Tram From Vietnam And The Real American Dream

I
get my

nails done
at a salon owned by a man named Tram. (He
tells me I can use his name without giving away his
identity because "Half the Vietnamese are named Tram.")

Tram has a rather unique personality: an
entrepreneurial mixture of
Seinfeld`s Soup Nazi
and Jimmy Wah, the

bar owner
from

Good Morning Vietnam.

For those not familiar with these characters
[VDARE.Com note:
i.e Peter Brimelow
]
, Tram is flamboyant,
opinionated and reserves the right to refuse service to
anyone for any reason…and believe me, he does.

Two years ago, his sister-in-law stopped by to borrow
polish remover for their other salon. She was almost to
the door when Tram tackled her, pried it from her
fingers and threw her out.

Then he called his wife and, well, I can`t write what he
said but let me say this: American cuss words are
exceptionally funny when pronounced with a Vietnamese
accent.

Although I`m a long-time patron, a few months ago I had a
run-in with Tram. I didn`t want fingernail polish.
That`s it. I told the girl who was working on my fingers
that I didn`t want my nails polished, just manicured.

She wanted to charge me extra.

We argued for a minute and Tram appeared on my right
with his signature barking demand "What wrong
now!!??"

(And no, I am not

making fun
of Vietnamese accents, this is how he
speaks
and frankly, it`s part of his charm.)

Ok, Tram is basically the only human I am afraid
of…other than my sister Jennifer and I wouldn`t
necessarily classify her as human.

Meekly, I said "Tram, I think there is some
confusion. I told her I don`t want fingernail polish and
she wants to charge me more."

He stared at me as if to suggest he didn`t understand
what I was saying.

I
decided to expand. "Tram, I just don`t want polish.
This means less work, less product. It shouldn`t cost
more. Come on, this is a

law of economics
[blah, blah, blah]"

He blinked repeatedly as if to clear his mind and
translate what I was saying. But as it turned out, it
wasn`t

English
that confused him. "Why don`t you want
polish?"
he demanded.

After I explained it was a matter of preference, we
argued for two minutes about the price. Then Tram yelled
"Get out!! You crazy woman! You American women are
just crazy! No taste!"

I
snuck back in last Saturday morning, trying to fly under
the radar and out of Tram`s sight. But then I heard him
yell "Oh you back?"

I
wanted to weep. I really needed a manicure and now it
seemed the Salon Schutzstaffel
was about to throw me out. Instead he said "Sit, sit. You want

coffee
or

soda
?"

What`s going on? Why is he being so nice?


"You feeling ok,
Tram?"
I
asked.

He sat down next to me and leaned forward in a
conspiratorial huddle and said "What do you know
about immigration?"

Oh,

great
. I was about to be

banned
for life.

Tram knows I work in

politics
, knows some of the people for whom I have
worked, but doesn`t know that I now work in

issue advocacy,
specifically immigration reform.
Oh yeah, and for

VDARE.com
no less.

Presuming that we held opposing viewpoints, and hoping
to avoid another banishment, my instinct was to
equivocate.

But Tram went on: "There is a new salon down the
street. They`re very cheap, you know."

I
started to tell him that business is business etc… when
he interrupted me: "They`re illegal people. They`re
cheap because they
don`t pay taxes
that I pay."

He was really, really angry which is saying something.
He proceeded to scurry about the salon, yanking

licenses
from each of the stations all the while
yelling, and I am sure cursing, in Vietnamese.

He returned to his seat next to me and said "See!
All legal.
I am an

American
. My employees are legal. I don`t break the
law. They break the law. They spit on the United States.

Police
do nothing."

I
was stunned.

Of course illegal immigration harms
all U.S. residents and citizens
but for some reason
(ignorance fully acknowledged) up until that point, I
had overlooked the real effect it has on

legal immigrants
like Tram.

As a relatively new immigrant who only recently received
his

citizenship
, Tram feels especially enraged by those
who skip to the front of the line by choosing to ignore
our laws.

[By skip to the front of the line, I mean sneak
into the U.S., lay low and wait for Congress to decide
to have another

Absolutely Final amnesty
.]

I
am not sure when Tram left Vietnam but I know he was a
young man around the age of 30 when he arrived in the
U.S. He spent more than ten years as a legal resident

studying English
and petitioning for citizenship.

He has two children in college and his wife owns another
salon in town. He says "She`s more American than
Vietnamese. She says she wants her own store. Says she
doesn`t need me to pay her bills. Women, you

all the same
…crazy."

Tram wanted to know if there was anything he could do to
stop the other salon from doing business illegally. He
said he had

called the police
and they did nothing to help him.

This was the part that really shocked me:

I
asked him how he felt about the police

ignoring his report.
He told me that the other salon
was staffed by people from Mexico and the police

favor

them.

Yep—Tram believes that non-Mexican immigrants, such as

those from Asia,
are discriminated against. He told
me that many

Asian immigrants
feel this way.

I
asked him why police would favor Mexicans over Asians.
He told me that

Mexican immigrants
are simply more

protected
than Asian immigrants:

"Americans are
afraid to offend them. When an illegal alien from Mexico
is in trouble they get

lawyers
and

sympathy
—they should be treated like us. They should
be

deported
too, but they aren`t."

(According to Tim Binh of

Vietnamese for Fair Immigration
, Tram is right on
the mark:


"There
are two separate immigration systems, one with almost no
entry requirements
and immediate

rewards
for Mexicans and Hispanics, and another one
which is much more difficult for almost everyone else in
the world."


"As a
result of this intentionally racist immigration system,
currently over half of legal/legalized immigrants are
Hispanic, even though Hispanics are only 7% of the
world`s population. Since Hispanics

by design
are 85% of illegal aliens, the amnesty
Bush and other politicians want for them would increase
the Hispanic legal/legalized immigrant proportion to 70%
or more."
)

Tram wanted to know why Asians should follow the law and
spend years working on their citizenship if the benefits
are the same for illegal aliens from Mexico.

Good question. I told him that Latino immigrant rights
groups have managed to convince enough politicians that
Mexicans are just seeking the American Dream and who can
blame them for that?

He laughed and said "I came to America to live the

American Dream.
I know the American Dream. Stealing
and cheating is not the American Dream. Stealing and
cheating is why I

left Vietnam.
"

So Tram is now hot after this illegal business with
which he has to compete.

I
almost feel sorry for them. Almost—but (knowing Tram)
not quite.

[For a possible litigation solution to Tram`s problems,
see

Howard Foster Reports A Victory Against Illegal Aliens
.]


Bryanna Bevens [email
her] is a political consultant and former chief of staff
for a member of the California State Assembly.