Wednesday, April 16, 2014

You don't belong here

Like many people, I have been watching the pre-Boson Marathon coverage for the past couple days.  I have also been cough-Cough-COUGHING which I alternate with bouts of lying around moaning & while it would be an exaggeration to say I have been watching a lot of tv, the box has certainly been on.  That's right, I'm sick.  So sick, I missed the Friends of the Library book sale, the open house at the native rose nursery & C******'s birthday.  No books, no plants, & no cake. 

While in my weakened state, I began to notice a common thread through some of the people-stories that have been airing lately.  So without further ado, here it is, my list of recently-brought-to-my-attention illegal aliens...undocumented non-citizens....whatever you want to call them. 

Lets start small, with one of my favorites.  Pamela Anderson.  Oh sure, she is legal now, but when she first came here she wasn't.  She was spotted by a person who spots potential Playboy Playmates (that cannot be the real job title, I hope) & invited her to the US for a photo shoot but didn't go to the trouble of securing a work visa.  Anderson was stopped at the border, searched -seriously, searched- & the letter asking her to come work in the US (yes, what she does...did, is working) & was turned away.  In the end, of course, the paperwork was filed, Anderson did come here & take that job away from some other hard working American & the rest is history.  Except for the part about her being illegal, because while she tried to be an illegal alien, she got caught at the border.  Really.

The entertainment industry also gives us Charlize Theron who was doing OKay here illegally, until she started to get noticed professionally & then got booted & had to work her way back through channels. 

Who could forget Arnold Schwarzenegger used to be illegal?  Pretty much everyone as it happens.   Schwarzenegger came here on a strict no-employment-type visa.  & then found a job, collected a salary & never paid taxes on any of it, not even when he came clean to run for governor.

One of the more infamous illegals was Angel Reséndiz, better known as the Railroad Killer.  We left Houston in August 1998; he arrived in December of that same year.  Also, we lived near a railroad track, so I am delighted to have missed him.  On the other hand we had then, & still have, what I consider to be an excellent crime deterrent:  big, barky dogs.

& last but not least, the man who probably should have been at the top of the list Carlos Arredondo, legal name Alexander Arredondo.  Arredondo did not become a legal citizen of this country until after one of his sons had been killed in combat, through a provision allowing parents of service members killed in combat to apply for citizenship.  At that point, he had been in this country for more than 20 years.  Since becoming a legal citizen, Arredondo has been very active protesting policies he does not agree with, including the war that killed the son that allowed him to become a citizen.  Last year around this time, he was doing just that when a bomb went off at the Boston Marathon & Arredondo became one third of one of the most iconic photographs of that day; he is the one in the cowboy hat.

Living in Florida, I might be more up close & personal with former aliens than most Americans (I married a former legal alien 20 years ago, long before I ever imagined I would live here & long after he was naturalized).  For starters, there are two important people in my wider-life that would not be in it if it were not for the Mariel boatlift.  One came over then & one was born here a year+ later, that's right an anchor baby.  So maybe we are more used to aliens.  On the other hand, V** has been living with her boyfriend for a good long while.  Every so often she is asked why they haven't gotten married, doesn't he want citizenship?  He is Puerto Rican.  Puerto Ricans have been officially recognized citizens of the US since 1917, longer than Hawaiians, longer than Alaskans.  Yes, yes white Alaskans were recognized as citizens in 1867, but Native Americans were not until...I couldn't find the date actually but it must have happened by now, right? 

Yesterday was one of our most well-known American citizen days:  Tax Day.  It was also the first day of Passover. In off-man-made-calendar news, there was a full moon & a lunar eclipse.  Today is just plain old April 16th.

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