It’s hard to talk about immigration without sounding like a racist. So let me just say this and get it out of the way: I think Mexicans are superior to me.
By “me,” I am referring to people who are part English, Irish, Welsh, Scottish, Dutch, German, and Native American. There are three of us that I know of. I think my brother and sister would agree that we kind of suck compared to Mexicans.
Compare me to Mexicans on any dimension and I lose. For example, I like to think I’m smart, but realistically, if you pick any topic, there is at least one Mexican who knows more than me. Or is it “more than I”? I don’t know, but I guarantee there’s a Mexican somewhere who does.
And don’t get me started about common sense and street smarts. If my car breaks down someplace where my Blackberry doesn’t have signal, there’s a good chance I’ll die before I figure out how to get help. Compare that to the guy I can see from my office window, working construction down the street. He walked here from Mexico and learned how to be a carpenter just by looking at a hammer. I speak exactly one language. He’s been here a month and knows 1.1 languages. Advantage: Mexican guy.
Mexicans have great looking skin that resists sunburn. I have skin that looks like tapioca spilled on canvas, and I have to wear sunscreen to sit in front of my computer monitor.
How about durability? I can hurt my back just eating a bowl of strawberries. I wouldn’t last long picking them.
How about character? In the suburbs where I live, most people with above average incomes hire housecleaners to come once a week. It’s almost always a crew of three Mexicans. Each crew has a wad of house keys. In the 29 years I have lived in California, the total number of thefts I have heard attributed to Mexican housekeepers is zero. Now, in the interest of not incriminating yourself, compare that to your best male friend who is not a Mexican and ask yourself how many of these crimes he has committed:
- Sex with an underage girl when he was 18
- Fudging on taxes
- Underage drinking
- Illegal copying of songs
- Driving with a blood alcohol level above the legal limit
- Stealing office supplies
There’s a good chance your best male friend is a frickin’criminal.
You might argue that any Mexican in this country illegally has broken a law, and that is obviously true. He is guilty of working hard so he can send money home and lift his family from wretchedness. I automatically like that kind of guy, whereas your best friend sounds like a jerk.
I can see the arguments on both sides of the immigration issue. And I’m sure I’d have a different view if I lived in some gang-infested part of Southern California. But the dirty little secret that most Californians know is that Mexican immigrants, legal or otherwise, are bringing up the national average on the “good people” meter. If that were not so obviously the case, the borders would have been shut a long time ago. I’d be down there myself with some boards and a hammer and the hope that some guy on the other side would show me how to use them.
[Update: Unlike many of the readers directed to this blog from racist web sites, Mexicans understand satire. If you do not understand satire, I recommend less challenging forms of entertainment.]