Today was an unusual day --
We left home about 7:15 -- we live in a working-class neighborhood in a decent sized metropolis. The main drag was quiet.. almost spooky. Nobody was on their way to work, nobody was waiting for the city bus with their kids in tow on the way to the baby-sitter's. Nobody was stopping for a cheap cup of coffee or a Mountain Dew to get the day going. There was more traffic on Sunday morning than there was this (normally working morning).
My first reaction was something like "YES!!! It is working" -- the naitonal strike day. The day the immigrants stayed home.
You see, we live in a neighborhood where Cinco-de-Mayo is a BIG DEAL. We live in a neighborhood with spanish on store-front signs. We live where you can get authentic Mexican food (actually, not my fav... I like the Tacco Bell). We live where they advertise apartments in Spanish and where Cub foods has 1/3 of their signs in Spanish.
We live in a neighborhood built on immigrants. First generation immigrants with thick accents standing in line at the bank to cash their checks so they can send some money home. First generation immigrants both working at AND eating at Tacco Bell. Second generation immigrants owning business and employing first generation immigrants. Second generation immigrants owning their own homes, proud neat yards with original yard art in bright colors.
We've lived in our neighborhood for 4 years now. Every year I see strong families, who live, love and contribute to the fabric of our state and our country. I see people who work a lot and play as much as they can. I see people who are willing to work hard jobs, jobs that we dont' want to do. I see people who are a lot like previous immigrants to this country. I don't see people who should be forced to suffer the label "illegals" or any of the other crap people call them.
I see people who deserve the respect of our country. I see people we are morally obligated to help, they've already helped us enogh.