On Immigration: bait and you’ll receive

saint-jose-luis-sanchez-del-rioSaint José Luis Sánchez del Río, soldier and martyr, because “all those Mexicans are the same!” Oh, I forgot, I was supposed to pick on someone who wasn’t yet canonized, you know, someone undocumented and who, say, committed a non-violent crime years ago but was still in the system at the invitation of the system, so that we could kick all Mexicans in the face with impunity.

As it is, there were some spectacular and well reasoned comments on ICE deports undocumented working tax-payer contributing mother / wife to spread fear among undocumented, which I very much appreciate. Thank you.

But then another comment came in that was ranting away, with the author apparently having skipped reading those comments, very much upset. Here’s part of a very long comment. Pardon my emphases and [sometimes sarcastic comments]. And if I’m a bit rough here, please know that this person is a friend who I think can take this reprimand.

I have no sympathy here. There are plenty of people who desperately want to come here but wait to do so legally. [This is continuously more difficult, next to impossible as the years, months and days go by, with contradictory, complex laws, layers and layers of labyrinthine mazes. As one commenter put it, this is somewhat our fault. We should streamline the process without foregoing safety. The thing is, we bait people to be illegal by baiting them to skip the line but also nevertheless to be in the system, checking in with ICE, paying taxes, etc.] I also have issue with the number of mexicans who are setting up their lives here with no intention to assimilate. [So, you know all of them? Can you name them? Even one? Did they tell you they have no intention?] It makes me crazy [!] when I enter into commerce [When you’re at the cash register? Who says to the cashier: “May I enter into commerce with you?” While that’s English, no one speaks that way. It smacks of a foreign speaker. What are doing in this country? You foreigners are all the same. You should be deported! ;-) ] at a place where the staff is speaking another language while waiting on customers who speak English. [Did you try to speak English or were you just offended? Did you greet the cashier in English or just fume about it?] I complained at a big box store because the cashier spoke in another language to an employee [Esperanto? Latin? Swahili? French? German? Russian!?] who was standing around [as security because of the presence of crazy people? as a cashier manager? as someone giving lessons in laziness?] and also to a customer [who spoke the same language? That’s polite, isn’t it?]who was dressed in a similar manner [So, you’re a writer for Saturday Night Live? What does that even mean? What are you really angry with? Do “they” have better taste than you? Are they more stylish? More “with it”, “up to date”, “mod”, “hip”? You’re envious?]. She uttered not a word to me the entire transaction and was solely focused on her two compatriots. [I often go through a checkout on the phone, which is really annoying, I know, but sometimes things can’t wait. An accident has occurred and a priest is needed, etc. I might speak in whatever language. At any rate, maybe they didn’t say anything to you because you didn’t say anything to them because you were too taken at looking at them all aghast at your own lack of style. Did you look angry? Impatient? Were they talking about trying to arrange a welcoming party for, say, local Russians to the neighborhood? Maybe they were talking about signing up for classes to perfect their English? Our Spanish speakers here put on a number of events for the local law enforcement. They arranged that in their native tongue.]

That’s not how the typical transaction goes in this country. [Try smiling.] She was also moving very slowly [like all those damn Mexicans, right?] at a busy time of year [like, what, Christmas? Kwanzaa? New Year’s? The Feast Day of the great third century Bishop and Martyr Saint Valentine? The Feast of Our Lady of Lourdes?] which was problematic because the long line wasn’t diminishing.” [Because they were having a good time speaking to each other and being human instead of fuming and crawling out of their skin? You’re just angry because you had to stand in line, right? Because no one else had a right to stand in line, right? Or are you really just racist? Or just a bad day? Lighten up. Jesus loves you too.]

Did I purposely write about Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos to guage reaction? Yes.

Don’t forget the purpose of this blog, noted by the title and blurb in the header:

  • “Arise! Let us be going!” which refers to Jesus’ command to the sleepy Apostles in the Garden of Gethsemane at the moment of the betrayal by Judas: “See, my betrayer is at hand.” That kind of sets the tone of intensity. But if anyone was mistaken about this, thinking that to just be pious piffle, the rest of it says:
  • Evangelizing the darkest of mankind’s existential peripheries that together we humbly thank the Lord. If you have good eyes, you can see a modern Hebrew script version of the motto of המוסד which is balanced by the death of our Lord and the Holy Spirit hovering over a scene of terrible violence between two societies.
  • There are some further words about goodness and kindness for the greater glory of God, something to do with the Jesuits, of which Pope Francis is one. I’m Catholic. And I’m a priest. I wan’t people to come to know Jesus, not just be comfortable in their mistaken ideas of who they think Jesus is.

Look. We’ve all crucified the Son of the Living God with original sin and our own personal rubbish. Smashing people down because they talk differently from you or just because they dress differently from you [more stylish!] won’t gain you many points at the final judgment. We’re hoping that people get to heaven, right? Eternity is a long time. Do you think they will want YOU there, ragging on them all the time, fuming about them? What if Jesus says “Shalom!” to someone else there, or to you? Will you throw a tantrum then?

And if you want to know my generalized impression of illegal immigrants, I’ll tell you, even though these are generalizations and therefore “racist”: I find that as a whole, these are the hardest working, most polite, piously Catholic, family oriented, peace loving, community minded, always but always helpful people I have known in my life. And I’ve been on so many continents and so many countries in so many cultures. And I also have an anecdote. Be warned of provocative language:

There was a young woman here who broke up with her white trash American boyfriend, who was always drugged up and always beating on her, leaving her a smashed up wreck continuously. Her father heard that she had started dating a Mexican and was planning on getting  married to him. The father immediately was enraged and hunted down the Mexican so as to beat the living tar out of him. Of course, he instead got the living tar beat out of him, because he just kept up the attack, but he kept getting pummeled, rightly, in self-defense, until an ambulance had to come. The EMT guy reprimanded the father to say that his daughter had lived a living hell with her white trash boyfriend, but was treated like a queen by the Mexican guy, who, in fact, was born in these USA and is an American citizen in good standing. We just need to slow down a bit. Changing circumstances can show us a bit about ourselves, and that’s a good thing. It’s then an occasion to be closer to the Jesus, the Way, Truth and Life. And that’s a good thing. We’re not against each other! We’re against the devil who wishes to work havoc among us.

  • Lord Jesus, have mercy on us.
  • Saint José Luis Sánchez del Río, soldier and martyr, pray for us.

Anyway, I want a sombrero like our Cristero saint above. I’m envious. But no frills:



Filed under Immigration, Missionaries of Mercy, Politics, Racism

8 responses to “On Immigration: bait and you’ll receive

  1. nancyv

    Well, I didn’t make that comment, but it COULD have been me. We are scared, intimidated and prideful. Living in Phoenix for a couple of years really opened my eyes to both the good and the bad. The bad is just bad, not Mexican, not Honduran, not American, not African.
    This is not going to get better. But I trust in God and want to be obedient to His commands and so that’s what I hope makes me better.

    • Father George David Byers

      It could be all of us. We are all weak and scared. It’s good to know this going in. Good for you. My own identity was stolen by a citizen by birth of these USA….

  2. elizdelphi

    At the food pantry where I’ve been tryng to volunteer more often I have the opposite experience as the commenter upset about cashiers who speak another language with each other, I am often assisting Spanish speakers, yo hablo espanol muy poquito pero I do my pitiful best to do math in my head and tell them en espanol cuantos puntos mas ellos tienen y por cuales categorios de comida. Y quiere usted algunos de estos costas alli? Perdone, no tiene mas puntos–es todo. Pero, pan es gratis, no limite. Muy frequentemente, no puedo recordar las palabras para decir lo que quiero. Cual es este–“squash”? Y no puedo recordar “calabaza.” Sometimes they know no English, but other times they know more English than I know Spanish but they graciously humor my attempts to speak Spanish to them, or gently correct me when I make mistakes. And often I am speaking to other people in English during this. So maybe the commenter should try volunteering at their local food pantry to put the shoe on the other foot being a “foreigner” trying to serve people in another language, that just want their children to have healthy food.

  3. elizdelphi

    Remember, Pentecost undoes Babel.

  4. sanfelipe007

    Heh. I was in the school kitchen trying to do something or other, when a coworker came in and asked “would you talk to this lady for me please?”

    Being a prideful wretch, my first thought was “What, not even a ‘hello Chef, how are you today? I need your help.'” I quickly put this self-pity away by apologizing to the Lord;”sorry Lord.”Then I noticed a very short, darker skinned (I say “darker” because I have dark skin) woman who wore a face of confusion.

    “O.K. What do you need?” I asked my coworker.
    “Ask her what she wants.”
    “What is it you need, ma’am?” I asked in English.
    My coworker let out an irritated huff
    “I looking for priest.” replied the woman.
    My coworker exclaimed, “you speak English?! Come on, I’ll show you where the Rectory is.!”

    And away they went.

    Honestly, I have lots of stories like this where people make assumptions instead of using their brains. Sorry, Lord, I should be more charitable.

  5. I worked for a State University seed certification service for several years and was a field inspector. I spent a lot of time out in the fields with Hispanic workers and thus, I know many Hispanic families and attend Mass with a lot of them. Most are very good people but being a good person doesn’t give anyone a pass when it comes to abiding by laws, because laws are in place for a reason.

    Hispanic field workers are an essential part of most farming operations here and most workers are working legally, but some are not and can easily be taken advantage of by unscrupulous bosses. One wrong (and coming here illegally IS wrong) opens the door to more wrongs (like the unscrupulous grower treating their illegal workers like slaves).

    I can name more than a few of the Hispanics I know who have no desire to assimilate into American life (for any number of reasons) and for those, there will always be a separation.

    There will also always be a similar separation for those who are here illegally because they cannot live in freedom. There will always be a divide in which we can never learn about each other and we will always be different from each other.

    Being here illegally usually doesn’t make Americans want to accept foreign peoples more. Doing what it takes to be here legally tells Americans that these immigrants really want to be a part of this Country and we want them here to FULLY be a part of life here while also sharing their culture.

    Being here illegally, be this real or perceived, gives Americans the impression that they are being taken advantage of and it opens a door to the illegal peoples to be taken advantage of too. It’s a no win situation and I don’t expect to be told I’m smashing someone down or lack charity because I want them to be here legally, living a free life. The fact that they talk differently or look different from me doesn’t play into it, and I hope that it doesn’t play into it for them either.


    • Father George David Byers

      Yes, danhorse2013, of course. I wish we could streamline with extreme vetting. We priests had a seminar given to us by one of the top bureaucrats for immigration who said that after well more than some 25 years working on this full time, she still hadn’t scratched the surface of the complexity and contradictory often baiting nature of the laws. It’s all broke. I just want it that if anyone is right this second a victim of a violent crime that they can be helped without being deported.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.