I was recently talking to a teacher from another district who has more undocumented students than my district. His high school has a larger Latino immigrant population, and therefore his students face obstacles in their everyday lives most people don’t even think about. He even has to dedicate part of class time informing students what to do if ICE comes knocking. “Look,” he tells his class, “If ICE comes knocking, you don’t answer the door. Period. You let them knock and knock and you just make sure you and your family stay inside and be quiet. Because if they have a warrant and they’re really coming to get you, there ain’t anything you can do anyway. They’ll knock the door down.”
Sure enough, ICE came knocking on the doors of two or three of his students last week. The families stayed inside, didn’t answer the door, didn’t go to work, and his students didn’t go to school. At one family’s door, ICE knocked for two and a half hours.
Imagine being fourteen years old thinking that any moment the Feds might come bursting through the door to take away your mother and father—and maybe you too.
We have an immigrant problem in this country, I’ll agree with that. But the problem I see isn’t the problem you hear about anywhere in our media. The problem we really have is that our country is getting rid of immigrants and keeping all the Americans.
Tell me how is it that we have so much money to send ICE looking for dark immigrants who do nothing but break their backs working all day, but can’t take care of the gangs and the drug dealers? If my tax money is going to fight crime, shouldn’t it be working against criminals?
At my own school, I usually don’t know who my undocumented students are until they are seniors and start applying to college. One dead giveaway is that their grades are good enough that they can actually get into a good college. Want to know what all the Americans are doing? They’re lucky if they make it to Junior year.
Don’t believe me? Come to my school any day of the week. Please. The problems we have at our schools are not all the undocumented immigrants, trust me. Our biggest problems are caused by all the American citizens running around with social security numbers.
But don’t worry, because I have come up with a solution for our immigrant problem: Instead of deporting the illegal immigrants, lets start getting rid of useless Americans.
There is a historical basis for my unusual solution. We like to forget this country was built on the backs of immigrants. We’re all immigrants, yes, even you. It was that special work ethic, that yearning for a better world that made America what it is today. Immigrants from all over the world came to a place where hard work will win you success. Isn’t that what we trumpet from the cold coast of Maine to the farthest reaches of Alaska? Wasn’t that our old motto, before they changed it last week into trusting a make believe deity?
But today we face a problem here in the United States. We’ve lost that work ethic that once made us innovative. We’ve lost that dedication and commitment to hard work that filled and fertilized our agricultural fields to feed 300 million people. We’ve lost everything in this jungle of reality television and iTunes. We are failing because we have forgotten what it is like to work hard for your dreams.
The state of Alabama is a perfect, sad example of our lost labors. They have recently scared off all the illegals from working in fields because they want to open up those wonderful jobs to actual Americans. The problem? The Americans are unwilling to work hard enough to fill all the vacant positions. They show up on the first day, but not the second. Or they last a week. Or they don’t even show up at all because they refuse to do that kind of work. Therefore, the law is in fact crippling Alabama farms.
My buddy in another district says it very simply. “Why are they trying to deport these kids and their families? I know their families. They work all hours of the day and are not criminals. And why is it the immigrant kids are the ones with the best GPAs, the ones who stay after school, and volunteer on weekends, and help tutor other kids?” Of course he knows the answer—our undocumented students know what it’s like to live in a country where opportunity is limited. They know how it feels to want an education but not have one available to them. That is why they work so hard when they get here. They can appreciate the American dream.
So maybe we should send some of our Americans to new horizons and let them see what life is like in the rest of the world. Let’s send the kids who don’t bring backpacks, paper, or pencils to school to a country where the kids don’t have access to any of those things. Let’s send our gangsters down to El Salvador and let them see what a REAL gang is all about. Lets say if you have a .25 GPA, 17 suspensions and you’ve threatened two of your teachers you automatically qualify.
Of course, that would then be unfair to the countries we’d be sending them to.
But let’s stop spending so much money searching out hardworking families who now more than ever embody what it used to mean to be an American.
Because the problems this country faces are not being caused by those coming here to work and make their life better. Just walk into any public school in this country and you’ll see exactly what I’m talking about.