Cantaloupe Calves, Seriously? Immigrants Will Remember in 2014.

Steve-KingThere was a man named Frederico who washed dishes in the sweltering kitchen of a hotel I also worked in along my travels, somewhere here in America. He wasn’t here for handouts, or to screw other people out of their jobs. He was here for “The American Dream,” to get his shot at the two garage house in some suburb of some city, and create a better life for his children.

As I would roll silverware in the back room of that T.G.I. Fridays after we pushed out the last drunken business traveler, Frederico and I would talk about our day and sometimes our families, interrupted only by his occasional trip back to the kitchen to bring another rack of forks and knives as the pile of rolled linens grew ever higher. In his broken English and my even worse Spanish, we spent a number of evenings getting to know each other. Eventually, I found out that he took the majority of every check he received and sent it back home to support his family in Mexico — and to hopefully bring them here to live one day.

We’ve heard this story over and over — immigrants coming to this country, becoming successful and leaving a legacy to their kids. It is the scenario that politicians and pundits love to point to as “proof anyone can make it in America if they just work hard enough.” They use this to then paint anyone who hasn’t become rich and successful as a lazy failure who got to their lot in life because “they just didn’t try hard enough,” and therefore they deserve no help from the government — while at the same time demonizing immigrants as moochers who just want access to free healthcare and welfare.

The fact of the matter is very few of us are “natives.” If you think about it, almost every one of us is descended from ancestors who came here without permission from the original occupants. Both of my grandparents on my father’s side were immigrants. One was “legal,” the other one wasn’t but they both contributed to America for many decades, which is more than can be said for a lot of people who’ve had families here for generations.

Immigrants are indeed the lifeblood of our country. They are what makes our nation great, keeping our society fresh with new culture, food and ideas. They are not “drug haulers with calves the size of cantaloupes.” And trust me, they are not stupid. They pay attention to politics and they know exactly who has shown sensibility on immigration policy. Because of that, I firmly believe they’ll make their voices known loud and clear in 2014.


Facebook comments

  • Eric Bell

    One of the problems that I have noticed with getting social
    issues in our country worked through in what could be called an “agreeable”
    basis regarding both the right and the left is there still seems to be this
    sort of “political brinkmanship” that just simply will not budge.

    It is becoming very clear that (over the past several years)
    this is becoming such a dysfunctional aspect
    in our government that the American people need to make their voices heard to
    the point that persons in Washington and in realm of lawmakers will be able to
    know and be familiar with stories such as the one in this article. I know
    several recent immigrants (who are legal by the way) and eventually became us
    citizens by way of simply working but are not “rich” but are also very capable
    and productive people.

    What we really need to do as a country is keep sharing,
    talking and showing the overall human experience both the good and the bad with
    regard to the overall immigration issue. Imperialistic, overly controlling self
    serving political agenda’s have been slowly but surely been identified and are
    eventually becoming very unpopular in the matter of varying degrees of social
    changes that appear to be coming to a head, quite possibly being much better
    identified in a more public way with the next two upcoming and possibly very
    defining elections.

    Long story short, getting the word out on all of our individual
    HUMAN experiences is what will eventually get people voted out of office if we
    do not want them to prevent common sense functionality for our country to
    prevail because of self serving, Imperialistic, overly controlling political
    agenda’s that keep creating problems for our country. We are not cattle, or
    mules, or moochers we are and always will be HUMAN BEINGS.

    • janible

      Well said! And a big thank you, as well, to Manny for his insightful comments!

  • Dissenter13a

    How many immigrants is too many?