RANGER AGAINST WAR: Grandma was an Illegal <

Monday, December 12, 2011

Grandma was an Illegal

--The Last of the Meheecans,
South Park (Season 15, Episode 9)

The crops are all in, the peaches are rotting

The oranges piled in their creosote dumps

They're flying us back to the Mexican border

To pay all our money just to wade back again

, Woody Guthrie

You load sixteen tons, what do you get

Another day older and deeper in debt

Saint Peter don't you call me 'cause I can't go

I owe my soul to the company store

--Sixteen Tons
, Tennessee Ernie Ford

I am troubled by the demonization of immigrants,
legal or illegal, in our party.
We've got a country that was built on immigrants
and immigration, and we've kind of lost sight of that

--Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX

Who's gonna build your wall, boys

Who's gonna mow your lawn

Who's gonna cook your Mexican food

When your Mexican maid is gone

--Who's Gonna Build Your Wall?
Tom Russell


With politicos on the Left and Right pandering to immigrant frustration in the U.S., Ranger would like to take a personal trip down that road.

Cousin Martin, who lives somewhere in that vast thing called the Midwest, recently sent a historical book on coal mining called "Bug Dust and Black Damp; Life and Work in the Old Coal Patch" (Coode, Comart, 1986). My grandfather, father and uncles were all (and some still are) coal miners, and we lived in The Patch in another life.

Like so many others, my grandparents were immigrants who, it was assumed, arrived through Ellis Island late in the early 20th century. However, since Grandmother Kurek only had one eye (due to a childhood accident), she could not have passed the required medical entrance exam administered to all immigrants. So how did Ranger come to be the patriotic American that we all know him to be?

Cousin John Kurek recently solved the mystery. Wily Grandma gamed the system by first doglegging through Canada, a country we all know has more lax immigration restrictions, and she then illegally entered the U.S. through a porous border. Ranger has a proud pedigree of people who naturally fit into the enterprising American spirit quite well. Good for her.

However, the key is that Grandma was an illegal. She married a coal miner and they sired four offspring: Two men followed into coal mining, later transitioning to auto factories. One of them, Uncle John, produced a son who served in the United States Marine Corps and is now a retired auto worker. Aunt Helen had a child who became engineer, one who became an accountant and one who served in the Army and who now works in the Texas oil industry; his son is in the Air Force. Ranger's mother Margaret Kurek Hruska produced a soldier.

Well, so much for the story of one illegal's life, ca. 1917. Though Ranger's forebears were poor, they relied on each other and others who lived in The Patch to make it through. People got by on much less, and government assistance was not readily available to those of sound constitution. Ranger reckons America didn't lose much on the deal.

Fast forward almost 100 years and the new wave of immigrants is coming across our southern border.
QuiƱones-Hinojosa, former illegal farm worker-cum-brain surgeon, was recently on National Public Radio recently to discuss the plight of immigrants and America as he sees it. He ended the segment by saying in 2034, 25% of the U.S. will be Hispanic, whether you like it or not, and preparing them for the workforce is the only sensible thing for the nation to do.

What do you think of
QuiƱones-Hinojosa's statement? The border patrol has been fantastically expensive and ineffective by all accounts. Are there other solutions to border patrol? Should there be?

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Blogger FDChief said...

I've talked about this on my blog, jim, and the short answer is; "I don't know".

Not only because I personally don't know but because the situation the U.S. and Mexico are in is almost unique in all of history that I'm familiar with.

The previous versions of "rich state/poor state" have almost always been either involved 1) some sort of war, formal or informal, between the states - think Roman Gaul and nonRoman Germany, or 2) two very distinct ethnic/religious/social entities.

The problem the U.S. has is that, as you point out, we're a mongrel by definition. Technically, the only thing that holds up together as a nation is our fidelity to the words on the Constitution.

And in the past, we constructed a sort of cardboard Dick-and-Jane "American" that the ethnic immigrants from Europe were supposed to become. So Giuseppi Giuliani became Joe Jones, dropped his wop accent, and went to work in the chemical biz...

The Mexican immigrant can't do that; nobody's gonna believe a guy named Joe Jones who looks like Emanilo Zapata. And for the past 40 years they don't WANT to do that...and haven't.

The problem then becomes that the rich country becomes a magnet for smart, ambitious people from teh poor one. This is bad for the poor country - because the very people who might have made things better there leave - and bad for the rich country, because it pushes wages down and riles the natives. But short of declaring open war, how do you prevent people from trying to do better for themselves?

And when exclusion fails, you have a large indigestible ethnic group with the potential of forming its own subunit within the rich country's society...

What happens then?

I have no idea. It might not be bad...but what it will be, I can't imagine...

Monday, December 12, 2011 at 8:05:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim the border with Mexico is something I have some personal experience with. Let's just say that, as a young man with certain skills and a family to feed while attending graduate school, with the border a mere 90 klicks away,there were swashbuckling opportunities for quick cash that couldn't be overlooked. Those days, are of course, long behind me.

First, the Border Patrol is absolutely corrupt. They all are open to la mordida. Many joined because they are moles for the cartels. Coyotes ensure human smuggling success by coupling those forays with narcotics smuggling; which is protected by the arrangements. Getting caught crossing means a) you didn't pay or b) a rival group paid to sacrifice you. After all the BP needs to show some effectiveness to the tax payers in order to stay funded and to keep suspicions of corruption at a minimum.

I have watched people going back and forth, all night long, through obvious gaping holes cut in the border fence not 100 yards from an official crossing when that crossing is closed for the night. These are the more obscure crossings far from the prying eyes of the average gringo.

Then there is the heavy presence of legal, but sympathetic, Hispanics in the larger cities and towns on this side of the border. They provide ample refuge and resources to illegals.

The Western states tend to be non-union (right to work) and businesses, especially construction, further support illegal immigration. And why not? From what I have seen, the illegals make excellent employees. They work hard, do a good job and aren't going to raise a ruckus with the employer over issues that legals might. And they cost a lot less. What's not to like?

Up the food chain are the banks who also benefit from a) proceeds from contraband smuggling and b) lending of $ to construction project and such that are only financially feasible with the labor provided by illegals.

Big business is totally pro-illegals, even if covertly so. Which, in and of itself, tells me that illegals are here to stay.

The SW aint't the East Coast or the Mid West. If illegals are the enemy then the SW is enemy held (or at least heavily infiltrated) territory.

Stopping illegal anything from Mexico contains exactly the same problem set facing our COIN warriors in Afghanistan.

On top of all of that, I don't think than most people East of the Pecos can really understand the vastness of the open territory out there. We're not talking about some state park kind of open territory. We're talking about expanses as big as some states where no one lives. Just cacti and rattlers and vultures. God I miss it.

I can't figure who it is that hates the illegals. I knew red neck bigots that hated anyone other than rdnecks.....let's go out and shoot some cans....mexiCans, afriCans.....This is the USA not for you ese....that type. Similar, but unarmed, the average doofus white people, usually from "back East", who just don't understand why them fererners have to jibber jabber so fast in that spanish and why can't they learn to speak English.

We hear about economic competition being an issue creating tensions with the illegals taking jobs from the legals and from non-hispanics, but I never really saw that. I agree with those that say mostly the illegals take the jobs that no one else wants or that no one else wants at a wage that makes the project viable.

The vast majority of the illegal workers I met, and that is quite a few, were decent folks. True salt of the earth. I liked them.

At bottom, there is no way to stop illegals from entering the job market or from doing anything else they want to do. This includes incursions soley for the purpose of smuggling. Freely grant work visas and legal the dope and let's take the tax dollars and move onto to some other aspect of our society that needs and where success is possible.


Monday, December 12, 2011 at 11:45:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

In my town of Quincy fl we have a large South of the border migrants. Ironically i've met some that were actually trained by USSF in their former country of residence.
As you point out they are all hard working and our crime rate actually drops as the migrant population increases.
I always wonder why native Americans who used to pick cotton can't now pick tomatoes.
Back to Grannie- i'm at least 25% illegal immigrant.
How do you like them cookies?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 8:20:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I don't know where this is going either, but i always say that this is just another campaign in the Mexican War.
It's the infiltration phase of UW/GW.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 8:21:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jim, I agre with your assessment re; war/infiltration phase.

I knew Hispanic activists who took the old civil rights slogan "we shall over come" and altered it to "we shall overwhelm". The idea being that political power would be gained through sheer numbers in relevant geographies like the SW and California. There is even a myth that the SW US is a magical sacred land granted by higher powers to Mexican natives. hey call the land "Aztlan". Reminds me of zionist beliefs. With that kind of ideological undercurrent it seems reasonable to see the situation as a low grade conflict.

As much as I like the illegals, I do have to say that their children, born and living in the US, seem too often to become bitter and adopt an adversarial relationship with the US and its non-Hispanic populations.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 9:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Lisa said...

Bill Keller in the NYT (The Good Newt) explains that Gingrich at least has a reasonable policy on illegals.

I can't much disagree with it.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011 at 3:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger Unknown said...

My dad wrote that book, Bugdust and Blackdamp.

Saturday, June 17, 2017 at 8:22:00 PM GMT-5  

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