Illegal Alien Walkout A Washout
Last week, some of my English as a
Second Language [ESL]
students at the Lodi Adult School announced that they
were participating in the December 12th “Great
Latino Economic Boycott” to
protest the repeal of SB 60.
“Teacher, we will not be in
school tomorrow. We have to demand our rights,” said
And with that he handed me a sheet
printed in Spanish (translation provided by VDARE.COM)
titled “Save the Driver`s Licenses for Immigrants.”
Under the title in bold print were the steps illegal
aliens were encouraged to take: don`t go to work, don`t
children to school, don`t buy anything, etc.
For the few seconds, I looked at the
students and they looked back at me.
Finally, someone asked, “What do
And I told them that they are
responsible for their own decisions: “Es cosa suya.”
Attendance in the class is voluntary. If they
chose not to attend for any reason, that`s their
But interestingly, until their
misguided proclamation, I had no idea who among my
students is an illegal alien. California law prohibits
asking about legal status. And since I respect the
law—unlike some I could name—I make no inquiries.
But now because of the Great Latino
Boycott, the cards are face up.
I have no idea what my students—or
any one else involved in this latest circus—thought a
demonstration would achieve. The
Lodi Adult School goes on with or without Latinos. We
have students from
Pakistan, India and the Philippines. They couldn`t
care less about Latino issues.
The great news for immigration
reformers: the Great Latino Economic Boycott was a total
In fact, I can`t imagine what could
have been more helpful. The protest received front-page
coverage—a bonanza for immigration reform since, like the
Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride, it raises awareness
(and ire) among fed-up citizens.
But the most important point is that
the strike had no impact. Even Mexicans didn`t
show up at the protests.
Mexican population is 13,000. About 100 came
“out of the shadows” to march in the makeshift
protest. And as if to ensure that the Great Latino
Boycott generated the maximum amount of ill will, many
malcontents kept their kids—already struggling—home.
Trust me; this is more great news.
Teachers and school administrators have had a bellyful.
non-English speaking students—mostly from Mexico—have
overwhelmed the schools. They make providing decent
educations nearly impossible.
(Worth noting too: it`s
against the law to
keep a child from class for other than family
emergency or medical reasons. But of course no Great
Latino Boycotter has been charged. Why should this law
count more than all the other immigration and employment
laws that have already been broken?)
Finally and amazingly (NOT!), many
children submitted the identical excuse Monday morning:
“My child was absent because he was defending the
rights of Mexicans.” What a coincidence that so
many similarly-worded notes were passed from parent to
The Great Latino Boycott`s economic
impact was a big fat zero, too. An informal survey of
Mexican-owned businesses in Lodi indicated that about 75%
remained open. At Food-4-Less, one of Lodi`s major
employers, I asked a cashier if she expected any no-shows
among Hispanic employees. “No,” she replied,
Christmas and everyone needs the money.”
Nativo Lopez, president of the
Mexican American Political Association and the
driving force behind the Great Latino Boycott, duped my
politically-naive students. He influenced them to use
their children as pawns to advance his ethnic identity
But my student`s eagerness to back
the Great Latino Boycott proves what I have often
written: only citizenship will appease illegal
What the students don`t realize is
that—even without a driver`s license—they have a great
deal. Although they entered the United States illegally,
they have never had to worry about being deported. And,
talk of amnesty rampant, their green card—and an
automatic path to citizenship—may not be far behind.
The students attend language classes
free of charge. Once they master basic English, they get
job training—also free. If their training is successful,
an American might be displaced.
But now, despite everything, they
claim a driver`s license is a “MUST”!
Okay; some might buy insurance and
use licenses for valid reasons. But others—rarely
mentioned by the
Los Angeles Times–would not buy insurance
anyway. They would use their newly acquired licenses
to rent a car and drive a load of marijuana to
Writing critically about my students
is tough for me.
But they truly believe that they
deserve—yes, deserve—licenses. Not having one is, in
their mind, “injusto.”
To them, Governor
Schwarzenegger (!!!) “doesn`t like immigrants.”
I like my students and wish them
well. Long ago, I learned to distinguish between the
individuals and the issue.
But like most
enlightened Californians, I yearn for immigration
My conclusion: Score the Great
Latino Boycott as one for our team.
And, although I am not usually in
the habit of aiding our opposition by giving advice, I`m
making an exception in the spirit of Christmas. (Not
California, you may not have
noticed, is still the United States of America.
American patriots intend to keep it
Joe Guzzardi [email
him], an instructor in English at the Lodi
Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column
since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.