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Conversations With Tejanos
The e-mail I have received from self-identified Texans with Spanish surnames, though critical, is not hateful. The writers are generally patriotic, but they hesitate to jump on the immigration reform coalition bandwagon anytime soon.
Consider the Tejanos already working in immigration law enforcement.
Remember that, as a growing percentage of the population in the great state of Texas, Tejanos hold untold thousands of federal jobs from Amarillo to Brownsville in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (BCBP), the U.S. Border Patrol, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS).
These are people who have devoted their careers to enforcing the immigration laws of the United States. They represent thousands of potential allies in the legislative fight against illegal immigration.
Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO) has commented that he has received great support for his work when visiting standing-room-only crowds of predominantly Tejano Border Patrolmen in South Texas. "Where are the TV cameras then?" Tancredo asks.
While I'm not aware of any Tejano immigration officers e-mailing me—yet—their civilian counterparts have had quite a bit to say.
Here are some e-mail exchanges I've had with Tejano readers of VDARE.COM.
From: Antonio Garcia
Subject: I need help . . . how can you tell who is legal and who is illegal in Laredo, TX? They all look like Mexicans to me! LOL
"Perhaps the government should fund a citizen-informant program? (That's supposed to be Jonathan-Swift-style ironic hyperbole; knowing you guys, you would probably take such a hare-brained idea seriously ;-) . . . Calm down, cultural change is not the end of the world!"
"It would seem to be too late to turn back the Mexicanization of the borderlands in Texas . . . oh well. Maybe one day the hysteria will die down in California as well, and y'all will just learn to live and let live as we do in Texas."
A. Garcia [Article Attached]
["Webb (County) No. 1 in percentage of Hispanics," By Sonia Garza,
San Antonio Express-News, 09/18/2003]
"Laredo is the heart of the most Hispanic county in the United States, according to figures set to be released today by the Census Bureau. With 95 percent of its residents calling themselves Hispanic, Webb County topped the list in the first detailed county-by-county population estimates since Census 2000."
From: Noel Aleman
Subject: Unfortunate Rhetoric
"I realize illegal immigration is an epidemic. However, be sure not to make your views an issue of race. Even though I am not an illegal immigrant, I am an eighth generation Mexican-American from Texas and frankly find the rhetoric on this website quite hateful and offensive. As a matter of fact, my family was established in Texas before it was the Republic of Texas and before it was part of the United States, so why do I feel I am personally being attacked?
"I am a proud American of Mexican descent. I was born here and will die here, so please try to direct your comments at the problem, not at a race or culture. If you know history, then you realize that every ethnic group that immigrated to the U.S were subjected to similar laws and rhetoric at one time or another.
"Additionally, I do not see a big issue being made of illegal immigration from Canada. This is a rather dubious distinction considering the majority of Canadians are Caucasians. Please be aware of your audience when posting commentaries and do not disrespect the millions of Hispanic-American citizens who honor this country as much or more than you!"
[Juan Mann's reply:]
You wrote: "...so why do I feel I am personally being attacked?"
I don't know. Proud Americans of Mexican descent have nothing to fear from me. Upon reviewing my archive—generally focusing on immigration law and the counterproductive litigation bureaucracy of the Department of Justice's Executive Office for Immigration Review—what it is that you find offensive, my friend?
P.S....The massive size and scope of post-1965 immigration from Mexico (both legal and illegal) is what distinguishes it from illegal entrants from other countries, say Canada (for example). It's simply a matter of sheer numbers taken straight from the federal government statistical yearbooks.
[No reply from Noel]
From: Raymond Alaniz
"I was born in Texas and I go back many generations. You seem to forget, pendejo that that effort deported Mexican Americans as well as illegal. So be careful what you ask for JUAN."
[Juan Mann's reply:]
No one is going to deport you, Compadre.
But as a Tejano and a multi-generational American, is your loyalty with Americans who wish to have their immigration laws enforced, or with Mexican nationals illegally in the U.S.? Do you hold greater allegiance to your race or to your nationality?
-- Juan Mann
"Juan, my loyalty is not in question. My family have proved their devotion to their country with the ultimate sacrifice our lives, in almost all military engagements. I don't know your age but when Operation Wetback was enacted by Dwight Eisenhower in the year 1954 some of my AMERICAN relatives were deported along with illegal. That law gave the go ahead to discriminate at will against all people of Mexican decent.
"Juan, the borders crossing is one of the many problems. Juan, how about those rich gringos who hire knowing legal status? Cheap labor is very profitable, so our laws don't want to see the problem and allow it.
"How about those gueros[whites] who sit at home and draw welfare? Blacks and Mexican Americans who do the same? Juan, my ancestors were landowners in Texas until 1834 when gringos came and took over our lands and made farm workers in our own land working for them. Juan, quit having funnel vision and blame only the illegal immigrant for our troubles."
[Juan Mann's reply:]
So because of what happened fifty years ago (before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted), does that mean that the federal government shouldn't deport ANY illegal aliens from Mexico? Really? The truth is that they do this every day without incident.
The thing is that with [President] Bush pushing another amnesty for illegal aliens, and catering to the wishes of the corrupt Mexican government that wants to move its population north, he isn't doing ANYONE any favors. The only beneficiaries of his "guest worker" amnesty here are his rich corporate donors (who hire illegal labor) and the illegal aliens themselves.
Where are the interests of America here?—especially the Americans trying to make a living getting squeezed out of jobs because they WON'T work for slave wages.
This flood of illegally-entering Mexican nationals will just keep coming and coming as long as the American government tries to "solve" the problem with one amnesty after another. It's time for Americans of ALL races to work together to force our government to get this illegal immigration thing under control, or else there will be some REAL divisions in this country someday.
If Americans in general perceive Mexicans as some sort of cheap commodity to be bought and sold for cheap (i.e...illegal labor), then it will only serve to create a perception that Mexican-Americans are second-class citizens. The only way to stop that from happening is for our government to get control of illegal immigration before it's too late.
[Juan Mann's reply:]
Fair enough. But that's why it's even more important for Americans of all races to support immigration law enforcement, so we are not paralyzed into a situation where our immigration enforcement is so lax that we allow 19 organized Arab Muslim terrorists to wander about freely among us (without any legal immigration status) and plot to murder 3,000 Americans. Remember those guys? These visa violators and visa over-stayers were illegal aliens too.
[No further reply from Raymond]
From: Frank Zamarripa
"They build all the houses and buildings, construct the roadways, run the hotels, the meat industry, the agriculture, the McDonalds, etc.
"I am an Army retiree of 25 years, Ph.D., Mexican, and understand the dilemma. What is Illegal? What are "Christian" ethics? What and who is God? Do you practice what you believe, morally, religiously, and spiritually?"
We don't know. But America must hope that Tejanos are a bellwether of Hispanic opinion.
However ambivalent they are, they are better than the radicals who are coming dominate the Hispanic community in the rest of the U.S.