Ask a Mexican!

Dear Mexican,

Magdalena has worked for me many years—15, to be exact. She came over as a mojada with her two little girls when they were 4 and 6. The girls went to school but only until middle school, because they are undocumented; they can’t get a job or a bank account or a driver’s license for the same reason. One of them is almost 30 and has three kids; somehow she manages to work regularly. The other one has been sitting in jail for nearly two years because she hung out with the wrong cholo crowd in her neighborhood. Never shot anyone, never killed anyone, no record, no papers, no school, no money, no car; she didn’t want to clean homes like her mom. What is she supposed to do in Mexico, where they’d consider her a pocha and where she knows no one? What can she do here as an undocumented American? She came with her mom, grew up here, and her main language is English. Of course, Obama has taken a small step to keep Mexis voting for him in November, but at least it is recognition that the problem exists. Why not just allow these kids to live here, pay taxes, and be a part of the social fabric? Que chingadera, como diríamos en México…Good GabachaDear Gabacha,

Although your question is problematic (you didn’t tell me what the jailed sister is up for, and you should be more judgmental of your worker for letting her girls drop out of school as teenagers—for crying out loud, you have DREAMers getting advanced degrees, and if they can do it, Magdalena’s hijas could have, as well), you also brought up an inadvertent point that should give pause to those Know-Nothings who want immediate deportations of all illegals. During the 1980s and 1990s, the United States government deported young Central American illegal immigrants who had joined the gang life. What did they do? They started gang chapters in their home countries, which connected with their cliquas up here, and turned a local problem into a transnational nightmare, with nearly 80,000 such gang members in Central America alone, according to a 2006 study by the USAID Bureau for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Office of Regional Sustainable Development. The same thing happened in Mexico, except those deported cholos usually ended up in the services of the drug cartels—and we know what’s happened there. Mass deportations of all illegal immigrants is much like Mitt Romney: seemingly plausible on paper, but a nightmare if it in fact happens.

I’m a small woman, certainly too small to be pushing my car down the street toward a gas station when it breaks down, as it frequently does. My fellow Americans, driving new, big-ass-wheeled trucks wearing their faux-gangsta apparel, appear to think I am doing this to piss them off and slow them down because their response is to honk and scream at me. It is those gallant men in their beat-up vehicles (often packed with gardening equipment) from south of the border who pull over, jump out, and lend me a mano. What’s up with that? Pequeña y AgradecidaDear Dear Petite, Grateful Gabacha,

You know why—because Mexicans, since the beginning of time, are AWESOME. Except for new president Enrique Peña Nieto, of course—pinche puto pendejo