meeting someone, getting married and having children. But they met at work and fell in love in Chattanooga.

Miranda and Agustin planned to stay in the United States for three, four years, work hard, save money and go back to Guatemala.

But life happened. They put down roots. Chattanooga is a pretty city, quiet, they said, and three years turned into six, then eight, nine.

“It’s cleaner,” Artemio Agustín said of the Scenic City. “The schools take better care of the children; the health care system is better.”

Jennifer’s mom, Inocenta Garcia, left her hometown in Guatemala in 1999, changing from cortes — the traditional hand-woven skirts women wear in the Indian communities — to jeans and from sandals to tennis shoes when she reached the Mexican border. She was 27 years old.

She came to Chattanooga after her sister’s husband agreed to help her find a job and worked at the Pilgrim’s Pride chicken processing plant until 2008, when her employer found out she was working with fake documents and she voluntarily left the company.

She stayed in Chattanooga, working temp jobs until 2010, when she left with Jennifer and her 3-year-old sister Lillian. But García’s son, 5-year-old Julio, stayed with his father Felisario Vásquez in Chattanooga.

“I didn’t want her to go,” Vásquez said, sitting on a bench at a local Chattanooga park. “But I couldn’t support the entire family because I also lost my job.”

He stayed with Julio because three children would be too hard for García in Guatemala. He still does odd jobs like cleaning offices but doesn’t have full-time employment and, if nothing changes in a year, he will go back as well.

In Guatemala, like many women in rural areas, García supports herself and her daughters mainly with the pigs she raises, which sell for $75 to $125, depending on the size. She also sells the chickens, which go for about $6 each.

The money she earned while in Chattanooga allowed her to build a concrete home for her and her parents — one bedroom with two beds, a dresser, a sewing machine and a full wall of religious images for her and her two daughters; a separate bedroom for her parents. She has a small patio, a terrace and a kitchen where the family cooks and eats sitting around the fire stove. And there’s a toilet inside a small, closet-size concrete room with a piece of fabric acting as a door.


For most of these children, returning to the United States is not only an option but an obligation. They know they have the legal status to come and work, making money they can send back to Guatemala to help support their families.

But even being a legal U.S. citizen doesn’t always make it easy for them.

Alejandra Gordillo, executive secretary of Guatemala’s National Committee for Immigrant Services, tells the story of a man she met on a flight from Guatemala to the United States. He was 21 and had been born in the United States but raised in Guatemala because his parents were deported.

He asked Gordillo to help him fill out a customs form. He couldn’t read or write.

“Those kids who were deported years ago ... are going back to work [in the United States],” she said. “But [they] don’t know how to read or write because they came back to their parents’ community, where it’s likely that their parents were illiterate as well and didn’t have access to education or health care.”

Still, all of the girls — Jennifer and the Miranda and Agustín children — say they want to come back to the United States. And reminders of America surround them in Guatemala.

A red, white and blue U.S. flag towel is draped over a bed in Jennifer’s home. She keeps letters, cards and drawings from her classmates and teachers at East Side.

The name of her village, Chivarreto, is spelled out on the side of a nearby mountain with big white Hollywood-type letters, a sign paid for by one of the villagers who now lives in the United States.

Jennifer said she wants to return because the United States promises her a brighter future.

“I would like to be a doctor because we are going to cure little kids, but only if you go to the United States because you can’t do anything here,” she said. “The only thing you can do is grow corn; there’s no money.”

Strange Land
Jennifer Xiloj was born in Chattanooga, but after her mother, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, couldn't find work, she was taken to a country she knew nothing about.
Hoping to return
Five cousins, all born in Chattanooga, adjust to life in Guatemala.
about Perla Trevizo...

Perla Trevizo joined the Chattanooga Times Free Press in 2007 and covers immigration/diversity issues and higher education. She holds a master’s degree in newswire journalism from Universidad Rey Juan Carlos in Madrid, Spain, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Texas. In 2011 she participated in the Bringing Home the World international reporting fellowship program sponsored by the International Center for Journalists, producing a series on Guatemalan immigrants for which she ...

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nucanuck said...

When the factories have all moved off-shore, when we have deported the millions that have done the hardest work, then we will find out if we are exceptional and creative or we will come face to face with poverty. It can happen here.

Those who have returned to a hard scrabble life in Central America know how to live poor,we do not. They live in a sustainable culture, we do not.

Learning sustainability may be a task too tough for an over-fed and under-educated nation that think that the American way of life is a birthright.

We have squandered success, how will we deal with failure?

July 24, 2011 at 1:21 a.m.
ann said...

I really don't understand why this story was even printed except for smpanthy for them ,but i think we have gotten very tired of others stealing their way into this country and then take everything they can get in welfare programs,it has broken most of our ststes they no longer have money to run on and yet it is the working tax paying American paying the way for these illegals ,and even the schools are suffering,what about our children who fall behind because the teachers are busy teaching the illegals while our children fall threw the cracks,but if we went to these countries we would not be allowed to stay there and feed off their programs if they have any,but yet they expect us to take care of them after they riot in our streets when if they loved this countrie they would just be greatful to be here not demanding rights that they do not have in the frist place since they are not citizens,so i think they should all go back to the contries they came from and take their children which are not Americans just because they were born here

July 24, 2011 at 1:41 a.m.
mymy said...

Just think-5 more to go. UGH!

July 24, 2011 at 7:17 a.m.
inquiringmind said...

Ann, I agree. We have all the wealth and resources we need and ought to sit back and enjoy our wealth and not be bothered by these "people.". If we want to share our resources it ought to be our choice, I say we earned it and ought to let the rest of the world starve if that is what they want to do!

If they wanted a better life, they could get it, besides God gave us the USA to enjoy ourselves, not to them. Frankly, there is only one thing to do with those kids and their mothers, sterilize them and send them back so we won't have any more coming our way. Or maybe we should throw them all in jail and make them earn their stay by picking up garbage or something. I'm pretty incensed the TFP even ran this article, all it does in stir up unjustified compassion for people.

Its getting late, I have to shower and get ready for church. See you later, keep a pew warm for me. I hear the sermon is about Jesus feeding the 5,000. I've always liked that story. Those mircles were something weren't they?

July 24, 2011 at 7:32 a.m.
rosebud said...

Will the TFP offer refunds for the six days of local news coverage I'm not getting?

July 24, 2011 at 7:54 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

"the millions that have done the hardest work"........what a load. yeah, if not for illegals how would america have achieved what it has.? what a myth......socialist, leftist myth.

the reality of it is that they are taking jobs away from citizens who will do them, but citizens have no chance of competing with illegals because illegals will do it for practically nothing. those that hire them should be punished severely...and illegal aliens should be booted out, even if their children are born here. irresponisiblity on the part of the illegal aliens and those that hire them.

if you break the law and your kids suffer from it, it's your own fault.

illegal aliens from mexico, central america..or wherever...are doing serious damage to this country. you libs are hypocritical in your defense of them. you have all kinds of sympathy and make all kinds of excuses for them, but you t ry and portray americans as being partly responsible for this mess because illegal aliens "do jobs no one else will do"...which is crap.......they do them for almost nothing. and the criminal employers know that and take advantage of it.

you have no sympathy for americans...whether it's tax payers or those that who cannot find work because of illegal aliens.....

and stop calling them immigrants...they're illegal aliens/illegal entrants/criminals...

they're no more an immigrant than a burglar is a house guest.

July 24, 2011 at 8:34 a.m.
PaulWilson said...

Boo hoo. It is unfortunate that the child was subjected to leaving the country but, she can go no further then her mother to place blame. The children of illegals should not become citizens automatically. It provides too much of an incentive for their parents to come here, skirting the law, and have their babies.

July 24, 2011 at 9:39 a.m.
Humphrey said...

If God wanted those children to have a decent life, he would have let them be born to good American parents in the first place. They chose to be born poor so that's their own fault.

July 24, 2011 at 10:12 a.m.
mountainlaurel said...

I wonder how many children in Chattanooga know the history of Guatemala, particularly the role the U.S. played in Guatemala’s 36-year civil war. I must confess I was adult before I became more knowledgeable about Guatemala’s history and it came about in a very roundabout way. A good friend had invited me to a Willie Nelson concert. It was a cool evening and I wore a hand woven Guatemalan huipil that I had purchased at a folk art store.

At some point during the concert, I noticed a tiny elderly Hispanic woman who was sitting a couple rows in front of me staring intently at my newly purchased huipil. When she noticed that I had noticed her, she gave me a nod and a big smile. After Willie’s concert I dragged my friend, who spoke Spanish fluently, over to chat with this tiny little woman. The woman’s Spanish was very poor, but with the help of my friend and her grandson, we managed to have a wonderful conversation. As turned out, my huipil was from her village in Guatemala.

It was through my interest in weaving that I slowly began to learn more about Guatamalan history, the role the U.S. played in its 36 year civil war, our odd immigration policies, and our unequal treatment of immigrants, particularly those from countries like Guatemala:

"GUATEMALA CITY, March 10 – President Clinton expressed regret today for the U.S. role in Guatemala's 36-year civil war, saying that Washington "was wrong" to have supported Guatemalan security forces in a brutal counterinsurgency campaign that slaughtered thousands of civilians.

Clinton's statements marked the first substantive comment from the administration since an independent commission concluded last month that U.S.-backed security forces committed the vast majority of human rights abuses during the war, including torture, kidnapping and the murder of thousands of rural Mayans.

"It is important that I state clearly that support for military forces or intelligence units which engaged in violent and widespread repression of the kind described in the report was wrong," Clinton said, reading carefully from handwritten notes. "And the United States must not repeat that mistake. We must, and we will, instead continue to support the peace and reconciliation process in Guatemala."

The record of the Guatemalan security forces was laid bare in a report released Feb. 25 by the Historical Clarification Commission, which grew out of the U.N.-sponsored peace process that ended the war in 1996. The commission said the Guatemalan military had committed "acts of genocide" during the conflict, in which 200,000 people died."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/inatl/daily/march99/clinton11.htm

July 24, 2011 at 10:28 a.m.
hmgreen said...

Yes it is truly heartbreaking, children being in the middle of all this. However, after this story is printed why don't you all do a series based on the children in AMERICA. There are children in this country who are going to bed hungry because their parents can not afford food because they were laid off because their company sent work to Guatemala. What are they teaching their children really? Get here illegally, live looking over your shoulder every day of your life, stay under the radar so you don't get caught, It's ok to commit this crime as long as it benefits you? They are ILLEGAL!!! If they can get into this country then so can others who commit horrible crimes. We HAVE to know who these people are!!! They steal peoples identity!! They have children thinking they will be able to stay so why should WE feel bad for sending them back? I guess you have to be a victim of a crime committed by an illegal who has disappeared (since no one knew his real name anyway) before police could track them down. No justice for the victim. Or maybe if you lose your livelihood to an illegal and are unable to support your family you will change your tune. Those who have never struggled are always the ones who think America is so strong and nothing at all is wrong. If they come here LEGALLY then WELCOME them with open arms but otherwise GO BACK HOME!!!

July 24, 2011 at 10:37 a.m.
xsiveporsche said...

Think of feeling sorry then read the other article about the head on crash. Illegal is illegal and their children should not automatically get US citizenship. Sorry.

July 24, 2011 at 10:45 a.m.
Wilder said...

I've yet to see a sob story in the TFP about the very real, long sufferings of American citizens, as a result of the illegal alien invasion.

Why not send a reporter down to Dalton to interview some of the hundreds of elderly U.S. citizens, on fixed incomes, who cannot afford to move from their former, stable, middle class neighborhoods, that have been transformed into noisy, unkempt, overcrowded, third world ghettos?

I'm talking about houses designed for a maximum of 5 people and 2 vehicles, that have 15 or 20 occupants, with 10 vehicles parked on their overgrown, garbage strewn lawns - households that only contribute a few hundred dollars in property taxes, but extract tens of thousands of dollars from the community's taxpayers for schooling, healthcare and other sustenance.

Why not interview some of the thousands of Dalton natives who have been displaced from the workplace by the bilingual requirement?

Why not cite the other huge costs associated with the language barrier, where not only is productivity cut in half by interpreters - but you also have to pay the interpreters - this is across the board, health care, schools, law enforcement, courts, government offices, and on and on.

Why not interview some of the hundreds of small businessmen who have been displaced because of the language barrier - replaced by Hispanic opportunists, who have moved to Dalton from California, Texas and elsewhere? - businesses that openly operate outside of our laws, without recourse. The Chattanooga Cab Companies should soon begin to notice a huge increase in activity by the Hispanic taxis from all over the country.

The poster who wants to share our vast wealth is confused about who they are sharing it with, and why we are sharing it. In Dalton, everyone is collectively sharing their wealth with the Carpet Cartel, who have sucessfully redistributed the wealth from our pockets to theirs, and destroyed the town in the process.

July 24, 2011 at 11:24 a.m.
SeaMonkey said...

mountainlaurel......very interesting. but, as usual...just sophistry...that's all we get from you lefties...... just another sophistry packed post commenting on a sob story article.

whether they fled from a crappy leftist regime, or from a piece of crap economic system ( like obama envisions for us)..it doesn't matter...none of it matters.......they're not supposed to be here. they broke in, the entered illegally....they have to come in the right way. they come in illegally, have babies and they're blameless for the problems they cause their children?

they're not immigrants who have been tossed out because we don't like latin americans/hispanics/ central americans...whatever.....they're illegal aliens who break in and try and take advantage of a system. they want what they want but don't want to be accountable like citizens have to.

get out.

July 24, 2011 at 12:15 p.m.
Veritas said...

Yet another leftist, liberal, sob story by Perla "Propaganda" Trevizo, we all know she has a horse in this race. Her stories are so blatantly biased it's almost amusing. Pardon me while I wipe a tear. Break the law and you suffer the consequences.

July 24, 2011 at 1:19 p.m.
nucanuck said...

You're right SeeMonkey, we stole this country fair and square. What do those original occupants of our continent think they are doing crossing the border we drew to keep them out? Economic migration may have occured throughout history, but we will put an end to it. Criminal workers, that's who they are.

The problem with poor people is that they just don't know how to properly enjoy their poverty. They take crazy chances just to work hard to make a better life for their children. When they work that hard, American bosses want everyone to work that hard and that's...well...unAmerican.

And how smart can they be? They have paid billions of dollars into the Social Security accounts of others just benefiting the US government's tax base.

Send them all back, we will pay our own taxes and do our own dirty work. Well not me, but the rest of you can.

July 24, 2011 at 2:43 p.m.
vreeze said...

I want everyone to know that I used to be a hard core against illegal immigration. I used to have the attitude "just send them all back. They obviously have no respect for our laws.What part of illegal don't you understand," Several years ago I started really thinking about the issue. I thought I had it all figured out. I am not afraid to admit I was wrong about a lot of things. I know alot of people feel the way I felt. I can see it on the news everyday. I can see it in posts on Facebook. There are an awful lot of anti illegal immigrant folks out there. I do not consider myself among the people who feel this way anymore. I still believe we should secure our borders. I believe most "illegals" should have a chance to be a legitimate part of this country. They need a chance to get on the right side of the law. (a lot of people give up everything they have at the chance to live here).

I have a challenge for those of you who feel illegals should go home voluntarily of by force. First, don't listen to the talking heads on TV as your only source of information. Second, due some research. There are many parallels between todays immigration issues and the issues of the past. Third, and most important to me, get out and try to meet some of these people. I will tell you it will be hard, especially at first. You will have to find an organization that works with them or ministers to them. These people are extremely loving but also fearful. It took me over a year to be trusted with some families. These people have something our country is losing. They care about others to the extreme. If their neighbor is hungry, they feed them(even if they donlt have much themselves). They open their houses to those without a roof over their head. I have seen children who were very hungry, save food to give their family (I am talking not eating several meals even days in a row hungry). Once you get to know these people you will start seeing them differently. The families I have met are very unselfish. They work hard, pay taxes(even with false papers they pay taxes to the govt with no chance of refund. they pay sales tax.), and they want to succeed. Check this link to see myths about immigrants:

http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/myths.shtml

Take a chance and step outside of what you know and look from different angles. Research how hard it actually is to have a chance at the American Dream. Find a way to meet the people we too quickly look down on.

V

July 24, 2011 at 3:20 p.m.
Wilder said...

As a result of harboring pedophilic priest, the Catholic church was in it's death throes in this country (they are still at it, from 2 days ago: www.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/world/euro... ).

When the hordes of overwhelmingly Catholic, illegal aliens began pouring into the country, the Catholics jumped on them like a chicken on a June bug. Millions of frauduently obtained US tax dollars are flowing into their coffers as a result - they don't want it to end.

For your information, the website that V is recommending is a Catholic propoganda site, which is just a small part of their campaign to keep the money flowing.

July 24, 2011 at 3:49 p.m.
Austin said...

Wilder, we already know your reason for hating immigrants: "It's time to start forming organizations, like the NAAWP(National Association for the Advancement of White People), WET(White Entertainment Network)..."
http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2011/jul/14/civil-war-150th-anniversary/#c94423

July 24, 2011 at 6:18 p.m.
southsider said...

I feel very sad for most of you who make such ignorant and racist comments. Go do something beneficial for our community instead of complaining about everyone else and pointing out all of their flaws!

July 24, 2011 at 6:33 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

And just WHY is Thalia's father STILL here??? Why isn't HE on a southbound bus?? I asked this question in a previous comments page when TFP ran the story on the Mom and little girl when HE was explaning to Thalia why she had to leave...Why doesn't HE have to leave???

I don't think children born to illegals should be made automatic US citizens. If they weren't, then there would be NO illegal Moms here having illegal children...just illegal Dads. The Dads would be a whole lot easier to round up and send back instead of ENTIRE families!!!

I'm sure Jennifer DOES miss being here..I would too if I'd been hauled off to a country I'd never seen before and didn't know the language...this is not her fault AND it's not the USA's fault...It's the parents fault for being here in the first place...ILLEGALLY!! THEY ARE BREAKING THE LAW!!!

OUR BOARDERS ARE TOO OPEN AND LAX...WE MUST DO SOMETHING TO STOP THIS!!! WHICH IS WHY SO MANY U.S. CITIZENS ARE PATROLING THE BOARDERS WITH GUNS...I SAY MORE POWER TO THEM!!

July 24, 2011 at 6:37 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

Gee southsider...do you feel sorry for the citizens of Dalton?? I do because they have to put up with this mess DAILY!!

Go to DALTON and help THE LEGAL citizens of THAT community!!

July 24, 2011 at 6:42 p.m.
Wilder said...

@Austin

It was sarcasm, but when you don't have a leg to stand on, you have to grasp at every opportunity to charge racism. That is all you have.

BTW, why is it not ok to have a white entertainment channel and ok to have a black entertainment channel. Why do you define it as racism, for the former and not the latter?

What you are saying is: when minorities promote divisiveness it is socially acceptable, but when its the other way around, it is racism. That was the point of my sarcasm, as you very well know.

With the illegal alien issue, race isn't a factor anyway. If you want to charge racism, you should direct it at the European Mexicans(the ruling class), who hoard Mexico's wealth, and have conspired with this country's business class to dump the underclass they created,(the Mestizos) on US taxpayers.

July 24, 2011 at 7:21 p.m.
Austin said...

@Eastridge, who cares what you think? The child is a citizen of the USA as much as you are. You're so up on enforcing the "law" yet you don't want to recognize the law that makes her a citizen?

July 24, 2011 at 7:25 p.m.
Austin said...

@Wilder, your own words speak very clearly about your intent and attitudes, and rather bizarrely, I might add: this is all a Catholic conspiracy? Really?

July 24, 2011 at 7:29 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

austin...I AGREE with Gov Deal and the governors of the southwestern states who are sick and tired of being overrun with all of these ILLEGALS!!! THE ILLEGALS ARE BREAKING THE LAWS OF THIS NATION AND I WILL NOT APOLOGIZE FOR HOW I FEEL!! TO YOU OR ANYONE ELSE!!

We need to change the laws that make these children automatic citizens! The parents of these kids think we won't separate them from this country because of their children...well, we are showing them that we will....BUT we need to do something about the laws that are OLD AND OUTDATED!! We used to be able to give automatic citizenship to them but we are being OVERRUN by these illegals...WE MUST DO SOMETHING!

SO AUSTIN...since you don't care what I think...and since you don't seem to think I have a right to my opinion...I DON'T CARE WHAT YOU THINK ABOUT ANYTHING ON THE FACE OF THIS EARTH!! AND YOUR OPINION IS NOT WORTH ANYTHING EITHER!!

July 24, 2011 at 7:45 p.m.
Austin said...

@Eastridge, ALL CAPS won't make your opinion any less asinine. But your opinion that the child doesn't deserve to be a citizen has consequences. You (and others here) celebrate when other American's rights are being trampled, and you applaud when the 4th and 14th Amendments are violated (among other laws and rights). On what grounds will you complain when you need the rights you are so willing to give away now?

July 24, 2011 at 7:54 p.m.
eastridge8 said...

Like I said before austin...

July 24, 2011 at 7:58 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ Austin

"@Wilder, your own words speak very clearly about your intent and attitudes..."

You are correct. Your denial, relative to the very real status and motives of the Catholic church on this issue, indicates that you have a dog in the hunt.

Speaking of bizarre, have you seen the grilled cheese sandwich with the Virgin Mary's image that sold for $28,000? My personal favorite is the Jesus shaped Cheeto.

http://abclocal.go.com/ktrk/story?section=news/local&id=6032302

BTW, The fourth and fourteenth amendments are only being violated in your head. As I said about your racism charges, you are grasping at straws, because you don't have a leg to stand on.

July 24, 2011 at 8:03 p.m.
Austin said...

@Wilder, I don't care about Jesus in Spaghetti. The Catholic church is very clearly on the side of immigrants. So are the Baptists. What I find interesting is your assertion that "pedophiles" and "hordes of illegals" and "millions of fraudulently obtained US dollars" are somehow linked. I'd be delighted to hear more about this conspiracy.

July 24, 2011 at 8:21 p.m.
Austin said...

@Eastridge, yes I know what you said. As I understand it, you don't like some Americans, they are not as deserving as you, you don't care about their misfortunes, and the only difference between you and the Americans you don't like is their skin color. What you are saying is obvious.

July 24, 2011 at 8:23 p.m.
rolando said...

It was not the law that granted citizenship to the children of illegals...it was merely a "Progressive" interpretation of a clause in our Constitution that did that. All it takes is a re-interpretation...

The basic clause is/was fine...so long as the parents entered legally...and became assimilated in the fullness of time.

July 24, 2011 at 8:27 p.m.
rolando said...

That's a faulty jump in logic if I ever heard one, Austin. First, they must be Americans. Illegals are not Americans [Norte Americanos, or just plain "gringos", that is.] First step to becoming an American is to enter legally.

July 24, 2011 at 8:32 p.m.
rolando said...

nucanuck, your "Look what we did to the AmerInds" sobbing cry doesn't hold water.

The AmerInds conquered, killed, and took lands from each other as well as from us -- we returned the favor...and none of that was illegal.

Entering the US illegally is...well...illegal.

July 24, 2011 at 8:37 p.m.
Austin said...

@Rolanda, the girl in the article is eligible to return to the US anytime, because she is and will always be a citizen, regardless of how a few would like to see the Constitution "re-interpreted". There seems to be a lot of that going around. Damn inconvenient Constitution.

July 24, 2011 at 8:40 p.m.
Austin said...

@Wilder, you must have missed this in my head: "A federal court judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office violated the 4th Amendment in stopping and arresting the Moras, and Thursday, the two received [$200k] compensation." http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/money/county-settles-with-wrongful-arrest-victims-7-7-2011

July 24, 2011 at 9:02 p.m.
DEMOcrat said...

What a shame... for all the closed minded people who see no grey, and who commented above with their horrific prejudice comments above.

My heart goes out to these children and families who now have to adapt to a new place/culture/world. I hope we (American citizens) can find a way for everyone who wants to live, work and provide for their families to be able to do just that in a more timely manner. All of us got here the same way many years ago. People see the US as the land of opportunity.

Some people that live here even take it for granted. I see that everyday. I know there needs to be some governance, but the comments above are too borderline on the verge of just sounding racist and rageful. Pity...

July 24, 2011 at 9:26 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ Austin

"A federal court judge ruled that the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office violated the 4th Amendment....."

The key word here is "A" district judge ruled..... that's why we have appellant courts - to counter biased judges. BTW, I really don't need you to interpret the constitution for me.

Most grown up people know that the 14th amendment was to grant citizenship to the just emancipated slaves, and I agree with the law wholeheartedly - they deserved citizenship.

Ironically, as a percentage, they are the most harmed segment of US citizens by this illegal invasion. The illegal aliens are displacing a much higher percentage of black Americans from the workplace.

It could be said that those who support the invasion are the true racist. Haven't black Americans been harmed enough? Why don't you give them a break?

July 24, 2011 at 9:47 p.m.
Wilder said...

@ Austin

Thanks for the opportunity to explain to you one more time about the Catholic church. They are broke. Look it up, they really are broke.

One significant factor in their unpopularity and financial ruin in this country is their reprehensible response to the many victims of pedophile priests. Look it up, it really happened.

The Irish are currently hanging them out to dry for the same reason. The illegals, who are a very unsophisticated and uninformed group on worldy affairs, and overwhelmingly Catholic, are reviving the Catholic church in this country by their shear numbers.

The church is enthusiastically encouraging and aiding the illegals in their journey here - they have set up stations throughout Latin America - look it up, its well documented. Not everyone in the room is a fool. Some of us can read. You need to look up the definition of conspiracy and racism.

BTW, the tax money reference is the 100s of millions of taxpayer dollars that the illegal aliens obtain fraduently, and the Catholic church derives substantial revenues via that source.

July 24, 2011 at 10:12 p.m.
johnnyhurst said...

Born on our soil your American by Law. Im not for illegal immigration, because it is killing our country, but if you are born here you are American.

July 24, 2011 at 10:18 p.m.
mountainlaurel said...

SeaMonkey said: “Very interesting. but, as usual...just sophistry...that's all we get from you lefties...... just another sophistry packed post commenting on a sob story article.

Your attitude stinks, SeaMonkey. To trivilize the lives and difficulties that such children face is cruel, callous, and mean spiritied – you're absolutely hopeless. And like it or not the young children mentioned in this story are U.S. citizens, and there is nothing you can ever say or do to change the status of their citizenship - they are Americans.

As for your usual “lefty” sarcasm, the reality is that wars do impact the lives of people, SeaMonkey. And while you may not be able to grasp it, sometimes families are forced to flee for their lives. This may not have been the case for the adults mentioned in this particular article, but it is/was the case for hundreds of thousands of families who have come to the U.S. from some of our neighboring countries like Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

What puzzles me about U.S. policy is why some of these refugee/immigrant families - or illegals as you prefer to call them – have been treated so differently. Those from Cuba are/were streamlined and immediately provided legal status by our government while families from Guatemala and El Salvador were not. Clearly, the U.S. was involved in the wars in those countries and was aware of the horrors these families were facing.

July 24, 2011 at 11:42 p.m.
Ali999 said...

The claim is made that illegal alien children, those not born here but raised here from an early age, should be given amnesty because they are Americans by virtue of living here so long. Much the same could be expected of these "American" children--let them live in Guatemala, or wherever, long enough, and they will become Guatemalan. Don't buy that? I don't buy the claim that "Dreamers" are Americans, either.

July 25, 2011 at 8:04 a.m.
Austin said...

@Wilder, yes I imagined that you would agree with judges only when they agree with you. There is no appeal in this case. Arpaio has cost his county millions in wrongful detentions (violating the 4th Amendment), yet now we have all these Arpaio wannabes that are going to do the same in GA, AL and SC. There are dozens of local governments trying to get out from under Obama's ICE. But I guess this is the one rare case where you agree with Obama's abuse of power via ICE.

July 25, 2011 at 8:08 a.m.
Ali999 said...

DEMOcrat said... What a shame... for all the closed minded people who see no grey, and who commented above with their horrific prejudice comments above.

My heart goes out to these children and families who now have to adapt to a new place/culture/world. I hope we (American citizens) can find a way for everyone who wants to live, work and provide for their families to be able to do just that in a more timely manner. All of us got here the same way many years ago. People see the US as the land of opportunity.

And do you feel sympathy for these children and families when they move to the US, particularly illegally? After all, they have to adapt to life here--and often don't or won't. As for letting everyone who wants to come here, that's a literal impossibility. Half of the population of Mexico has said it would immigrate here if it could. Meanwhile, there are more than 5 billion people living in greater poverty than Mexicans.

July 25, 2011 at 8:11 a.m.
Ali999 said...

mountainlaurel wrote:"What puzzles me about U.S. policy is why some of these refugee/immigrant families - or illegals as you prefer to call them – have been treated so differently. Those from Cuba are/were streamlined and immediately provided legal status by our government while families from Guatemala and El Salvador were not. Clearly, the U.S. was involved in the wars in those countries and was aware of the horrors these families were facing.

The US has indeed offered a life here to citizens of the countries you mention for the reasons you gave. But how long are we supposed to give citizens of those countries a break on entering this country illegally, long after the wars and violence--violence which was caused after all by internal political and economic conditons apart from US involvement. To pretend that these countries were paradise on earth before US involvement and that the citizens of these countries have no role in what their countries are or become is simply wrong.

July 25, 2011 at 8:15 a.m.
Austin said...

@Wilder, and like the judge who is so clearly wrong in your mind regarding Arpaio, you can't just simply disagree with the Catholic's motives for supporting illegals. A simple Google shows dozens of statements from leaders outlining their biblical reasons for doing so. But in your mind, it has to be an ulterior evil motive. Yes, I do believe that is how conspiracists think. As Wiki summarizes: "they do so in an appealingly simple way, by dividing the world sharply between the forces of light and the forces of darkness. They trace all evil back to a single source, the conspirators and their agents." But lucky for you they haven't banned tin foil hats (yet).

July 25, 2011 at 8:16 a.m.
Ali999 said...

johnnyhurst said... Born on our soil your American by Law. Im not for illegal immigration, because it is killing our country, but if you are born here you are American.


The kids may be American but the parents are not and that is the crux of the matter. The parents could have left the kids here with relatives or in foster care. They chose not, just as they chose to give birth to the kids here in the first place. Any blame in this belongs to the parents who have made bad decisions all along.

July 25, 2011 at 8:17 a.m.
vreeze said...

Whether you agree or disagree with this story I hope it opens everyones eyes to the human side of this story. It's very easy to allow yourself to forget the fact that most of these people are not hardened criminals. To compare them to murderers and thiefs is not being realistic. Most of these people just want a chance at a better life. When people come illegally, they don't go an a crime spree. They come in and settle under the radar. Lots do have false papers. With these false papers though come taxes paid into the system. Most pay federal and state taxes like you or me. Probably a larger percentage than "true Americans." They all pay sales tax. According the the CATO institute the average immigrant pays a net 80,000 dollars more in taxes than they collect in government services. These are people living in poverty by most people's standards. Illegals pay property tax for the places they live just like you and me. They are not a drain on our system like so many want us to believe. I think everyone has this idea that they come here and get on the system and becomes leeches. They come in and work. They contribute. The money they spend here keeps the wheels turning. I know some of us won't change our minds. Some will shoot holes in my post. I hope some will at least think realistically about this issue. I want to leave you with this link. http://reason.org/files/a87d1550853898a9b306ef458f116079.pdf This is a chart that shows just how hard it is to do it the "legal way" in America. We need to fix our system. We need to have a way to allow people who want to work access to our economy.

V

July 25, 2011 at 10 a.m.
vreeze said...

@Libertarian:

Just asking people to think outside the political box here. I am no liberal. I have been conservative with libertarian leanings my whole life. Libertarians like John Stossell and Nick Gillespie(spelling?)have had very insightful conversations on this issue. Giving people a chance at success only breeds more success. Most of the people coming here want to work and make their lives better. With their success they travel and go on vacations, shop at our stores, buy houses, land, cars, and other goods. Why is it people think its a liberal idea to help people make better lives for themselves. It sure as heck beats people who are 2nd and 3rd generation welfare subscribers and freeloaders.

Nobody has said anything about extra spending or taxes. Something can be worked into the process of immigration reform that charge people fees to start the process of becoming legal. That will come out of their pockets not yours. Allowing these people to get on the rightside of the law will generate revenue.

July 25, 2011 at 6:11 p.m.
rolando said...

Austin spewed, "...the girl in the article is eligible to return to the US anytime, because she is and will always be a citizen, regardless of how a few would like to see the Constitution "re-interpreted". There seems to be a lot of that going around. Damn inconvenient Constitution."

She will be allowed to return only so long as the original interpretation is allowed to stand, Austin. That is beauty in improper/illogical interpretations...they can be easily overturned, as this one deserves.

Damned illogical, poorly considered, original interpretation.

July 25, 2011 at 7:35 p.m.
rolando said...

Generate revenue in what way, vreeze?

We have little US industry here anymore. The move overseas began sometime in the 60s, as I recall. Up until then, literally everything we had was Made In USA...and heavily exported. But that was then...

Today, only so many lawns need mowed, so much fruit and veggies picked, so many rooms cleaned. You know, the jobs Americans won't do...like building houses, weaving carpets, packing chickens. Our blue-collar jobs are now in Mexico, et al, not here.

So exactly what will all those legal illegals return to us that even comes close to what they cost us?

Before that can happen, blue-collar jobs must be created...and that ain't gonna happen anytime soon [just the opposite], particularly if the government and the illegals have anything to do with it.

July 25, 2011 at 7:49 p.m.
vreeze said...

@ Rolando,

Spending, Rolando, is how they help generate revenue. They spend money at all sorts of retail establishments. They buy goods from stores. The pay sales tax. They buy cars. They rent houses.

Before you hold them accountable for jobs moving to Central America and Asia, remember it's Americans who made the choice to relocate. They have not cost us these jobs any more than Americans have cost Germany jobs with Volkswagon and Wacker. Japan jobs with Toyota and Nissan. Central America and Asia marketed themselves as a viable alternative to manufacturing American products. Also Manufacturing jobs where pushed out by us. We seek service related jobs instead of manufacturing. We would rather work as bankers, doctors, CPAs, IT professionals, Lawyers, retailers(business owners), specialists, delivery personell, and a host of other service related jobs that don't produce anything. Our workforce has been shifting this way since the 60s. Before the economy tanked Manufacturing jobs were not as desirable. Don't believe it check out what people have been studying in higher education facilities. Also what we purchase tells manufactures what we want. I work at a hardware store. I have seen what drives Americans, cheap goods. If I sell a hammer 90% of people buy the $10 Chinese hammer instead of the $23 American made hammer. We voted for the cheaper foreign goods. Its simple supply and demand. We want cheaper and cheaper goods. The demand is only met by manufactures going where they can make the goods cheaper. The govt. gets tariffs off of these imports. They love it. Free money for them to dole out to whatever projects they want. Don't blame illegal immigrants for our losing manufacturing jobs. It only clouds the issue. Focus your frustration of the loss of American jobs where it belongs, the American Producer who moved their productions elsewhere, the and the consumer who buys these goods.

Giving illegals a chance to be on the rightside of the law will not solve other problems. Nobody said it would. Lets work out a way to reform immigration in a way that allows America to have access to labor forces when we need them and the freedom of that labor force to enter and exit as needed. The families that want to stay deserve a chance to become legal. That doesn't mean sign a paper and your in. There will have to be background checks funded by the person wanting to become legal, a probation period before they can work towards seriously being legal.

v

July 25, 2011 at 10:34 p.m.
Austin said...

Thank you Rolando. It's pretty obvious you support the laws you like and flaunt the ones you don't. Kind of like the "illegals" you so despise.

July 26, 2011 at 8:21 a.m.
eastridge8 said...

Americans are not moving to Germany or Japan and taking away jobs from the Germans or the Japanese. Their companies are coming here to the USA and building plants and creating jobs for Americans! The Mexican and other South American illegals ARE moving here and taking away our jobs.

And have you seen the crime rates lately?? Shootings...robberies...break-ins...Witness the recent wreck on the freeway...they can't drive...can't read signs...have no insurance...several id's on them...get drunk and start driving, uhhh yeah that's the ticket...great way to spend their paychecks!! Now he's in jail and hopefully waiting on ICE to come get him!!

I saw the truck he was driving and van he hit today...It's amazing no one was killed...

July 26, 2011 at 3:47 p.m.
vreeze said...

@eastridge8 My post was inresponse for someone blaming illegal immigrants on manufacturing jobs going abroad. Our manufacturing jobs left for different reasons other than illegal immigration. That is what I was trying to say. One of the first times I ever drove I saw a wrong way driver on the interstate. She was an American citizen. She could read and had a current license. Don't cloud the issues . Accidents are not exclusive to anyone group of people. An immigrant is no more likely to have an accident than a citizen. I was nearly killed by a good ole American driving an 18 wheeler who wasn't paying attention. Crimes committed by illegals happen at a far lower rate than those committed by Americans. Immigrant heavy places in Arizona and Texas have actually experienced drops in crime rates. I work in the area where alot of these shootings and robberies occur. They are not committed by illegals. They are committed by legal American citizens. Most of the time immigrants are the victims in robberies. You are free to feel however about illegals, This is America. We do need to find a way to fix the system. Its not working for anyone. It doesn't help anyone to place blame where it doesn't belong. Don't cloud the issues and blame immigrants for things they aren't doing. We Americans (Not you are me, Americans as a whole group) are way more likely to commit crimes against eachother than immigrants are.

v

Check these facts. source http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org/myths.shtml

Recent research has shown that immigrant communities do not increase the crime rate and that immigrants commit fewer crimes than native born Americans. While the undocumented immigrant population doubled from 1994 to 2005, violent crime dropped by 34% and property crimes decreased by 32%. Furthermore, Harvard sociologist Robert Sampson has found that first generation immigrants are 45% less likely to commit violent crimes than Americanized, third generation immigrants.

(Source: Immigration Policy Center, “Ímmigrants and Crime: Are They Connected,” December, 2007, http://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/docs/Crime%20Fact%20Check%2012-12-07.pdf; Robert Sampson, “Open Doors Don’t Invite Criminals,” The New York Times, March 11, 2006, A15; Executive Office of the President: Council of Economic Advisors, “Immigration’s Economic Impact,” June 20, 2007, http://www.whitehouse.gov/cea/cea_immigration_062007.html)

July 26, 2011 at 7:02 p.m.
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