ICE Babies

In order to understand how necessary undocumented immigrants are to the economy, you must read (from a variety of sources). If you get your information from soundbites, tweets, and agree with friends who say stuff like, “What about ‘illegal’ do these people not understand?” then I guess you probably don’t want to know the truth.

Even if you don’t believe that without undocumented immigrants the cost of goods in several industries would go through the roof; even if you don’t believe that labor costs would drastically increase; even if you don’t believe that these people generate billions to business; even if you don’t believe that between 1990 and 2013, when immigration tripled, the rate of violent crime fell by 48 percent; even if you don’t believe that immigrants are so hungry for work that they are willing to do jobs citizens don’t want; it doesn’t change the fact that all of this is true.

For decades undocumented immigrants have been presented with a welcome mat; undocumented immigrants have been, and contine to be lured to the U.S. despite the rhetoric you hear every day.

I realize some of you are unwilling to believe this. And I suspect that you either don’t read, aren’t students of history, or don’t care.

It’s neither feasible nor desirable for the U.S. to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. 

The raids in Mississippi and other places aren’t taking place to fix any problem, they’re taking place for political expedience, and they’re destroying families in the process. 

It’s despicable, it’s shameful, and it’s unAmerican.

And if I sound angry, it’s because I am.

My maternal grandparents were born in the U.S. but returned to Mexico, and my paternal grandmother, who was also born in the U.S., went back with my grandfather to his native country of Mexico. By the time both families emigrated, each had several children in tow, including my parents. My mom’s family left Sinaloa, and arrived in 1954; my dad’s family left Chihuahua and arrived in the same year. 

They came here for a better life, to establish themselves in the “land of opportunity.” They didn’t arrive with wealth, fancy cars, or fancy clothing. They arrived with something even more valuable: high moral standards, a sense of worth, and incredible work ethic.

I’m not going to get into what my family has contributed, and continues to contribute to this country. But I will say this: my family is no different than any of the families that are being torn apart.

Like many of you, I think most about the children. No child should carry the weight of a nation on a heavy heart. But these are the tenor of our times.

Yesterday I told my wife that this isn’t the last time we’ll hear from these heartbroken kids in Mississippi, or from those currently being held in detention centers. And although years will pass before we do hear from them, you can bet your citizenship that some of these kids will pursue careers in public service; and I believe that many of them will emerge with irrepressible success, akin to the success of former U.S. Secretary, Norman Mineta, who as a child spent years in an internment camp.

Just watch.

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