Blessed to be Born in America

The Luck of Longitude and Latitude

Throughout the nation right now there is a lot of talk about illegal immigrants and immigration. The national landscape is one that wants to “seal the borders” which to me doesn’t seem feasible. The power and money of drug smugglers will always find a way to supply the insatiable appetite of drug using Americans. So what is the real issue? I believe there are two; but both are fueled by a system of entitlement that is not the immigrant’s fault.

The first outcry is that immigrants are taking American jobs. This is 100 percent false. I work in farming and have for most of my life. Immigrants are willing to do jobs that Americans are usually not willing to do. They are often able to make ten times the wage of their home country. They are able to house themselves, eat, drink and be merry, and still send money home to Mexico or wherever to support their families. They pay rent, buy beer from local businesses and clothes from local stores. All on a wage that is not deemed “DECENT” by our federal government; although it is above minimum wage. I find it ironic that people continue to talk about “GOOD” jobs and “GREEN” jobs. What is greener and better than growing fruit, vegetables and air cleansing plants?!

So why aren’t Americans seeking these entry level labor jobs?! Because they aren’t hungry… And yes sometimes I mean physically hungry. They don’t have to work to survive like people from other countries without entitlements and welfare. My favorite quote of all time is from Poor Richard’s Almanac, “At the working man’s house hunger looks in, but dares not enter.” If the government takes care of people’s basic needs, then why do they have to work? So while able bodied Americans wait for a “GOOD” job, immigrants pick our fruit, change linens in our hotels, pour concrete and roof our houses.

The other public outcry is that immigrants use our public resources. That has a two-fold response. One, is that they pay into the system like everyone else. Let’s be honest, the economy is not one in which people pay cash for their labor. So any immigrant, legal or not has taxes taken out of their check that pay into social security and Medicare; whether or not their social security matches their identity. Also, if they get “free-lunch” or Medicaid for their children whose fault is that?! It is our country’s fault for allowing the system to explode out of hand without enough controls and checks and balances! If there is a 20 dollar bill on an empty sidewalk, do you pick it up? Its free money for the taking… again this is our government’s fault and ours for not stopping it.

As with my last blog, you may be asking yourself why I am taking the time out of my busy day to share these thoughts. Last week we had a young employee fall through a greenhouse roof while cleaning the gutters. It was a complete accident. He was airlifted for medical treatment and is home doing well. I held his hand until the ambulance came and it was the worst ten minutes of my life. What kept rushing through my mind is that he was working hard to feed his family and build a life. He didn’t have to join the armed forces to sacrifice his body, he took a chance to come to America and sacrifice the unknown for a better life for him and his family. Where is the shame in that? If anything shame on Americans who don’t understand the struggle immigrants have and don’t understand how blessed and lucky we are to be born in America. It’s like being born a Rockefeller, or a Kennedy; immediately we have a better start in our lives because of the longitude and latitude on this planet we were born. Not because we had good parents, or attending the right school, or were gifted with athleticism, but that we were born in America. This is the greatest country in the world and I’m proud to share its vision and dreams with people who want better for themselves and their families.