Friday, March 21, 2008

Sí, lo hicimos.

The enduring rallying cry of Latinos for so called comprehensive immigration reform is, “¡Sí, se puede!” or “Yes, we can!” Or perhaps more correctly translated as, “Yes, it is possible.”

The phrase goes back to the early 1970’s when Cesar Chavez was fighting for the rights of migrant farm workers. It plays well for Obama as well, especially when he is in a crowd of union members. The SEIU uses it to get janitors to vote to organize a union at work.

But it is only a valid battle cry because of this one: “¡Sí, lo hicimos!” which means, “Yes, we did it!” We sometimes fail to realize the living history of amnesty and what it means to an illegal alien.

First, there was the 1986 amnesty program that granted forgiveness and a path to citizenship for approximately 2.7 million people, followed by two more official extensions to gather in those who didn’t apply for the program the first time around. Then there were after-the-fact amnesty programs calling some illegals “refugees” after they were already here.

There is also a constant flow of people being granted individual amnesty.

This means that since 1986 SEVEN MILLION people who came here illegally have been given a pathway to citizenship. It is this group who stands as an example to the illegals today. “Yes, we did it and you can, too!” Think about that for a moment; we have 37 million foreign-born in the United States and HALF OF THEM EITHER ARE OR WERE ILLEGAL ALIENS. HALF! The problem has become so wide-spread that our politicians talk about it as though it were normal. "It is no big deal. Why do you weirdos want to start deporting people?"

Bush and Fox have been sending signals since 2001 that the United States was poised to offer an amnesty program. In a January 2004 survey of people caught at the border they found:
• 45% crossed illegally based on rumors of a Bush administration amnesty.
• 63% received Mexican government or media information supporting the notion of a Bush administration amnesty.
• 80% desired to apply for amnesty.

Is it any wonder people head north when their politicians (and ours as well) are greasing the wheels for them to come here?

I imagine cell phone calls where people living here illegally tell their countrymen about the birth of a child. “The hospitals are much better here and we were unable to pay so they treated us for free. And Tito is automatically a citizen.” People on the other end must think they are exaggerating. But we know they are not.

“Yes, we did it!” is proof positive of “Yes, we can!” When will we wise up?

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