We're Just Doing the Jobs You Gringos Won't Do (Ha! Ha!)

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Man, this was one great party. My friends and I ran around the 110 Freeway waving Mexican flags and yelling, "Mexico, Mexico, Mexico." Lupe almost got run over by one of those rickety trucks with a Baja California license plate, but she’s OK. Most important, the TV cameras were there and those gringos in the U.S. Senate heard our message: "Stop picking on those of us who do jobs no one else will do!"

We just want to be Americans … which is what the Anglo media keep repeating. They keep finding the few people in the crowd with American flags and zeroing in on that, ignoring that almost everyone else has a proud Mexican flag. We don’t want to be stinking Americans, with our kids talking like valley girls and eating hamburgers. We want America to become like Mexico, which is why those amigos in Whittier and Montebello hoisted the Mexican flag on the flagpole and turned the American flag upside down.

We all know that line, about doing jobs no Americans will do, is a lie.

I’m just a humble worker, but I do suspect that many Americans would paint houses, lay tile, trim palm trees and so on, although they won’t do the jobs at the wage at which I’ll do them. As long as people keep repeating that, how you say, mantra, we will be viewed as heroes rather than freeloaders. My only problem: I’ve been here a few years and make decent-enough pay, but those amigos who keep coming across the border keep undercutting my wages.

Well, I’m not thinking about that, only basking in the joy of these big protests. Solidarity, right? And laughing about how stupid all those Yanquis seem to be. They’re all stupid, the Republicans, the Democrats and especially the Libertarians. I kinda understand the two parties and their stances, of course. The Republicans are afraid of the big Latino voting bloc, so they make sure to say how much they need us. Their business friends like us too, because, well, we do the jobs Americans won’t do (ha! ha!). They remember the last time they tried to stop welfare benefits to us, and we came out in force and threw them out of office. That’s why the Democrats like us. They pander to us and we vote for them, legally or not.

The Libertarians are the funniest. They’re the ones who say, "Let everyone from Mexico and everywhere else move to the United States if they please. That will lead to more freedom." They ignore the fact that we come here, force them to pay to educate our children in those prison-like institutions they call public schools, force them to pay for our medical care when we show up at the emergency room, force them to pay for more jails and the freeways, and we traipse all over private property at our pleasure.

I talked with one of them once. He assured me that "we" — that’s the undocumented worker who does jobs no American will do — are not the problem. Amen. The problem, he said, is the welfare state which provides all sorts of benefits to us, paid for by other people. I laugh so hard. You see, the more of us who come here, the more political pressure there is for higher taxes and a bigger welfare state. And when my fellow Latinos do vote, they mostly vote for the most socialist politicians imaginable, who then go to Sacramento demanding even more government spending.

Sure, the welfare state will fade away … and then it will be OK. Maybe maana, right amigo?

One local radio talk-show host, some Irish guy named Doug McIntyre, got to the heart of their problem: Only a few people can afford houses in Southern California. Most of us don’t have any real property here. We want more and more and more "services." How long before the bulk of us — the have-nots — start railing against the "haves" in their million-dollar houses and start demanding that they pay their fair share? Prop. 13, the historic property-tax-limiting proposition passed in 1978, is history.

We do work hard. There’s no question. Most of us are here to work, not to freeload, but I need certain things. What am I going to do, refuse to send my kids to their schools or not go to the hospital when they’re sick? Americans love welfare-state benefits, too, you know. If they came to Mexico, they would demand everything, too. They’d probably set up their own newspapers, their own communities and elect their own politicians.

It’s human nature, and if the Americans are too stupid to deal honestly with the problem, then I can’t worry about it.

Fortunately for us, there aren’t many sane voices. The anti-immigration folks, like those silly Minutemen, seem unbalanced and mean-spirited. They represent the old guard. The media can always quote one of those locos and paint anyone with a problem with open borders as some right-wing militia person.

So we keep coming at about a half-million a year, fleeing that crummy nation to the south then quickly changing parts of this country into imitations of Mexico. We get what we want … Mexico with jobs, where other people pay for our services.

No one really wants reconquista, except maybe for a handful of angry activists. We’ve got it good now. Mexico has it good, too: sending its poverty up north. We pay few taxes, we earn decent money doing the jobs Americans won’t do (ha! ha!), we hang out on other people’s property (i.e., in the Home Depot parking lot) and let them clean up the mess, and we let American citizens foot the bill for our medical care, transportation and so forth.

They might even give us driver’s licenses! And the Republicans, Democrats and Libertarians talk about how important we are. And when we get angry, block freeways and destroy stuff, everyone caters to us and we can even change policy in Congress.

Is this a great country or what? Thank goodness we’re not in Mexico.

Esteban Casaverde, aka Steven Greenhut (send him mail) is a senior editorial writer and columnist for the Orange County Register. He is the author of the new book, Abuse of Power.

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