By Dawn Cranfield
Press “1” for English
The first time I went to Mexico on a vacation I was depressed and felt guilty that I was there spending money on frivolous junk that I truly had no need for and was on a cruise where there was more food than I needed to eat in three weeks even though the cruise was only a week long. Even though I stopped in three tourist cities, I found them to be dirty, gloomy, and the fact that I was approached by children trying to sell me items on the street was downright scary. It was also somewhat daunting to see armed men walking around the port in one city, especially in an area that seemed to be mostly filled with tourists, similar to an American city walk filled with art galleries and coffee shops.
When I stepped back on American soil I developed a deeper appreciation for immigrants that came to this country looking to get away from the oppression, the lack of a future, the drugs, the dirtiness, and all that appears to go with living in Mexico. However, my empathies have slowly started to fade over the years as I have noted that it is not so much that immigrants coming from Mexico do not necessarily want to flee their home country so much as they want America to become their homeland.
It did not take long for me to begin to notice over the years that the demands of the same people for whom I had earlier felt sympathy started to have greater and greater demands. It arose when I would call businesses and would have to “press ‘1’ for English”, I was irritated. Surely, the immigrants who fought to leave their terrible country with such deplorable conditions, the same people who wanted to be Americans, the least they could do was to learn English.
Through the years, I found it was not so; everywhere I looked around there were more signs, both literally and figuratively that the immigrants (both legal and illegal) had no interest in conforming to their new country. They did not really want to be Americans. They wanted all of the benefits, but wanted none of the responsibility. Everywhere I went, there was evidence of this; every form I saw, governmental, medical, financial, they were all in English and in Spanish, clearly there was no movement for these new transplants to conform.
Still, as a lover of all human beings, I did my best to remain as neutral as possible and put my annoyance aside and get on with life as an American. It became increasingly impossible one day as I was looking for a job and found that I was ineligible for almost every job in the field that I had been studying for a bachelor’s degree simply because I did not speak Spanish. Additionally, one day, while perusing the line of shampoo products at one of the major chains, I was appalled to find an entire section of products that were labeled in Spanish. I had no way on knowing what they were for, how to use them, or what was in them. Thinking it was an erroneous shipment, I checked the same section the following week only to find out that there were even more products throughout the store that was only labeled in Spanish.
I have been a believer that America is a wonderful country that should welcome everybody from all countries, should they follow the rules and come here legally. I believe in equality for all, the same rules should apply to each of us and the same punishments should apply as well. But, I am almost at the end of my rope with illegal immigrants from Mexico, and those that want to change America into another version of Mexico.
Please note, this is my opinion only and does not reflect the opinion of The Guardian Express.