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What is it about the word "illegal" that Mexicans don't understand?

Dear Readers: The Mexican doesn't want to take this week off, but has to because it's his mother periódico's Best Of issue, and the Mexican is tasked with eating a thousand tacos in the search for the best one in Orange County. I'll return next week, more panzón than ever — in the meanwhile, enjoy these oldies but goodies. And remember: ¡A LA CHINGADA CON ALABAMA!

Dear Mexican: What is it about the word "illegal" that Mexicans don't understand?

D.G.

Dear Gabacho: Take your pick, D.G. Mexicans don't understand the word "illegal" because: a) when paying their gardeners, nannies, busboys and factory workers in cash (and forgetting to withhold payroll taxes), U.S. employers don't seem to understand the word "illegal," so why should Mexicans?; b) the Anglo-American trappers and traders whom you and I were taught to admire as tough, self-sufficient frontiersmen and pioneers were among the American Southwest's first illegals. Who are you calling illegal, gabacho?; c) Presidente Bush's proposal to offer amnesty and a guest-worker program during his administration to all illegal immigrants — a move designed to appease his supporters in the business community — means even Republicans don't understand the word; d) whether they buy a fake passport or take a citizenship oath, Mexicans will never be more than wetbacks in the eyes of many Americans, so why bother applying for residency?; e) the Society of Professional Journalists passed a resolution asking newspapers to require its reporters to describe as "undocumented workers" the men and women you call "illegal"; and f) little-known fact: The fragment of poetry on the Statue of Liberty ("Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free," etc.) does not, because of a French engraver's error, include Emma Lazarus's rarely cited footnote: "No Mexicans, please." Fucking French. But the real answer is the word itself. "Illegal" is an English word; Mexicans speak Spanish — yet you never hear Mexicans whine that their bosses don't understand such easy Spanish phrases as "pinche puto pendejo baboso," do you?

Dear Mexican: What's up with all the elaborate wrought-iron fences in the Mexican parts of town? It almost seems like everyone is trying to outdo each other with these amazing displays of metallurgy. Is it just another way to try to protect the cars parked on the lawn and keep the livestock from wandering off, or is it a pathway to instant respect and envy among the neighbors?

WHrought Iron To Envy (WHITE) Guy

Dear Gabacho: This is a question that fascinates even sociologists. At a 2005 seminar called "The Latinization of American Culture," UCLA professor David Hayes-Bautista showed pictures of wrought-iron fences to describe what gabachos can expect when Mexicans move into their neighborhoods. But you can find the answer on the United States-Mexico border, WHITE: fences. Miles and miles of American-made fences. Triple-layered. Jagged. Deadly. That's our introduction to American society when we illegally enter los Estados Unidos. All Mexicans want to assimilate, so fences are usually the first thing we erect once we buy a casa: pointy, menacing bars wrapped with organic barbed wire like bougainvilleas or roses to keep the damn Mexicans at bay. And still — as evidenced by the lemons stolen from my front lawn every night — Mexicans jump them.

 
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Allamony
Allamony

How about this for illegal.

The US Government created, and maintains an illegal Market, in Mexico, so that they can invest in an unregulated Market, that they can control entirely.

Caldereon, though on board, has even publicly asked from the US Government to end the War on Drugs, as he can not deal with over 100 dead bodies every month, as Joaquin Guzman and others up their worth to over $100 Billon over the next 5 years.

Mexico IS basically the USA, and these Para-Military Drug Cartels are about as far South of Colorado, as Ohio is to the East.

Your Government, it would appear, is more loyal to the dollar, than it is their people, as they continue to go out of their way to make sure the Cartel's are allowed to thrive both here, and in Mexico.

Derikw
Derikw

"U.S. employers don't seem to understand the word "illegal," so why should Mexicans?"

That's great logic - other people are doing something illegal so why shouldn't I? Maybe I should go sell meth then - other people do.

"the Anglo-American trappers and traders whom you and I were taught to admire as tough, self-sufficient frontiersmen and pioneers were among the American Southwest's first illegals."

So you didn't consider the Spanish illegals? The Europeans who ruled Mexico three centuries before the United States even existed, intermarried with Mexican women, fathering the mixed race descendents who today constitute the majority of Mexico's population? The United States was really an organization of the whole melting pot of countries that decided to colonize America. If you really want to blame someone for tainting your precious Mexican blood, blame the Spanish, and throw away the Spanish language because it's not yours.

garyd
garyd

Spend a day at any welfare office, dmv, or better still SOCIAL SECURITY......non of these people speek english and they are collecting bennefits and we're paying for this.........

tio
tio

land of oportunity for all...was what this nation was founded as....not ..land of oportunity for mexicans alone and now we have to deny entry to 90% of inmigrants from other countries because we have too many"hispanic" or mexican ilegals.

Efly Frontier
Efly Frontier

Why do people consider the word Illegal offensive when relating to immigration. Illegal is used when breaking the law. It's not a dird word. Driving illegal, illegal possesion of a weapon, illegal possesion of drugs, illegally entering private property illegal due influence on another person, illegal search and sizure... We, as Americans, undersand that illegal means breaking the laws of the USA. It is because illegal immigration relates to people that the word takes on a new and bias meaning, actually softening the illegality being commited. I don;t get it. Breaking the law, any law, is illegal. I welcome one and all to the USA, just enter legally, contribute to the economy, pay your share and keep your earning in the USA circulating in our economy, please!

Melissa Franko
Melissa Franko

neither makes either right diesel.law is law and i dont worry why unless you are the one breaking it.than you need to worry.

diesel-benz
diesel-benz

What is it about the word "illegal" that pot smokers don't understand?

Ramon Pizarro
Ramon Pizarro

Nice to see that most of the responses on westword's site are as rascist, bigoted and as usual, mis-informed as always, by people who have forgotten (or have chosen to forget) taht they are descendants of immigrants as well, and were just as reviled in their day as we are now.

 
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