5.08.2005

ocho de mayo

When he's not auditioning for Lifestyles of the Peeing Famous, ALPF is still finding me interesting wmtc-related tidbits.

In this story from the Arizona Republic, we learn that Canada is fulfilling America's promise to the tired, poor and "wretched refuse". These are the Mexcian immigrants, who are simultaneously employed, exploited, depended upon, harrassed, arrested, and occasionally murdered in the US.
As the United States fortifies its border with Mexico, Canadian companies are reaching out to immigrants who are frustrated by U.S. restrictions and tempted by dreams of a better life in Canada.

The Canadian government has been relaxing its immigration rules in an effort to attract students and skilled workers from all over the world. That, and the push by companies promising jobs and visas, is attracting Mexican professionals turned off by the Minuteman Project, new border walls, tougher U.S. entry requirements and laws like Proposition 200 in Arizona. . . .

"Canada has its arms open to immigrants, and the United States has its arms closed. It's as simple as that," accountant Marcos Ramírez Posadas said as he stood in line with other visa applicants outside the Canadian Embassy in Mexico City.
The article explains why Canada is courting Mexican workers, and how it's making it easier for them to live and work legally in Canada.

I happen to love Mexican culture, and my interactions with Mexicans, both in Mexico and with Mexican-Americans here in the States, has been overwhelmingly positive. I realize this is a generalization, and the usual caveats apply. But for the most part, Mexicans will bring hard work, close-knit families, neighborliness, and a consideration for others - especially strangers in need - to the Canadian immigrant mix.

American immigration policy towards Mexicans has such a long, convoluted and contradictory history. In a word, it's insane. Canada is smart to capitalize on that.

It's an interesting article, worth reading if you're interested in immigration issues. It closes with this:
"I find [Americans] very egotistical," said Ramírez, an accountant for an oil-drilling firm. "There are a lot of historical problems between our countries. Canadians are much nicer; they appreciate other cultures."

. . .

For Victor Pérez Muciño, 33, a municipal worker in the town of Huixquilucan, recent news coverage of the Minuteman Project, a civilian patrol on the Arizona-Mexico border, was the deciding factor.

"We're always hearing about what they're doing to our fellow citizens . . . all these things with vigilantes, migrant hunters," he said. "Who wants to live with that?"

6 comments:

C La said...

Commenting on the "ocho de mayo," May 8th post:

When I read your post, the closing lines of the Emma Lazarus poem, The New Colossus, immediately came to mind. (original document seen at: http://www.jwa.org/exhibits/wov/lazarus/)

"Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.

Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

This country can offer so much. What is it afraid of? We all benefit from our citizen's being healthy, happy, and, therefore, productive. We all benefit. Everyone of us. No?

L-girl said...

I think of those lines all the time. Sometimes when I see Liberty in the harbor, my eyes still well up.

Are you Canadian or American? When you say "This country can offer so much", I'm not sure what country you mean.

Both countries can, but it seems only Canada wants to right now. The US is too busy destroying.

C La said...

I am an American citizen, but I do not know if I consider myself "American" anymore. There seems to be a difference these days.

It blew me away to see Bush get elected the first time. After the last election I was shocked. I felt disillusioned. I saw so many buttons, and bumper stickers that read "Anyone but Bush." I did not think that there was any way he could get re-elected. My domestic partner and I had considered moving to France in 2002. They have a single-payer system, rich culture, and, of course, the Riviera (LaCôte d'Azur). But, I am musician, and my options are limited for now.

I had read about a single-payer system proposal at the AMSA website. It makes sense, it will save American $$$. The safety and well-being citizens of a country, any country, should be paramount to it government.

Ok - I've blabbed for long enough. I can just hear you, "I've got a life, man!"

L-girl said...

Not at all, I am happy to hear from you. I hope you move forward with plans to emigrate. There are other ways.

Of course the health of society (in the broadest sense) should be paramount. But here, only profit matters. All else gets only lip service.

Have you thought about Canada? I'm not selling it, I'm just wondering.

C La said...

We were not closed to other options. France was just the first country that came to mind. Toronto is probably the most logical choice, though, if we were to emigrate. It is about 2.5 -2.75 hrs away, which would make house hunting more convenient than house hunting in France.

If you don't mind my asking, and perhaps you have addressed this question already, what made Canada your first choice?

L-girl said...

Canada was our first choice for several reasons.

First, one of our dogs can't be put on a plane, so we can't take him overseas, and we can't take him to a country that has quarantine. I'd love to live in London - and hope to one day - but we can't while we have these dogs.

Two, my family is in the NYC area, and while my mom is still alive, I want to live somewhere where I can see her easily, or get there quickly if I need to. Toronto is an hour flight from NY.

Three, English speaking. I speak a smidgen of Spanish and French, and while I'd love to be bilingual, it would take some time, and we need work. Our "day jobs" (non-writing jobs) are in the legal field, and language-dependent.

So Canada, and especially Toronto (where the big Canadian law firms are based) was a very good fit for us in many ways.

There's more about it in this post, though perhaps it's too detailed, as I was writing more for myself and my own thoughts.