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SPECIAL APRIL FOOLS' DAY EDITION

¡ASK A MEXICAN!

BY GUSTAVO ARELLANO

Dear Readers,

In honor of April Fools' Day, I'm turning over the column this week to those who think America can stop the Reconquista. Following are the winners of my challenge to Know Nothings a couple semanas back asking people to explain in 100 words or less how they can hate the illegal Mexican while loving the legal one without mentioning culture. What's most hilarious about this contest was that I had to immediately deport at least three-quarters of the entries to the trash because they exceeded 100 words. When I hold contests for wabs, they almost always follow the letter of the law. ¿Comprende English, Know Nothing cabrones?

Anyways, the winners, each granted the amnesty of their own paragraph:

I, Know Nothing, do solemnly swear that I love my legal Mexican amigos but hate my illegal Mexican amigos. This love-hate relationship is based upon my deep respect for the letter of the law. As proof, I offer my sworn testimony that I have never broken any law. I have never exceeded a speed limit, never crossed a street mid-block and never committed any acts of sodomy with my lovely wife.

Mexican note: The man above lives in Utah.

Keeping Mexicans as second-class citizens denies them and their children many of the rights they deserve. In my experience with Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and in the schools, I met many children who could not participate in activities because they did not want to expose their families to deportation.

I don't care about culture, or, rather: I find lots to admire and celebrate in cultural change that has come. As for the law, I don't like that it is not followed, but not all law is equally important. In San Francisco, we don't follow lots of laws we don't agree with or like. Is there some chance that respect for law is lost? Yes. But who doesn't cross against a light if there are no vehicles coming, and no kids near? Rules are necessary but, like hot sauce on my burrito, best applied lightly.

Hating an illegal immigrant person (physical and/or cultural identity) is different than hating that person's choice to break the law when legal options are available or hating the desperate circumstance that drove that person to break the law when legal options are not available. Breaking immigration law is more than sneaking across the border. That first illegal act becomes an illegal lifestyle by necessity. To work, to obtain goods and services, to own a motor vehicle and obtain a license to drive it, etc., one must steal an identity and an SSN. There has to be a better way.

I want immigration laws enforced to help my norte soccer teams to be beaten less by shorter guys who know the beautiful game better than we lame latecomers. And to help hold back my sagging stomach against my flavor-attack cravings for verdad Mexican food. And maybe the aching eight-year failures of President Rove won't glow so brightly watching hardworking construction campesinos, cuando revuelven to the drug wars "away, down there" ferociously fueled by Americans' dope appetites.

Since I am a Southerner, the last group you can make fun of without recriminations (Mexican note: he forgot Guatemalans), it would be easy to label me a racist and be done with it, but I am one who despises illegal immigration but embraces and welcomes the legal immigrant. The only reason I despise the illegal immigrant is because they lower pay for both legal immigrants and citizens alike. That's the only concern that I have about them. Culture? In America? Our entire culture is merely repackaged from the very immigrants that have been coming to these shores since the Pilgrims (Puritan bastards) landed.

 
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