Illegal Immigration- feeling the effects.
Two posts in one day (see below), and I didn't write either one of them! Last weekend I posted a bit entitled Think Globally, Act Locally
regarding illegal immigration. That post generated more comments than we have seen around here in a while, with a good amount of back and forth between commenters. As a follow up to some excellent points and personal stories I invited a few of the commenters to write expanded pieces, to tell us more about what they think or how they have experienced the effects of illegal immigration first hand. So far I have received one piece in response, and hope to receive more. I have lightly edited this piece, removing city names and other specific items that might compromise the anonymity of "Babs", so if it reads in a slightly stilted manner the fault is mine. Thanks for sharing this, Babs.The following is from frequent commenter Babs:
Dear Dr. D,
I was amazed to read the "blame the victim" comment that was posted after mine regarding our family's tenure in along the border (we "did" 12 years). Unfortunately, it is not unusual to be attacked when you speak out about the real life results to a middle class family swamped by illegal immigration.
These attacks come in a couple of flavors. You either get the response that open borders are good for the economy, never mind that your schools don't work and healthcare and other public services go in the toilet; you need to suck it up. Or, I had a person on one occasion tell me that I was a "deserter" for moving away, as if my children should be sacrificed on the alter of multiculturalism. Then, the third response is that I am somehow to blame for the situation. These attacks usually start with "you want your car washed for 10 bucks and your restaurant bill to be low but you are unwilling to live with the people that make that possible. You are a racist!" But, the idea that I had it coming to me because I "chose" to travel on a particular public street and was not observant enough to see someone coming up behind me at an alarming rate of speed is really too much! BTW, I DID see the car approach and there was no where to go, I was stuck in traffic. Oh yes, I also chose to live in an urban environment (which, guess what, I did not. We moved there for a job opportunity.) All of these attacks indicate terrible ignorance.
We moved to a city not far from the border in 1985, due to a job offer that my husband received. From 1985 to 1997 I watched a concerted effort by all branches of the media to tell me that I should be ashamed of myself for resenting the flood of illegals into the region. It got so you dare not even speak of it to your close friends because even talking about the changes to the immediate society were considered racist. Once the children became school age and my oldest had a disastrous 3rd grade year, I had to go to work to pay the private school tuition. My youngest was still in nursery school.
I have a degree in Architecture and became a commercial real-property analyst. I was known as the "slum queen" of the firm because I did most of the residential income property reports. Working on portfolios for HUD, corporate lenders and various other large entities I traveled all over the border region inspecting properties and literally going into hundreds (maybe thousands) of apartments. I have been up close and personal with some of the most disgusting people on the planet. I have been in apartments in the city with feces on the floor and children living there. I traveled with a bodyguard! The bodyguard was written into the contracts. Sometimes, I also had an interpreter with me but, in other than Spanish speaking environs, it was easy to snag a school age kid to interpret for me. I would cruise neighborhoods to gather data at 5-8 AM on a Sunday morning because all the gang members were probably asleep. I thought about it many times and decided that I had no problem running someone over if I thought I was going to be car-jacked. I got a pit bull and would take her with me to enter what was supposed to be a vacant building. I have been in aparwouldn't that I wouldn't dream of letting my dog stay in for the night, let alone a child. I used to wonder why these people couldn't buy a $1 bar of soap and clean the place with an old shirt. Okay, you are poor, does that also mean you have to be filthy?
Well, the answer is no. People like to live by people that come from the same culture (contrary to what the media, the gov't and academia might tell you). I used to love to work in Korea town. These were poor people, they had almost nothing. They slept on mats in the front room and had almost no dishes in the kitchen. I used to wonder if they ate in shifts because they didn't have enough dishes. Their apartments were spotless! In fact, I remember going into one building and all the women were standing at attention outside their units waiting for me to inspect them, their shoes neatly placed next to the door. Note: always wear slip on shoes when going into Asian buildings. Well, the job requires that you inspect a "representative sample" of units in a building. As I was about to leave, the resident manager came up to me and told me that the women were upset because I didn't look in their apartments, LOL! I ended up going into every apartment just to make them happy and every single apartment was spotless.
I was contracted to value an apartment complex once. The place reminded me of a series of prison blocks. It was totally inhabited by Pacific Islanders. I asked one of the residents why she lived here, as I knew for a fact that there was a rather nice apartment complex fairly close by with a swimming pool and laundry room and covered parking that charged the same rent. She told me that she wanted to live with other Pacific Islanders so, forget it, she wasn't going to move from this hell hole. I had noticed before that various ethnicities tended to live with their own kind, but this really struck me. I had been so brainwashed to believe that it was the white man that wanted to live in isolation! BTW, the neighborhood that we lived in (comfortable suburbia) had 32 languages represented at our local elementary school. In fact, the people that lived across the street were Korean, next door were Polish, next to them Chinese and on the other side were Cubans. The Cubans held a roasted pig fest every summer that was terrific! My oldest son's cub scout den had 8 boys in it. My son and one other were the only two Caucasians in the den. So much for white exclusivity. I used to watch the Korean children across the street come home from Korean Saturday school. They would come over and show me their work books and tell me what went on that day. It was quite interesting to hear about their culture. To a kid, they all had trouble writing in Korean and would moan to me and tell me how hard it was. The moral to this story is that our neighbors were integrated into American society while still maintaining their cultural identity in their homes. The school system didn't need to do it for them, or the federal gov't. They just did it while at the same time being productive members of American society.
You might wonder why I slammed the public school in the neighborhood in the comments on The Daily Demarche while I seem to have a favorable opinion of my former neighbors. This is actually quite interesting; the school district started importing kids from neighboring towns into the school district in order to receive FEDERAL FUNDING! Yes, that's right, the Feds pay extra for non-English speaking students in addition to paying salaries for a small army of "special educators and curriculum materials". Our elementary school went from the best school in the district of ten schools to the worst over the course of a few years due to the busing in of out-of-district students. Anyone that is familiar with our southern border region will also know that the vast majority of non-English speaking residents would be Latino.
Now, I will tell you about the dark side of the job. That was going into Latino neighborhoods (this is going to make the open border people crazy). By far, the filthiest and most dangerous neighborhoods in the city were Latino. I was working on a portfolio of properties downtown and had hired an assistant. A male of about 40 years old. He was along to measure, take notes and help photograph. We got into one building whose basement was like a slave ship. There were all these Latino families living in units about the size of a small storage locker you might rent. They shared one toilet and a common kitchen. When we got upstairs it was obvious that this circa 1930's building had been chopped up into so many small units that it was like a rat's maze. My assistant literally freaked out and had to be put in the car! On the way back to the office, he quit. We watched a small child fall down a long flight of stairs and, instead of comforting the child, his father hit him. We saw syringes and drug cooking devices all over the place and no one spoke English. We went into one of the slave units and the mother was sitting on a pile of filthy clothes, which were the only thing in there, holding a grossly obese little girl who was naked. As soon as I got out of the building I called the bank that had taken it back and told them to shut the building down immediately before the medi gets wind of it and splashes it across the front page.
Now, here is the interesting thing, almost all these buildings were owned (or formerly owned) by Latinos! Yes, it is absolutely true. In fact, I had another analyst in the firm tell me that the bank should win some kind of diversity award for writing so many loans to insolvent Latinos. While I was employed in this manner a report came out that ethnic minorities were being discriminated against by the lending institutions. I guess it didn't occur to the P.C. police that these minorities might not be able to make good on a loan? Oh, that's right, it's the white man's fault! The Latino buildings I went in to were filthy and crime ridden. I can not say that about any other ethnicity that I came in contact with. I have been in units were Latino gang members were sitting in the living room in the middle of the day watching T.V. I have been in buildings that were so roach infested and fly riddled that I could hardly stand it (I used to hold my breath).
Well, what is the point of all this raving? It got so that I was having nightmares about the buildings. I couldn't stand the fact that children were living under these conditions. I really couldn't care less what an adult decides to do but, to subject a child to these filthy circumstances really got to me as I had young children at the time. I told my boss that I had to work on another property type or I would file for disability. So, I got to work on industrial buildings, which I love, while he sent a team of men out on the next residential income property portfolio. They arrived back at the office in the early afternoon, having cut short their day, because a junkie threw up on himself in front of one of the buildings in their portfolio and they were going to turn the job down. What a bunch of pussies!
Speaking of industrial buildings, man, what an interesting property type. I just loved them. Here is a little factoid for you; Did you know that the manufacture of flavor syrups is considered combustible? Anyone manufacturing flavor syrups has to comply with severe fire code standards. You might think about that the next time you buy your kids a snow cone!
I was contracted to value a proposed shopping center in one of the worst gang areas in the nation. I arrived at the site and was promptly met by the developers. We walked the site and they explained what they had in mind. What they seemed most proud of was that they had designed the center to include a police sub station with a holding cell! They thought this was a great addition. I had to agree! Based on my analysis, the loan was approved and the shopping center stands today. This center was designed for a Latino population with no cars, living on food stamps. I would just like to remind you that this is taking place in the United States of America.
BTW, the L.A. riots were really interesting for me. It was kind of like a football game. I sat in my living room watching TV tracking the action. Talk about devastation. What is really weird about it is that they destroyed their own neighborhoods. Wouldn't you think that they would have gone into Beverly Hills or something to burn stuff down? I told my husband that I was pissed with the gov't so I was going to go burn down the dry cleaner's up the street! About a year after the riots people started complaining about the fact that they didn't have any grocery stores or other services in their neighborhoods. Well, hello, you destroyed them! All those Korean grocers that you hated so much, they decided to locate elsewhere. Hence, the need for the new shopping center with the holding cell. BTW, I understand that Korea town rebuilt almost instantly...
We sold our home in 1997 and moved away from the border. Part of the reason was that I had hit the wall on the culture that surrounded me and part of the reason was that I couldn't figure out where to send the children to high school, other than boarding school at $22,000 a pop. My husband quit his job; he loved that job and had to let it go for the good of the family. He now designs and manufactures the optics for the world leader in bar code technology (making the world safe for illiterates).
When we first moved , I had someone tell me that this was a "very diverse" community. I spontaneously laughed out loud! I guess this person was referring to the few professors at the local university that are Asian! So, I was able to get my kids into an excellent public school system and now my oldest is a 1st class midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. I guarantee you that he would not have qualified for the Academy had we stayed in the old public school system. My second son speaks 5 languages and is majoring in language at SUNY Binghamton. His language education is courtesy of the public school system and the local taxpayer (thank you very much).
I have stayed in touch with several of the women that I was friends with in our old neighborhood. After all, we raised our babies together. Last fall I met them for a 5 day vacation. I could not believe the animosity they hold for the illegals in their state. While I lived there, as I said, we never dared talk about it. Now these women, mothers, have children looking to get into college. They are enraged that people that are residing in their state illegally not only are afforded in state tuition but also, get preferential treatment in the application process. Even if they didn't get preferential treatment, they are still utilizing a finite resource that is being denied to their children. I don't blame them for their ire. After all, they worked, paid taxes and contributed to their communities for 20 years. What type of system rewards law breakers ahead of honest citizens? In our case, my son the language major was born in the state of CA. It turns out that U.C. Santa Barbara is an excellent language school. Also, you can't beat the weather (ever been there? It's a great place to live). If my son wanted to attend that school, he would have to pay out of state tuition, even though he was born in CA. What sense does it make to allow people that are residing in our country illegally pay a lesser tuition than someone that is a United States citizen and was born in that state?
So, that is our story. BTW, I had one hell of a time getting our pit bull to calm down and be a suburban house dog after we moved here.
Thanks again for sending this in Babs, I hope you don't mind the editing. Please give my best to your son and thank him for his dedication to duty and service to the United States of America. I can't wait to see the comments this generates.