There is no lack of opinions when it comes to immigration. It’s easy to understand why people want to come here to live since we offer advantages that aren’t available in most countries. But it’s also easy to understand why they keep their traditions close since reminders of home offer comfort like nothing else can. It’s also easy to understand why Americans are upset since many feel that good job taken by an immigrant is one not given to our citizens.
The question must also be asked of how legal immigrants feel about those who come here illegally. They bear the brunt of our anger just as much as those who don’t arrive with alien status. There is a lot of anger that has built over time toward those who arrive through illegal means. For the immigrants, legal or illegal, there is no promise of happiness just a promise of opportunity. While getting my nails done, I asked the young Vietnamese girl what she dreamed of doing with her life. I was surprised when she answered bitterly, “Not this.” As the discussion continued she told me that she was attending college, but wouldn’t say more.
The Mexicans who reroofed my house were stuck here one evening when their transportation broke down. The roofers, including one woman, arrived at 8:00 am and didn’t leave until it became too dark to work. This happened when dark didn’t arrive until around 8:00 pm. By the time, they had collected all the trash and their tools it was nearly 9:00 pm. They ate lunch around noon and hadn’t had anything since then. Going out to join them, I offered water and by 9:30 brought them into the house raiding my refrigerator with the little food I had available. They had coffee, some sandwiches, and an offering of a cucumber salad, olives, and cheese. They ate and, then, started cleaning my kitchen. While appreciative, I couldn’t stand seeing them clean my kitchen after a twelve-hour work day. We finished it together as their ride arrived.
Now, another Mexican crew is building my deck. Three arrive early and stay until it nears dark like the first crew did and they work steadily with little breaks. There is talk, sometimes laughter, and the occasional song always in Spanish. The flow of the language is so quick that it seems impossible to get that many words out in such a short amount of time. It’s fascinating to hear the cadence of the language of their birth. They take such pride in their work that my deck is a really good display of workmanship. It is built tightly and will last a long time which was the aim.
It doesn’t take much thinking to realize that if natives of this soil were available and willing to work they would have the job. There are times when business dictates that you use those with talent who are ready to take on the responsibility needed to complete the job. They must be reliable, trustworthy, and able. The same thing goes for the contractor and the homeowner.