Why do immigrants come here illegally?

Many people would argue that the reason so many illegal immigrants come to this country is because they are poor to begin with and our system is flawed not letting the poor people in. I think the real reason for the illegal immigration problem is a simple economics 101 topic. Supply and Demand.

Millions of people come to this country because America is addicted to cheap labor. We have seen a lot of jobs shipped overseas to satisfy corporate America’s addition to cheap labor. It is a drug that our corporate backbone cannot live without… or can it?

There are plenty of other rich countries in the world. In fact there are a lot of countries that have a more liberal political structure, better welfare and even a better happiness index. But why are illegal immigrants not flooding these countries? There are no jobs there for people that do not go there legally.

I am sick and tired of this whole topic. I am tired of hearing the half researched, CNN or FoxNews, told me so arguments. The solution to this problem is simple. If you truly want America to get rid of illegal immigration you have 3 simple steps.

One, send corporate America to rehab so they can get over the need for cheap labor. Not just illegal but also outsourcing to other countries. How? Simple, make fines so steep that the cheap labor would never offset them.

Two, introduce legislation streamlining naturalization for the people that are already in the country. Give a deadline for everyone to register as a guest worker, give them an Social Security Card so they can start paying taxes.

Tree, deny all government services to anyone that is not in the country legally. After a certain date, deportation would not be to the border, or country of origin. I cannot resist introducing a little humor. We are nice people, sun, sand and a pair of sandals. Lets send everyone that is here illegally to a nice place like Iran.

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I did not get the boycott memo

Maybe my Latin-Hispanic card got revoked and I did not even know, I had to wait until the news told me about this May 1st boycott thing. Maybe it is because my friends know that I am not the protesting kind of guy, especially for a cause that I don’t respect or quite frankly understand.

Our country has a lot of issues. If you want to pick a cause to fight for, why not fight to end poverty. Why not fight for the inequality that was rubbed in all of our faces during the Katrina disaster. I’ll tell you why not, because we are sheep. We have become followers of causes that we don’t even begin to understand.

Let me break the immigrant issue down for you. ILLEGAL immigrants want equal rights. They do not want to be looked as criminals, even thought they are breaking the law by entering this country illegally. They want a quick route to citizenship, the same citizenship that took me over 15 years to obtain the legal way. The U.S. does not have a good relationship with Mexico when it comes to immigration. There is no workers program that would allow Mexicans to come here and have a clear path to citizenship. The reality of the situation is that we have a neighbor that with a fail economy it’s bleeding its most valuable resource. It’s people.

I am not even going to address the people that are saying that California is part of Mexico. If we are going to call on history about ownership of land, the Native Americans are the only ones that even have any kind of argument here. Do you really want the Mexican government to take over U.S. territory? What are they doing right now for their people?

I am all for pride. I am all for Mexican pride… but there comes a point where you have to understand that being proud of your culture does not mean that it should override law and logic. I am proud of being Colombian, but that is not going to make me want to support drug traffic.

I do support the cause of someone doing everything in their power to take care of their family. I also know that the jobs that are being performed by illegal immigrants right now are not ones that have a line of people that want to do them. However I am prepared to pay what a strawberry is supposed to cost if picked by a legal immigrant or a citizen of our country.

I have a personal experience that I will share with you. I was hit head on during a heavy snowstorm on a side street. My cars front end was destroyed and the driver and passenger of the other car hit the windshield because they were not wearing sit belts. After making sure that everyone was ok, thank God their cuts were just minor; I called the cops to file a report. When the Police got there, they made me sit in the back of the squad while they talked to the driver of the other car. That has been my first and only time in the back of a police car. The cop and his partner came and told me that they were sorry but the driver of the other car did not have insurance, he did not even have a valid license.

Someone that was undocumented and had no business driving in this country hit my car. I was left to deal with the damages to my vehicle and the guy’s punishment was that he would never be able to get a drivers license unless he paid for my damagers. We all know that if he did not have a license to begin with, why would he even bother now.

While this incident did leave a bad taste in my mouth, I still understand and respect the desire of so many people to come to this country and live and work. It does make me mad that they do not follow proper channels, break the law and overall disregard our society. Now we have people walking out of their jobs to protest about the inequalities. I hope that their attempts do not make Hispanics the target of even more hate.

I am not boycotting anything. In fact I urge everyone to go to work and not observe this movement. People need to understand the issues that they are fighting for and what they are going to be able to accomplish with their efforts. This movement is not going to help anything. Sure it might illustrate the buying power of Hispanics in this country, or their impact on some cities with a high concentration of Hispanics. But then what? Whose cries are going to be heard? Whose demands would be met?

If it was up to me, I would get another holiday out of this deal. May first is the International Workers Day and an actual holiday all over the world. We need more national holidays for sure.

I have felt like an outsider since I moved to the U.S. I am sure my position on this subject is not going to make me new friends in the community. I am sorry but I love America, I love the dream that I fight for every single day and I wish people would try to fight just as hard instead of waiting for a favor or a handout.

**** Update

For all of you making it seem like illegal immigration is no big deal answer me this.

A poor person breaks into your house, maybe an open window. They sit in your couch, watch your TV, make themselves a sandwich and then take a nap in your bed. To be honest, before they took a nap, the vacuumed and washed the dishes, not just the ones they use but all the dirty ones. When you come home to find them there, they tell you, hey I am poor and hungry. Can I be your roommate?

Would you call the police and get them out of your house, or just give them amnesty and let them become your roommate without knowing who they are?

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TaeBo is Dangerous

I have to admit that I was never a fan of workout tapes; in fact I was kind of cynical about the idea of following a bunch of people working out in a different physical location than where I am. I have been trying to lose weight since the beginning of the year. I started by doing DDR, even thought I have not been doing it lately, and a couple of months ago I joined a Kung Fu school. I also TiVoed a workout show from FitTV.

I was skeptical of the capability of a TV show to be able to get me to truly work out, but I was either super lucky or this Gilad guy is the best because the workout not only felt good, it really made me sweat in 30 minutes and not by jumping like a bunny from the first second. This made me think that TaeBo would be a good idea. The premise that a workout tape can mix martial arts and dancing intrigued me.

I have been hearing about how cool TaeBo is for quite some time. Mostly from their advertising machine. I felt that since I did practice TaeKwonDo for a couple of years before it would be something that I can jump right into. So I went and rented the new Boot Camp video and man was I disappointed. I tried it for the first time this morning and after 20 minutes I was disgusted. I cannot believe that a professional fitness trainer can truly sleep at night putting a product that I deem dangerous.
I gave it the benefit of the doubt and went to check out the website. I thought, hey maybe they have warning, or an introductory tape. I was surprised to see that the first thing they advertise is their new Boot Camp series and besides the warning to contact your doctor before you start a workout program there is nothing telling you, warning we are about to punish your back in such a was that a disk might just come flying out.

The tape starts at a rate that is unsafe without warming up… but I said ok, I can keep up. I did a couple of the initial exercise when Billy all of a sudden spread his legs and ask the viewer to bend down to touch the ground. I said OUCH and stopped to watch what he would do next. No warm-up, no stretching and this guy break into exercises that can seriously hurt someone, not just their muscles but also joints. I was just amazed that there is not a more of a warning before you start this program.

Stretching and warm-up is very important to every exercise routine. When starting to exercise, please consult a professional or a friend that does it in a regular basis. I see now why people get discouraged about exercising so easily. If TaeBo was my only resource or the first one I chose to look it, I would just give up working out and hit McDonalds on the way to work.

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Logtar 3 – GeekSquad 0

It was not enough for the GeekSquad to pirate software, they had to mess with my family. Even though being Tech Support is not one of my hobbies, I enjoy doing it for my family and friends… just not friends of friends that I don’t even know. This weekend I played Tech Support to my family after one of my Great Uncles got his computer technically molested by a member of the GeekSquad.

I am not sure what the standard operating procedure for fixing computers in their manual is, but I hope that they don’t just routinely wipe out harddrives. Lucky for my uncle he did not have any data that needed to be recovered. The GeekSquad charged him $229.00 for an “Operating System Service” which was supposed to “If your PC is infected with viruses, infiltrated with spyware, reacting sluggishly or if it has crashed — Agents can fix the damage to your operating system.” After 2 hours the guy just formatted the harddrive and asked my uncle for the recovery disks… which my uncle had no clue about. The guy just took off and said that he could come back. After missing an appointment my uncle got frustrated and just called me.

My family is actually pretty understanding when it comes to Tech Support, they don’t expect me to fix their computer every single time it breaks. That was the reason they did not call me first, but I think after this experience they will. I don’t mind fixing their computers when they need it; I just want to be appreciated for it. And believe me this weekend they did.

My uncles computer was an easy fix. The hard drive was already trashed beyond recognition. After partitoning it properly and installing the Operating System again it worked like it should have. I am not sure what the problem was originally but I am sure that a good virus scan would have worked… maybe even a scandisk. My uncle has subscribed to Norton since he bought the computer, so I am sure that it was a combination of his DSL dropping and his virus software not being updated while a virus might have done some damage. It was a shame that they had to pay that much money and not even get their computer working again that day. While I don’t blame the GeekSquad for my uncle not knowing what his recovery disks were, I do blame them for trashing the partitions and doing a bad format on a computer before they knew they could leave it operational.

While in Chicago I had the chance to do a couple of other Tech Support calls for my family. These ones were a little easier. Both of them had to do with hard drive failures and I was able to save the data (mostly pictures) with not much trouble. Even got to use the freeze a hard drive trick. While they had not called the Geek Squad I still call them as victories over them. They are now the enemy, unless they refund my uncle the money they charged him for a service they did not perform.

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Street Smarts

What would your rather be, school smart or street smart? I am lucky enough to say that I have a little bit of both. I am not sure if I can really equate street smarts to common sense, but I believe that to be street smart you have to begin by having common sense. I think you learn to be street smart by learning common sense the hard way.

Colombia is a country that is portrayed as dangerous and full of violence. While some of those reports are over inflated and at times misleading there is true to some of the insecurity in the country. There are a lot of people that are living in very precarious conditions. Some are simply thugs; some are people that need to steal to survive. Living in an environment where you have to always be alert changes things about your world perception. The Unites States is no different. There are places where people struggle or chose a life of crime. There are neighborhoods where you also have to watch what you do and how you do it.

The big difference between the US and Colombia is that there are pockets of innocence all over the US. There are plenty of communities where the “Pleasantville” atmosphere still lives. Is this a false sense of security? Or Are their communities really that safe? I am not sure, but I believe that in today’s age, everyone can do with a little street smart.

Is it something that can be taught? I don’t know. Let me tell you a little story of how I learned to be street smart. Before I moved to the US I had a fascination with baseball caps. Here in the US they are both cheap and attainable, but in Colombia they were kind of a hard to get accessory, especially if they were team licensed. I was about 12. I was painting the fence in our front yard when a couple of guys in a motorcycle approached the fence. I was wearing one of my baseball caps. The guy pretended to ask for directions and kept on lowering his voice so I had to get closer… I wanted to help him out, so I kept on getting closer… when I got within an arm length he reached for my cap and took off. At the time I felt safe, I was behind the fence inside my own front yard, but I still got mugged. That thought me a valuable lesson about talking to strangers even in my own house.

I also believe that knowing street smart also encompasses being able to talk to people from all different backgrounds and social statuses. Being able to roam around different social circles has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I attribute a lot of it to street smarts and respect. Knowing what to say and what not to say can open door for you everywhere you go.

I’ve had plenty of people make fun of me for the use of the word Sir. I use it quite often during conversation specially when I don’t know a person. I also use it with my friends when I greet them. A lot of people from past generations still regard that as a sign of respect, even if some people from my generation might see it as a way to put myself down or kiss butt. I believe that my elders should be addressed as Sir or Mam in most situations.

There are plenty of other stories that I can tell you about learning lessons from just being in a tough environment, but would you really learn from them or do you have to live in a city to really learn street smarts? I think it is a good skill to have.