No one is an alien. Aliens come from outer space. Illegal aliens? Can not be. Take me to your boss.
You might think that you see a lot of Latinos and Latinos in Pitkin County. And you are. They make up a large portion of the construction and service industry workforce here. But Pitkin County has remained over 94% white, while neighboring Garfield County is nearly 30% Latino. This is where the workers live – outside the gates and gardens they maintain. We have diversity without the added drawback of not offering large workforce housing. You rarely hear Latinos complain about not living in Aspen. They know their place. But whites whose price has been exceeded often complain loudly.
The immigrant population of Roaring Fork Valley has been invited here. In the early 1980s, there weren’t enough college graduates and Anglo-Saxon worker bees to keep up with the meteoric growth in construction and tourism. The desire to build fast, run a lean, profitable business, and pay less for unwanted jobs lined up with a loose border, lax enforcement, and people desperate to create an entire subculture in just 30 years.
Greed plays a role. We want cheap strawberries. Pig farm workers. Maids. Landscapers. Concrete workers. Roofers. Men trash cans. Cheap work can help us earn money. Our highways, schools, homes, churches and businesses are teeming with immigrants. Personally, I would have preferred to see the valley grow slowly, intelligently and deliberately. But I don’t blame immigrants for filling the vacuum created by greed. It is not their fault.
Like I said, no one is illegal. Someone can do something illegal – like trying to cross a closed border or jump a fence or sit in the wrong seat at a concert or execute a stop sign – but a person is not. illegal. Everyone is looking for the same thing: happiness. Liberation from suffering. Opportunity. Security. Everyone wants their mom. No one should be denied the opportunity to be with their mom, no matter what. Separating children and mothers causes the worst tantrums. It should be illegal to do that. I want my mom right away.
Customs officers at the southern border had more than 180,000 encounters with migrants in June. This is the highest number for at least a decade. Circumstances are the result of causes. Many are desperately trying to enter the Safe Zone (the United States) because circumstances in their home countries have become dangerous, unhealthy and desperate. No mom would risk a corrupt and dangerous trip with her baby unless she was running away from something horrible. People who take advantage or judge those in the humble embrace of despair or depravity are particularly obnoxious.
Refugees are not strangers. They are fleeing persecution and violence, do not try to blow people up or take their jobs. They seek mercy, food, shelter and safety. Some are hiding from ICE in churches. No one wants to leave their home, culture, food, friends, neighbors, country, etc. – even to come and live here with all of us wonderful Americans. People are driven here by the circumstances at home. How we react is important, especially if our nation has influenced these circumstances in a negative way.
Children and their mothers are seldom drug addicts, rapists, criminals and murderers. These are learned behaviors and the University of America offers graduate degrees to all desperadoes. The same people who complain about the “Fauci Ouchie” are those who talk about walls and wield Bibles and weapons. Pseudo patriots – hatriots, you might say.
My favorite of the ten suggestions is “You Shall Not Kill”. Our nation is involved in much of the madness of the world. If we silenced our guns, we would be better off. American-made weapons are exploding in Yemen, Afghanistan (yes, again), Nigeria, Syria, Iraq, Algeria, Malaysia, Colombia, Somalia, Pakistan, Haiti, the Philippines, etc. home.
Not everyone deserves or has the mental capacity to own and use a gun. Some should be prevented from interacting with firearms because they are either too edgy to think correctly, mentally ill, licensed, righteous, stupid or under the influence of weed, drinks, opioids, l heroine, bang, glue, religious extremism, internet or hate. No one should be allowed to own and use weapons of war. This includes all categories of assault weapons, rocket launchers, tanks, and poison darts. What are we defending ourselves from?
Americans are quickly becoming sterile. If we don’t let in a group of immigrants right away, we won’t be able to keep “growing”. And that would be tragic. These are my feelings. I’ll probably be labeled naive, radical, stupid, or worse. But these are my feelings.
Steve Skinner is an alien. Contact him at [email protected]