Dear Mexican: What's Stopping Illegal Immigrants From Becoming Legal?

Dear Mexican: I’m a white, college-educated, liberal, Democratic, socialist U.S. citizen. I don’t have a problem with Mexicans coming here to get good jobs. In fact, I don’t see the “problem.” Why are Republicans and redneck dickheads so into building that big fence on the border? If there are so many “illegal” Mexican immigrants in the U.S., what is stopping them from becoming “legal?” Is it really a question of attaining citizenship, or is it just plain ol’ ig’nant racism?
Taco Lover in Houston

Dear Gabacho: Gracias for writing in, Bernie Sanders! Love ya, but I don’t think you stand a chance against that pendeja Hillary — but good for you for pushing her into Aztlanista territory. As for your preguntas: Republican dickheads want to build a wall because it’s the simplest “solution” to the immigration “problem” and is symptomatic of how out of touch they are with America’s raza reality. They obviously don’t know that if we do build a 100-foot-tall wall tomorrow on the U.S.-Mexico frontera, some chilango from Tepito will build a 101-foot-tall ladder the following day and a slide to go with it, while a culichi will construct a tunnel to go underneath it. And it’s those same Republican cagaleches who are stopping undocumented folks from becoming legal by failing to work with Democrats on a good amnesty program. I said this last week, but it bears repeating: The GOP knows that once we get the vote, we’ll make them as irrelevant as the pay phone.

Dear Mexican: I’m a huge fan of your column. I’m writing because at a recent family dinner, one of my cousins was telling the family his opinion of the word “Mexican.” He said that the word is racist and degrading, and that everyone should refer to people from Mexico as “cinnamon people” or “cinnamons.” He said this is because most people from Mexico have a light shade of red to their skin. I asked my Mexican friends if “Mexican” is racist and degrading, and all but two just laughed. A few people agreed with my cousin, but still, I’m very confused. Is “Mexican” a racist word? Should mainstream America start referring to Mexican people as “cinnamons”? Or is my cousin being ignorant/racist?
Eager in Elizabethtown

Dear Eager: “Cinnamons?” At least he didn’t suggest “wetbacks.” He’s not racist: One of the most romantic songs in Spanish is the bolero standard “Piel Canela,” which translates as “Cinnamon Skin” and was immortalized by Eydie Gormé and Trio Los Panchos. That said, calling someone a “Mexican” can be racist, mostly if the person being called that isn’t a Mexican or if the person saying it pronounces it “Messkin” and has a deportation cannon at his side.
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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano