I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but in Miami, there are a lot of Hispanics. And, in true Miami fashion, they have decided to start protesting this whole immigration reform thing about a week and a half late, since doing it on time may have given some sort of indication we did anything like Americans. A few people have asked me why I haven’t written about this yet since immigrants seem to one of my favorite ranting topics. Well, mostly it’s because not much going on right now will affect me or Dade County.
This may come as a surprise to those of you who consider me a xenophobic zealot, but I don’t have too much of a problem with illegal immigrants coming here and taking jobs nobody else wants. I mean, seriously, when was the last time you saw a white guy picking tomatoes? My only problem with illegals is when they start demanding access to government resources. Because coming into a country illegally and then expecting to capitalize on programs funded by those who are here legally is like breaking into my house and demanding a beer. But while this was a cause of great debate in California in the 90’s, it is not the main issue in this current round if “immigration reform.”
Here’s the other reason I really couldn't care less about all the Latinos in the street yelling “Si, se puede” (and, really, if you’re going to argue that you should be allowed into a country, perhaps you should try protesting in THAT COUNTRY’S FRIGGIN’ LANGUAGE): While immigrants in places like LA, Houston and Phoenix are for a large part illegal and taking crap jobs that Americans won’t do, the ones in Miami are largely somewhat legal and taking jobs most Americans want. But, since they are educated, have money and are here legally, there’s not a whole lot you can do about it. Money will buy you naturalization faster than any bill passed by congress. I can sit here and complain until I am blue in the face that nobody in Dade County has bothered to learn English, but there is really nothing congress could do to change it except completely shut our borders to Latin Americans. And even I will admit that would be an idea too stupid for even President Bush.
The only real way to stop rich South Americans form moving to Miami is to invest in South American economies so guys like Hugo Chavez, Augustus Pinochet and Fidel Castro do not rise to power and the rich are not forced to flee. And while the US has been doing that with varying degrees of success, the popularity of capitalism in Latin America is still debatable at best. I could devote a week’s worth of posts to that subject, but, quite honestly, it is a little too high brow for this blog and I doubt anybody wants to read my views on MERCOSUR.
While I am frustrated on a daily basis by the dominance of Latin culture in this city, I am more or less ambivalent about the recent immigration controversy. Illegal immigrants are fine by me as long as they aren’t utilizing government programs that legal residents pay for. They provide valuable services that may not otherwise be provided and probably do more good than harm to the economy. And since the glut of legal immigrants in Miami could only be stopped by foolishly closing our borders, there just isn’t much for me to say on the issue. Illegals, if you want to come over here and work in the fields and clean houses all day, go right ahead. Bienvenidos. If you want to do more than that, get yourself naturalized and work your way up. Because my problem has never been with the Mexican doing yard work who decides he wants a better life. It is with the Argentine who comes here with money and perpetuates a culture of conspicuous consumption while turning his nose up at the people who founded the country which he now calls home.