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Mexican flag has no place in an immigration march

Let's get this out of the way: I am the daughter of immigrants who fled Cuba in 1960. They arrived in this country with the blessing of the U.S. government, which generously offered people like my parents refuge from Castro's regime. My parents became fluent in English, became citizens as soon as they could and raised their four children on lechon asado (Cuban roast pork) and the Pledge of Allegiance.

It is a travesty that the government does not give more people the opportunities presented to my parents, and through them, to me. Instead, many people desperate for work or for freedom or both take the law into their own hands and enter the country illegally. I understand the feelings of the tens of thousands of people who marched on the National Mall yesterday in pursuit of immigration reform and, in particular, paths to citizenship for millions of undocumented workers. I understand their desire to live without fear of arrest, to simply do an honest day's work and to see their children thrive. I understand that our immigration system is haplessly dysfunctional and that major reforms are needed.

What I don't understand is the claim by some at the march that those here illegally are somehow victims.

Did they not choose to come to this country, and did they not know that they either entered illegally or illegally overstayed visas? Of course they did. Do they not appreciate that one of the things that makes this country great is the rule of law -- unlike, sadly, some of the countries we leave behind? If so, undocumented immigrants must take responsibility for their plight. Finally, I found it offensive that some people in yesterday's march waved the flags of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador while demanding rights and privileges from this country. The flags and the demands for action "NOW!" suggested a sort of arrogance and entitlement when humility would have been more in order. Perhaps these marchers meant the flags as symbols of cultural or ethnic identity and not as political banners of foreign sovereigns. Perhaps they meant absolutely no offense and are at once proud of their heritage and sincere in their desire to become Americans. I trust that they did.

By Eva Rodriguez  | March 22, 2010; 11:08 AM ET
Categories:  Rodriguez  | Tags:  Eva Rodriguez  
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Comments

Perhaps they got the idea from the supporters of Israel who parade around the capitol with flags of Israel on all sides. And these flag wavers leave no doubt where their allegiances are. So what is good for one should be okay for the other.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | March 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Cuban-American community has this "I've got mine, to hell with you" mentality. They always have and they always will. I'm so proud of your English fluency and roast pigs. Some people who come here, can only dream of a roast pig or classes in English. Your experience has nothing to do with those who are fleeing poverty and a lack of work, brought on in large part by NAFTA. Cuban Republicans should stay in their beachfront homes and speak NOT of what they cannot even imagine.

Posted by: mpmck | March 22, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

I live in SoCal, and we see this a lot. It's very offensive, and does a lot to damage those legitimately asking for reform of our immigration policies. An inability to speak English, after residing here for decades, is another problem. We do need immigration reform, but it's not unreasonable to ask that those who wish to have the rights of US citizens take some responsibility for integrating themselves into America.

Posted by: Beagle1 | March 22, 2010 1:41 PM | Report abuse

There's always a few people that don't think things through and bring their flags...But overall, this was better than the 2006 march when there were thousands of international flags.

By the way, mpmck has made a HUGE valid point. Cuban Americans don't get it, specially the ones that were political refugees. They were part of the Batista- loving oligarchy and now they look down on the poor "campesinos" that migrate to the U.S.A. I bet Mrs. Rodriguez' parents were wealthy in Cuba and didn't look back when they left their hired-help in Castro's dictatorship. Please Señora Rodriguez, come down from your castle and be a bit more sensitive to the serf's plight. Gracias mija!

Posted by: JudyGG | March 22, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps they got the idea from the supporters of Israel who parade around the capitol with flags of Israel on all sides. And these flag wavers leave no doubt where their allegiances are. So what is good for one should be okay for the other.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | March 22, 2010 12:52 PM |
-------
I totally agree. If the Jews wave the Israeli flag it is perfectly fine, but if a poor chap from Ecuador do the same, it suggests that he is arrogant. The US should stop being Israel's lapdog.

Posted by: mehuwss | March 22, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

They are not asking for immigration reform. They are demanding amnesty, chain migration, welfare, education, jobs, medical care and citizenship. No "thank you", just more give me.

Posted by: chatmandu002 | March 22, 2010 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Each day call as many businesses (nail salons, hotels, restaurants, landscaping - do not discriminate based on business owner race.. and say -->IMMIGRATION RAID. If illegals are there, it will disrupt the businesses that EXPLOIT them. Everyday calls, from many people - too scared w/the raids to ignore the calls. If they can break the law w/fraud, crossing the border, failing to pay taxes - I think we can make a few "prank calls". Would do from SAFE line not attached to any business or residence (or prepd cells / pay phones) Should to do this NOW before the RAIDS slow down any more. I AM JUST FED UP!!

Posted by: herelegally | March 22, 2010 3:41 PM | Report abuse

Most of them are victims because they would not be trying to leave their magnificent homelands were it not for the US crushing their economies. The most violent places in Mexico are directly on the US border, fueled by American's need for illegal drugs. People flee this for the safety of the American way for exactly the same reason the vast majority of our ancestors fled their lands, legally and illegally. Everyone just wants to sleep through the night, or walk down the street without fear of a violent physical attack.

Posted by: hiberniantears | March 22, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Its hardly surprising that people don't realize the ramifications of another AMNESTY? Even if it was true that their were only 11 million illegal immigrants in this nation? (The true number is somewhere between 20 and 30 million) The catch 22 is that once granted Amnesty and those legitimized they can then sponsor immediate family members. Since 1965, between 50 and 70 percent of U.S. immigrant visas distributed yearly have been allotted to close family members of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents.One of the reasons is chain migration. In chain migration, one immigrant sponsors several other immigrants for admission, who then sponsor several others themselves,multiply, duplicating and and on. Chain migration happens because present U.S. immigration policy is based on the principle of broadly defined family reunification; immigrants are able to sponsor their relatives back home to be admitted as immigrants here. The illegal aliens given amnesty by Congress in 1986 (The Simpson-Mazzoli Bill) are now fueling naturalization in huge record numbers. (Americas population is around 315 million)

If AMNESTY is forced through in 2010 former illegal aliens become citizens, all of their immediate relatives qualify to depart immediately to the United States, and start new migration chains of their own. The U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform (USCIR) studied the issue of chain migration and proposed limiting family-sponsored immigration to only the spouse and minor children of a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident (LPR) and the parents of a U.S. citizen (AS LONG AS THEY ARE SUPPORTED BY A SPONSOR. So even if it was true there were only 11 million illegal aliens in the country, they majority could sponsor close family members. But the truth is, once here the sponsorship is ignored) and millions of family members have to rely on welfare to exist? Older family members, the sick, disabled who have never paid into Social Security, can receive Supplemental Security Income (SSI) Just multiply the numbers of new immigrants that can be sponsored. Somewhere around 60 to 70 million new faces, that taxpayers in most cases will eventually have to support? This is just another incredulous financial impact, that taxpayers will have to pay for?.DIMINISHING RESOURCES, CROWDED HIGHWAYS, FAILING INFRASTRUCTURE, OVERPOPULATION GROWTH are just part of our immediate future. Learn more about these issues that taxpayers will have to contend with at NUMBERSUSA.Dot.Com

Posted by: infinity555 | March 22, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

I don't expect much immigration reform this year. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its subsidiary, The Republican Party, will prefer the status quo. Illegal labor is cheaper than legal labor, unless their are lots of INS raids, lawsuits and fines. However, I think some modest change is possible, if only to do away with INS raid, etc. Not change leading to green cards or citizenship, but some sort of temporary legal status and the preservation of cheap labor for American business.

Posted by: pointpetre | March 22, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

"Perhaps they meant absolutely no offense and are at once proud of their heritage and sincere in their desire to become Americans. I trust that they did."

I have evidence to the contrary, so I cannot give such benefit of doubt.

Besides the lack of English speakers after years of living here (mentioned by another poster), there's also the historic attitudes of Mexicans.

20 years ago, while a student, I spent time in Mexico. There was a constant barrage from a Mexican tour guide, and from a local, on how the US had "STOLEN" TX, CA and the SW portion of the US. They made it clear that they still considered those territories Mexican, and that they believed they had the moral high ground. No amount of historical argument on gov't incompetency and corruption, territories won by war, etc. were even acknowledged. The US was the necessary evil for jobs, but illegal Mexicans were supposedly just "taking back what was theirs". I had the definite impression that this was a common notion, and these 2 were quite passionate about how bad my country was (perhaps because I was only 14 they thought I could be persuaded that way as well--Not).

Generalizing, what makes today's immigrant different from the past? In the past the immigrant WANTED to be an American for philosophical and economic reasons. Many of today's immigrant's just see the US as a meal ticket--there's no need to integrate (language, culture, etc.) because they don't agree with or want to truly be all that it takes to be an American.

Posted by: cfosscpa | March 22, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Rodriguez complains, "It is a travesty that the government does not give more people the opportunities presented to my parents."

On the contrary, America provides the most generous system of legal immigration on the planet, and admits more legal immigrants than all other nations combined.

But our generosity will never be enough for the demands of the greedy open-borders enthusiasts. Five billion persons reside in countries poorer than Mexico and cannot all be rescued by a one-way ticket to America. Many must solve their economic dissatisfaction at home.


Posted by: screwjob1 | March 22, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

"Finally, I found it offensive that some people in yesterday's march waved the flags of Mexico, Honduras and El Salvador while demanding rights and privileges from this country. The flags and the demands for action "NOW!" suggested a sort of arrogance and entitlement when humility would have been more in order."

Perhaps if they marched with confederate flags and called themselves a Tea Party, it would be OK with you?

That is the flag of a portion of the country who actually SECEDED and yet the mainstream media pretends it is just about heritage.

Yet when Latinos carry the flag of their heritage, it is suddenly arrogant. Don't even try saying that these are all undocumented people -- it may surprise you, but many of us who are of Mexican heritage have been here for decades, in some cases centuries.

Posted by: Matt36 | March 22, 2010 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Most Americans have no problems with people who want to come to this country legally, and work hard to make this country a better place. Americans don't like criminals that think they are entitled to be rewarded for breaking the law.

Allowing any illegal immigrant to stay here sends the wrong message to people who think for some reason, they are above our immigration laws. It is also a slap in the face to legal immigrants.

If you can't live in America legally, we do not want or need you here. The only thing illegal aliens are entitled to is going back to where they came from, but they should have to pay the bill for being shipped back.

If you feel strongly about this issue, you can contact your congressional representative online by going to https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml

Posted by: Richard_Shaw | March 22, 2010 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of the nationalities of the flag-bearers, it was most evident to me that this 'movement' is Latino-driven. CNN chose to air a picture of my sister, a friend and me, presumably to show some contrast to the overwhelming majority of Latinos at the march. I was in L.A. during the demonstrations against Prop. 187 and was one of those who was outraged at such a display of aggressive nationalism on our soil. Furthermore, any activist worth their salt (Rep. Guttierrez is apparently not one of these) knows not to use the word, DEMAND. You ask, you request, you clearly point out the need, however you couch it your desired result is hobbled when you appear arrogant. And Americans simply don't like being dictated to. The assignation of "victim" has been carefully developped by illegal immigration advocates, not the least of which are many generations of administrations in Mexico who are in a win-win position: export our poor, import their remittances ($48 billion in 2008). I see that the CIR blueprint requires "English proficiency" yet a disturbing number of Latinos who have arrived within the past 15-20 years are barely literate in English, and often semi-literate in Spanish. There was a letter in yesterday's WP in which a woman was countering the argument that there are insurmountable obstacles to immigrants learning English. Her church has offered free ESL classes and child care for nine years. There are 65 students from 18 countries; only 2 are latina. ESL instruction is widely available throughout the U.S. and there is no rational excuse for not taking advantage of this privilege. Finally, it's incomprehensible that the Feds. didn't address this situation until critical mass had been reached -- say, 15-20 years ago when California and the border states were ringing alarm bells.

Posted by: arcataberry | March 22, 2010 11:17 PM | Report abuse

@matt36--at the time of the signing of the Treaty of Guadalupe de Hidalgo, we "paid" Mexico's despotic president, Santa Anna $10 million and forgave Mexico's substantial debt to the U.S. England, France and Spain had also considered taking military action against Mexico for having defaulted on huge loans to its dysfunctional government. You'll have to ask Santa Anna what became of the money from the U.S. Finally, there were no more than 25,000 Mexicans living in CA and the Southwest and it had control over that area for a relatively short period of time. The revisionist history making us out to be thieves is Kool-Aid for the masses.

Posted by: arcataberry | March 22, 2010 11:33 PM | Report abuse

Dear Ms. Rodriguez,

With all due respect, I believe that you are just reporting what serves the main idea behind your opinion. I marched yesterday. I did not carry neither the United States' flag or my homeland's. And, frankly I do not think that carrying such sacred symbol was going to either undermine or boost my fervent desire for an intelligent comprehensive immigration reform that addresses the issues you mention.

The trip to the Mall was difficult as the trains got broken one after another. However, the people were determined to attend this historical event no matter what came across our path. I listened to the National Anthem performed by Marvin Gaye while I was standing next to young Latinos. And, the only thought that circled my mind was a sad one due to their inability to appreciate what really this nation is.

I had the opportunity to get college education unlike many of those gentlemen and gentlewomen you saw yesterday. But, this does not entitle me to criticize these unfortunate people for making the "wrong" choices they made yesterday. On the contrary, it only makes me appreciate what I got from America.

Posted by: Carrick319 | March 23, 2010 12:03 AM | Report abuse

I'll wave any damned flags I please, madam, and I don't need your permission to do so.

Posted by: nick7 | March 23, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

And you, the daughter of Latino immigrants, questions whether people have the right to display the flag of their home country?

Que vergonzoso!

Posted by: reporter1 | March 23, 2010 12:36 AM | Report abuse

'Mexican flag has no place in an immigration march"

I really think that you have no right to say that except, of course, for your 1st Amendment right *to* say that. Assuming that you aren't just trying to provoke hatred.

I say let them wave their flags. The higher they raise them, the easier it will be for DHS agents to spot them LOL

Seriously the more that they wave their flags the more that they know that they are not in the country of their citizenship. Maybe one day that will occur to them. And frankly if flag-waving Latinos are that much of a threat to us here in the US, the war against illegal immigration is already lost.

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 23, 2010 12:37 AM | Report abuse

Can I wave my Irish flag in St Patrick's Day, or is that also forbidden?

Posted by: hithere2 | March 23, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

...crime in the name of self-interest is understandable when the criminal is desperate, deplorable when they are not, but eventually the criminal will realize that they have achieved their current status through criminal action. They cannot hope to truly respect themselves at that point. And at that point you either have hardened criminals who just don't give a damm or people who might actually admit that they have taken what is not rightfully theirs and give it back, or at least try to make some kind of restoration.

We need more people like the latter, even if they start off as criminals. And certainly there are plenty of Americans who are the former. The issue of illegal immigration will always be tainted by morality. We should take the good parts even if they come with a little bad in them. I'd rather accept someone here who came here illegally but who tries to do good in their lives, than to try to find peace with someone who is here legally but lives a life of crime and is always one step ahead of the law.

And since I really don't know who is whom in this situation, to me, the flags are a symbol of nothing. They could be national pride on one hand, or simple cultural arrogance on the other, but the fact is that there are criminals hiding on both sides. Illegals work here illegally, but someone has to pay them, and unless all the illegals are doing is stealing goods from honest people and selling them on the black market, they are working illegally for legal residents, who are illegally profiting from their labor. There are no angels here.

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 23, 2010 12:45 AM | Report abuse

Eva ... are you that simple-minded that you would care what flags people were carrying in this march? What is wrong with letting people know where you are from? It doesn't mean that in order to become an American you must hate the country you came from. And I would like to know how anyone could fault people for coming to this country to escape a life where $2.00 a day is a common wage! These aren't the people with the doctorates and university degrees ... they sit at home in comfort while these people march!!

Posted by: paris1969 | March 23, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

The rich people and upper middle class fled Cuba after Castro took over and started confiscating homes and businesses. The Cubans are powerful in SE Florida, but don't have a clue about Mexicans except that they both speak Spanish.

There are over a million Americans living in Mexico and they are treated well with respect.

On the other hand, Mexicans are often treated like dirt in the USA. They contribute enormously in the agricultural and construction sectors of our economy. Most pay taxes - even the ones with no papers. They are at risk everyday for deportation or shake downs by local law enforcement agencies. Cubans don't have a clue.

Posted by: alance | March 23, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

What we certainly do not need is a nation of hypocrites who grow fat and happy by exploiting crime. And that goes for those who avert their eyes to illegal immigration as well as those who insist on making more and more things illegal so that they can make more and more money as a result of someone else falling afoul of the law. We talk about a society based on laws as if that is only a good thing.

There is no part of human existence that is purely good. Everything that we do has some good and some evil in it. And there is no question that our immigration law is the way that it is now because it protects the vested interests of some Americans at the expense of others. The law, like everything else, is a balance, and sometimes that balance is off one way, sometimes the other way. We have a system of law. But we cannot put the law itself above morality. It's no more moral than the people who embody it, and US law is no more right or wrong than US citizens themselves. Only a legal pendant would claim that the law is above reproach and that all should bow down to it, and everything made subservient to it. Sometimes the law is just wrong and SHOULD be disobeyed and that's all that it is to it. Sometimes situations call for adherence to a higher law than municipal law, or county law or even state or Federal law.

The ultimate law is that we all have to live with ourselves and our decisions, and we have to look ourselves and our friends and family-members in the eye every day, and be able to face them and live with it. There's not a law on this Earth that means a damm thing if you can't do that.

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 23, 2010 12:57 AM | Report abuse

Anyway I think that if you go through life and you never break the law, you are not actually living and you have no morality other than to obey the law, at least technically.

But that still says, basically, that you have no real morality of your own. If you did, you would know from time to time that the law is just wrong about some things. And it can't always be that the law is too lenient.

So it's much more likely that you do have a sense of morality and you have broken the law but just not been caught, or you've been caught for breaking the law but never prosecuted, or even then prosecuted under "friendly terms" like "probation before judgment" where your case was dismissed upon the successful completion of your probation or some court-mandated class, or some such nonsense. I think that I'd have more faith in someone who has broken the law by standing up for what they believe in, than someone who claims to have never broken the law, because the latter person supposedly allows the law to define what they believe in. And that's just not human. That more than anything is more likely just a person living a lie. And how can you really trust a person who lives a lie.

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 23, 2010 1:08 AM | Report abuse

...no, it's much more likely that such people break the law on a regular basis and then hide from it, all while claiming credit for being law-abiding people, while really they're lying up and down the street.

Posted by: dubya1938 | March 23, 2010 1:12 AM | Report abuse

yeah....Mexican flags,che guevara pics,demanding,screaming...these are the best way to get kick out of this country.Where is Prez. Ike when America need him the most?

Posted by: julcubdish | March 23, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

you look more spanish rodriguez then Mexican Indian,so i can see your point.

Posted by: gilliam | March 23, 2010 1:16 AM | Report abuse

"Finally, it's incomprehensible that the Feds. didn't address this situation until critical mass had been reached -- say, 15-20 years ago when California and the border states were ringing alarm bells.
Posted by: arcataberry"

It's not incomprehensible. Neither Party wanted to go near it for fear of "shifting the electoral demographics". And both Parties were fully or in large part controlled by Ruling Elites who were getting rich off Open Borders cheap labor or being in the right place to gain new Church members, expand their Gov't bureaucracies and salary and power by noting that 10s of millions needing new services require a plethora of new Gov't jobs and promotions for those supervising the new hires serving the illegals.

Unions saw huge advantage in more illegals, means more dues more power of they were organized. Powerful Jews saw more wealth and power coming from illegals in shifting demographics and being able to exploit that in Jewish businesses, in services like lawyers for illegals & their family reunification in the States, and as Jewish power brokers in cities and states "championing" the illegal. (Similar to how Jews dominated professional services and businesses in black cities, and controlled "mentoring" of "less sophisticated Negroes" in Jewish-controlled Fronts like the NAACP and black unions..)

What is amazing though is groups whose interests are directly harmed by tens of millions coming in illegally being great boosters of "the right" of illegals to come here. Blacks, who went from only 6% of men 18-30 being unemployed in cities to over 50%, with every "step-up job" outside government ones dominated by Hispanic immigrants. And environmentalists, who made a pact with liberals NOT to decry mass immigration now moaning their heads off about environmental destruction from water diversion, habitat loss in the SW, Colorado, Florida.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | March 23, 2010 1:21 AM | Report abuse

If prospective immigrants respected the laws of this country they would attempt to come here legally. The US needs a guest-worker program; the reason people like Mexican laborers is because they work long, hard, and effectively for low pay. But there is no question that the increasing number of Latino gangs, the increasing burden on actual taxpayers, and the desperate employment picture in the US are provoking a real backlash which politicians ignore at their peril. What we need in this country (as Friedman pointed out this week in the Times) is immigrants who value education and assimilation. Unfortunately uneducated dirt-poor immigrants from south-of-the-border are not the ideal immigrants with respect to the interests of the nation. Beyond a certain amount of needed guest-workers there is little place for these people here. I have a friend in the third world who is eager to move here. I tell him he should stay with his fruit trees--he cannot really conceive of how expensive life in the US is by his standards. I suspect that as security technology advances, many who are here illegally will find themselves in trouble. I do not think there is much support in this country for simply giving amnesty to illegals--on the other hand there would be little support for the harsh reality of expelling over ten million illegals, in addition to the legal obstacles.

I don't really see how we can afford to offer any but emergency medical care to illegal immigrants. Repatriation would be cheaper. And the chain immigration policy described in detail by another poster is entirely irrational at this point. Another thing we can do is press for reform in Mexico, which doesn't even bother to teach its students English.

Guest workers should retire to their native countries--already many US citizens prefer to retire to Mexico. The politics of immigration is so complicated that I suspect the way forward is the incrementally greater regulation of guest workers, cracking down on employers who break the law, and repatriation of those who come in contact with the legal system. I would also like to see police going after dangerous drug gangs instead of going after US citizens for lifestyle crimes.

If Dems could lead the way forward on sensible immigration reform it could greatly redound to their credit. But as someone who voted for Obama, I would advise that Dems can ill afford to be seen giving away the store. I suspect if Obama will do anything about reform it will have to have a bite--like Clinton "ending welfare as we know it."

Posted by: scientist1 | March 23, 2010 1:39 AM | Report abuse

Ms Rodriguez you make it shameful for us to be Cuban Americans. How many of our people in Miami dont fly the Cuban flag in or on their cars and homes. Does that upset you as well? Pride is pride lady something a self hater like you trying to pass for white will not understand. Like too many of our own I am certain you are a racist of the worst kind. Are you aware that Antonio Maceo the bronze titan was a black man and the one that freed Cuba from the Spanish tyrants? You wont accept that fact will you. None of us is better than any other one of us. Our nations strength is in our similarity and diversity. The border crossed the Mexicans not the other way around and you should kiss the ground that JFK walked on because had it not been for his bay of pigs mistake there would be no wet foot dry foot policy; which is wrong on so many levels there is no time to illustrate it here. I risked my life in Vietnam my grandfather fought in the battle of the Marne in WW1 and my son served two tours in Iraq as a member of the 82nd Airborne so I am positive I have a firmer place as an American than you do and once again it disgusts me that too many of my gente think and act the way that you do. Gusana is too nice a term for a vile bigot like you I am sure you remember it right? You delude yourself in thinking that the SHEET(TEA) party types look at you and see a white woman you are a sp]c to them today and will be one tomorrow as well thanks for making them right.

Posted by: jbento | March 23, 2010 1:43 AM | Report abuse

paris1969 - "Eva ... are you that simple-minded that you would care what flags people were carrying in this march? What is wrong with letting people know where you are from?"

When ethicities from one country wave their flags in the faces of a majority ethnicity in another country and assert they are more loyal to their race or people than the country they are in - you can have a lot of trouble.
Witness Sudetan Germans waving Reich flags in Czechoslovakia, Serbs marching with flags in Kosovo and Bosnia. Jews who fly Israel's flag over each settlement on the West Bank and festoon Star of David on gear and clothes...in case Palestinians missed the message that Jews will do what is best for their tribe and Zionism.
And you have Han invaders settling Tibet flying their flag and banners that celebrate other historical Han takeovers and "deep grievances".

Sometimes this ends badly for the invaders (see German colonists in Russia that flew the Swastika when the Wehrmacht arrived, the Japanese colonists that went over enmass for Hirohito's armies as soon as they hit Samar Philippines or Pacific islands with large Japanese fishing colonies). Sometimes it ends up badly for those invaded (Tibet, Palestine, Mexican California)
===================
"I'll wave any damned flags I please, madam, and I don't need your permission to do so.
Posted by: nick7"

That was the attitude of the German diaspora, the ill-fated Indian ethnic effort to take over Fiji from the Fijians, even Russians demanding Russian-language only jobs and services and their flags and holidays proudly noted in lands where Russians were a 5-35% minority.
Ethnicity and loyalty to a foreign land trumping loyalty to the land they live in.

We have problems with AIPAC related to that sort of sentiment illegals waving the Mexican flag in Chicago exemplify.

As well as masses of veiled women and angry bearded men in Paris and Rotterdam waving Algerian flags and green "No God But Allah and Destroy His Enemies" flags - demanding self-rule and Sharia deep inside Europe. For variation, the Islamoids in Londonistan fly the Pakistani, Jordanian, Yemeni, and Egyptian flags as well as the scattered Moroccan and Algerian ones. (You almost never see a Union Jack, Dutch, or French Tricolor one in their ranks).

Now, you can take that all as a wonderful MultiCulti post-national thing that Celebrates the 1st Amendment and honors the Spirit of the American Sacred Parchment...and all that stuff...
But history generally shows that such loyalty problems are harbingers of far more serious trouble ahean, even mass bloodshed.

And it is rare to see anyone that sees how German ethnic nationalism made for a better Czechoslovakia or AIPAC helps the best interests of the US or how grovelling to strident Cuban Exile demands to call the shots on America's foreign policy in the Caribbean has helped the USA as a nation.

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | March 23, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Were you there Sunday? I saw few flags that weren't the good ol' red, white, and blue. The ones I did see included those of the Republic of Ireland, Somalia, Germany, Korea and Italy, as well as those you mentioned. I guess you were too busy helping carry the immigration stereotype to notice the others.

Posted by: damannion | March 23, 2010 2:01 AM | Report abuse

The primary difference between the Cuban immigration and the Mexican immigration is that for Cubans, if you set foot on dry land within our borders, you were one of ours.

The Mexicans could make it all the way to Maine and still face getting shipped back.

It'd be different if Mexico were run by communists, I guess.

Posted by: wizard2 | March 23, 2010 2:06 AM | Report abuse

I don't see anyone having a problem when a bunch of Irish people are waving Irish flags. I agree with the one commentator -- Cuban Americans want the best of both worlds -- prosperity here now, and first dibs on the pickings when Castro finally falls.

Posted by: ChrisW1958 | March 23, 2010 2:19 AM | Report abuse

I played piano for my weekly Spanish-language church service last Sunday at 5 p.m. One member wore a U.S.A. tee-shirt, another was waving several small American flags. I now realize that they may have just come back from the demonstration on the Mall. All of the children of Comunidad de Santa Maria (Augustana Lutheran Church, Dupont Circle) speak English, by the way - when I address them in Spanish, they reply in English, and they play together in English. I'm not too worried about prospects for these people to integrate into our society fairly quickly. As a Georgetown University librarian, I've been playing piano for this community for about half a dozen years - you really have to get to know the immigrants intimately and observe them over a period of time in order to judge them accurately. Too many of the comments on this blog seem to be made more in ignorance than in knowledge of who these people in our midst really are.

Posted by: reithl | March 23, 2010 2:55 AM | Report abuse

Maybe they're waving other flags because they can't wave the American flag (they are more and more demonized here in the US). Maybe just to identify the origins of people who work here, many of whom pay taxes, yet are denied access to services that those taxes support.

Leaving your country to live illegally in another is not a joy ride. I doubt the decision to leave home to live in fear is taken lightly.

Maybe we should take more time to look into the causes of emigration from their country, instead of working ourselves into a lather about what flag they fly.

Posted by: lxp19 | March 23, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

lxp19 - yet they came her illegally, understanding they came her illegally. If they are working here so they can pay taxes, they are working her illegally. To do that, they would have to have documents they obtained illegally. So, are they victims, or are the Americans who can't get jobs because illegals are here working, undercutting the wage base, the victims. I chose to side with Americans. You can chose to side with who you wish.

Posted by: termiteavenger | March 23, 2010 3:30 AM | Report abuse

Lighten up.

Posted by: mike20169 | March 23, 2010 5:01 AM | Report abuse

Rodriguez, would you object if they were waving the Cuban flag?

Posted by: gmpadilla2001 | March 23, 2010 5:38 AM | Report abuse

esta reforma cambia la cara de la politica en America por siempre...
illagals no tiene derecho para hacer eso...

the is reform changes the face of politics forever in America...
illegals have no right to do that...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 23, 2010 5:56 AM | Report abuse

WAKE-UP AMERICAN PEOPLE!! - If 'YOU' went to MEXICO and waved a U.S. Flag at their' National Mall,-- then what would happen LORD? -- YOU ALL would be in Jail,-- 'Maybe' da!? -- But, Guaranteed,- YOU ALL would have the 'CRAP' beat out of YOU for UN--MEXICAN--ACTIVITIES!!! -- WE need to Prosecute & JAIL the Criminal Employers whom Hire ILLEGALS! -- And WE need to Prosecute & JAIL the IRS/CONGRESS for allowing & accepting TAX's from (da!) ILLEGALS, whom (da!) are here ILL-LEGALLY!!!

Posted by: jward52 | March 23, 2010 6:02 AM | Report abuse

Why is it NOT ok to waive Mexican flags here while it is popular at many Tea Party rallies to waive Confederate flags? Let's remember that the Confederacy is a defeated "nation" that attacked the United States of American and killed thousands and thousands of brave patriotic Americans.

Posted by: WorthWeller | March 23, 2010 6:22 AM | Report abuse

"...these marchers meant the flags as symbols of cultural or ethnic identity and not as political banners of foreign sovereigns... they meant absolutely no offense and are at once proud of their heritage and sincere in their desire to become Americans."

Posted by: cosorio | March 23, 2010 6:31 AM | Report abuse

If the 10 million 'hard working' citizens of Mexico who abandoned their country for mine would go back and work together, they would have the power to dramatically change the culture of economic corruption in their land.

Democrats granting citizens of Mexico health care 'rights' in America was stupid. It will not motivate any of them to fix their own country's problems.

Posted by: SayWhat4 | March 23, 2010 6:32 AM | Report abuse

If foreign flags offend you, don't come to Minnesota where Swedish and Norwegian flags abound.

Posted by: MNUSA | March 23, 2010 6:36 AM | Report abuse

Round them all up. Chop off a foot, give them back that foot in a box, then send them back to their home country. The next time you find them in the U.S. it will be easier to spot them. If they do try and come here legally you can spot them as well. Deny them legal entry on the gounds that they were already caught here illegally.

Posted by: urallimbeciles | March 23, 2010 6:49 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, all you apologists. It IS offensive for them to be carrying flags Mexican flags in these equally offensive marches. The people here illegally have NO rights in this country, although they have no qualms about draining our resources dry and then demanding more. I am not for any kind of rewards for their illegal entry into this country and wish to see the end of chain migration and the "anchor baby" mess. Our country cannot afford millions more. We need to close the borders now!

Posted by: Lilycat11 | March 23, 2010 6:50 AM | Report abuse

a good start would be stop using the euphamism "undocumented" and start calling them "illegal" like they are. Even better, deport them. And finally, get rid of this "press one for English" bullshirt and require everybody who lives here to learn ENGLISH.

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 23, 2010 6:58 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I am part hispanic. My Grandmother, who was Austrian, came to the US at age 14 only knowing how to speak Austrian. She grew up in West Tampa and spent her life working a s a servant for rich people. Not only did she live to be 88, but also learned to speak fluent English AND Spanish. Can you image "Press one for English, press two for Austrian" back then?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 23, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse

We live in a finite country and there is nothing you or I can do to change that fact. Immigration will turn America into another India.

Posted by: hipshot | March 23, 2010 7:05 AM | Report abuse

While I understand that illegal immigrants are seeking a better life and want to work, that fact is that they are illegal. Furthermore, the US cannot grant amnesty to the whole world and let them live here. There are about 5 billion people living in poverty around the world, and the US cannot take them all. Honestly, the best thing we can do for these 5 billion people living in misery is to teach them to use birth control. Countries with the highest densities of people are the places where poverty is most severe.

Posted by: mmreay | March 23, 2010 7:10 AM | Report abuse

Now she's got me wondering: what does lechon asado taste like?

Posted by: ablankinship | March 23, 2010 7:12 AM | Report abuse

The last thing this country needs is more you owe me and I am a victim illegal entrants. Their arrogance is astounding.
Cut off all the goodies, start not only fining but seizing the assets of businesses who continue to exploit them. Most of these people are a 2 hour plane ride home from where they belong.This talk of attempting to deport them isn't necessary. They managed to get themselves here. If they can no longer be accomodated with jobs and benefits they will go home.
Let's go back to granting entry to this nation of those people from AROUND THE WORLD who are waiting patiently in line to adhere to our laws and show respect for our country.
Let's be honest for a change; Kennedy's Immigration Bill was to make certain we have a "mix" of immigrants in this country.
Those on the Mall Sunday are already way over represented in this country. How about let's be fair and give someone else a chance to come here, those who don't share a border with us and can't just walk across and break our laws and thumb their noses at us all.

Posted by: menopausequeen | March 23, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Do you really think U.S. Citizens are blind to the fact they are subsidizing the ruling class of Mexico e.g. Carlos Slim the richest man in the world? Mexico exports the poor and in return they send back U.S. Dollars. Carlos Slim has a unique business model. The mounting war fare on our southern border is just one of the reasons to shut it down!
Unequal enforcement of the law leads to lawlessness. It's time for the Supreme court to rule on the anchor baby law - no other developed country allows an individual to run accross a sovereign border, drop a baby then call it a citizen of that country!!!

We must stop venting the steam in Mexico by allowing an open border, then pouring water in the pot by allowing the remmittances - Mexico has bountiful resources for all but only a few like Carlos Slim (the richest man in the world) benefit from all the wealth. Seal the border like a good sovereign nation and watch the people of Mexico take back their country. There is no reason for them to leave their home to make a better life for themselves.

Posted by: kendog100 | March 23, 2010 7:18 AM | Report abuse

Talk about arrogance and entitlement! You, Ms. Rodriquez, reek of it. You also reek of ignorance. The fact that you cannot understand the victimhood of people who are encouraged to come to the US in order to be cheap labor in slaughterhouses, as well as in other completely unsavory industries, proves your ignorance. For all of the benefits that you say you've gotten via your parents' immigration, you certainly didn't get much of an education. The problem with Cubans who came over during the 60s was that, unlike most immigrants, those early Cubans were not poor and uneducated but were the rich and entitled who stood to lose property when Fidel Castro and his revolution took over and redistributed assets so that all Cubans would have decent lives. You, Ms. Rodriquez, do not seem capable of understanding the difference between somebody who flees a regime s/he finds oppressive and who has assets and an MD with somebody who has perhaps a 3rd-grade education and no skills other than a strong back.

Posted by: barnabytwist | March 23, 2010 7:31 AM | Report abuse

paris1969 wrote:
And I would like to know how anyone could fault people for coming to this country to escape a life where $2.00 a day is a common wage!
---------------------------
Well Paris1969, let me tell you...
I fault them for not staying in their own countries and fighting for better wages, and better schools, and better housing, and better medical care. I also fault them for coming here illegally and demanding the rights that my people as slaves, children of slaves and grandchildren of slaves had to die for. Jobs that an American citizen could get for $10 an hour twenty years ago, now go to illegals for $5 an hour and athey gladly take it. How can an American citizen live on $5 an hour? They can't. But... as long as there is that illegal willing to take the job for so much less, the American citizen will not be able to compete.

Posted by: OHREALLYNOW | March 23, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I think the US should treat illegal aliens the same as the their country of origin treats violators of the country. Illegal aliens in Mexico, Honduras, etc have no rights and are treated as second class citizens if naturalized. The point is illegal aliens have violated federal laws and as such have the only right to return to their country of origin.

Posted by: redskins2k1 | March 23, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

I think the US should treat illegal aliens the same as the their country of origin treats violators of the country. Illegal aliens in Mexico, Honduras, etc have no rights and are treated as second class citizens if naturalized. The point is illegal aliens have violated federal laws and as such have the only right to return to their country of origin.

Posted by: redskins2k1 | March 23, 2010 8:19 AM | Report abuse

As to flags, that really wasn't the best use of the movement's photo opportunities. They really should have been carrying dollar sign flags, since that is what this is all about. If you believe that our country can handle more citizens, ask someone in a border state what it is like there. It's not racist to point this out and to be concerned with the continued impact on federal, state and local budgets with massive, uncontrolled migration, which is what we have, today.

Of course, my immigration attorney friends do need a new luxury car every year and the Democratic Party will love the votes, so by all means, let's work out an amnesty that has little or no cost and press repeat, one more time on the problem.

Posted by: drc231 | March 23, 2010 8:22 AM | Report abuse

Why do I get the feeling that Rodriguez would gladly wave the flag of the old Cuba if she were at a rally demanding the continuation of the ridiculous embargo against that nation?

Posted by: rjacobs1 | March 23, 2010 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Interesting that I don't hear similar criticism of folks flying Italian flags in Little Italy, or those who have Spanish or Swedish flag stickers on their bumpers.

The fact that the writer takes pains to clarify that she is a child of Cuban immigrants in the first paragraph is of interest. Of course it is easy for her to point a finger and say that Mexican and Central Americans ought to come legally when U.S. immigration policy guaranteed her parents and other Cubans free entry using a policy that strongly favors Cubans.

I am all for enforcing immigration laws, but let's not be silly and suggest that people ought to deny their culture as a condition of living in America -- legally or otherwise. Assimilation has never included cultural neutering -- not for the Germans, the Irish, Italians, or any other ethnic group that brought their foods, music, religions, and family values to America. America is great in part because, and not despite, its rich cultural diversity.

The writer should take a look inward and ask her what motivated her to write the article. Was it to distinguish herself from Mexican and Central American immigrants in the eyes of her friends and Colleagues? Is she saying to the haters that "it is ok to be bigots, but PLEASE remember that I am not one of THEM"?

Posted by: MdLaw | March 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

SayWhat4 posted: "Democrats granting citizens of Mexico health care 'rights' in America was stupid."

um...you do know that the Emergency Medical Treatment & Labor Act (the law that forces emergency rooms to treat illegal aliens) was passed in 1986...when Reagan was President and Republicans controlled the Senate...right?

It's annoying that so many on the right are convinced that it's been the DEMOCRATS that sold us out to the hispanic special interests when all along the most egregious give-aways have happened during Republican ascendancy.

Even the loophole in immigration law that allows employers of illegal aliens to get off scott free (employers who 'knowingly' hire illegals) was inserted by Republicans and it was the conservative-dominated Supreme Court that said illegals using someone else's social security number couldn't be charged with identity theft if they didn't KNOW it belonged to someone else.

No Amnesty for serial fraudsters. No Amnesty for liars, cheats, and thieves. No special benefits, no special dispensation, no special TREATMENT for illegal aliens.

So says this Democrat. So say many Democrats.

Posted by: WilyArmadilla | March 23, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

"It is a travesty that the government does not give more people the opportunities presented to my parents, and through them, to me.:
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Joann, do you know how many LEGAL immigrants America now takes each year? ONE MILLION. Plus several hundred thousand guest workers. Not to mention refugees. Bearing in mind that immigration policy should primarily be for the GOOD OF AMERICA AND AMERICANS, just how many more do you think we should take? And under what criteria?

Latin countries in general send almost 50% of all legal immigrants to the U.S. Mexico is the ONE country sending the most legal immigrants, 15-20% of all immigration, because of our emphasis on FAMILY REUNIFICATION. Note that many of these family members are unskilled, uneducated and become part of our workforce. Although legal immigrants are generally required to have a sponsor who guarantees that they will not become a public charge, in reality, Americans usually end up subsidizing these immigrants.

Fact is, even though our unemployment rate is still around double digits (and well into double digits in some states and cities), we are STILL admitting roughly 100,000 legal immigrants each month. Just to keep up with the natural increase in our population takes the creation of more than that number of jobs each month.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 8:36 AM | Report abuse

mpmck wrote:"The Cuban-American community has this "I've got mine, to hell with you" mentality. They always have and they always will. I'm so proud of your English fluency and roast pigs. Some people who come here, can only dream of a roast pig or classes in English. Your experience has nothing to do with those who are fleeing poverty and a lack of work, brought on in large part by NAFTA. Cuban Republicans should stay in their beachfront homes and speak NOT of what they cannot even imagine."
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mpmck, you forget that many Americans lost jobs under NAFTA, including in my home state of Michigan. Remember those good paying factory jobs that were moved to Mexico? The only difference is, the U.S. government provided training for displaced workers; Mexico apparently did not (and it should well be able to afford to, considering it is one of the richest countries in the world).

If Mexicans don't like the terms of NAFTA, well, they should address their concerns to THEIR government just as we are doing to ours. IF their government didn't represent THEIR interests, whose fault is that? And whose responsibility to remedy it?

You might also note that the presence of illegal aliens in agriculture here is one of the factors enabling U.S. growers to undercut Mexican growers--it's not ALL NAFTA.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 8:42 AM | Report abuse

"There was a constant barrage from a Mexican tour guide, and from a local, on how the US had "STOLEN" TX, CA and the SW portion of the US."

It is indisputable that we certainly DID.

Posted by: trh123 | March 23, 2010 8:44 AM | Report abuse

We take in more than enough people. We need to allow fewer immigrants, and those we allow in should come in on the basis of skills. Our country is overcrowded and polluted. We have high rates of unemployment and underemployment. These breeders have destroyed California and are on their way to destroying Texas. They have no intention of being anything but Mexicans.

Posted by: rusty3 | March 23, 2010 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Most of them are victims because they would not be trying to leave their magnificent homelands were it not for the US crushing their economies. The most violent places in Mexico are directly on the US border, fueled by American's need for illegal drugs. People flee this for the safety of the American way for exactly the same reason the vast majority of our ancestors fled their lands, legally and illegally. Everyone just wants to sleep through the night, or walk down the street without fear of a violent physical attack.

Posted by: hiberniantears
--------------------
Like hell. Mexico's problems are the result of Mexico's own corruption. It's own failed social, economic and political policies. Every time you push responsibility for your problems onto the U.S. you show just how much of a "victim" you think "poor Mexico" is. Yet, "poor Mexico" is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, home to the world's richest man. How is that? Did the U.S. make Mr. Slim (the son of Lebanese immigrants to Mexico) wealthy? Or did Mexico's corruption and crony capitalism do that? We know the answer. Fact is, if Americans are responsible for our government's actions and what OUR country is, MEXICANS are responsible for THEIR government and THEIR country, just as citizens of other countries are responsible for theirs. If YOUR leaders aren't getting YOU the agreements you want, if they are admitting businesses to your country on terms you don't like, then YOU should be dealing with it. You damn the U.S. if we take action, and you damn us if we don't.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 8:49 AM | Report abuse

Round them up and ship them back. They are just here for the benifits. If we don't much of America will soon look like LA.

Posted by: jdonner2 | March 23, 2010 8:53 AM | Report abuse

Yet when Latinos carry the flag of their heritage, it is suddenly arrogant. Don't even try saying that these are all undocumented people -- it may surprise you, but many of us who are of Mexican heritage have been here for decades, in some cases centuries.

Posted by: Matt36
-------------
Tell us, Matt--would you propose to a woman, all the while telling her how much you loved your ex? Would you expect her to accept?

That's what illegal aliens are doing when they wave the flags of their home countries, while all the while DEMANDING that we give them amnesty and admit them to legal status and eventual citizenship here. U.S. law does NOT provide for dual citizenship (even though it is unofficially tolerated) and in the naturalization oath the new citizen abjures loyalties to other countries.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 8:54 AM | Report abuse

If Mexico kept Texas they'd just all be lined up at Oklahoma trying to get across.

Posted by: kls1 | March 23, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

Full disclosure - I am not an immigrant, my parents were not immigrants, etc.

I am a former consular officer with the US Foreign Service, so I have had LOTS of experience dealing with the aftermath and consequences of the 1986 "amnesty".

First, from my perspective, immigration "reform" a la 1986 does not work. Yes, millions will be legalized, given rights/status as other legal immigrants, etc. However, that will only encourage EVEN MORE illegal immigration. If we want to control immigration we have to provide real dis-incentives for those who seek to come here without the proper visa. I can tell you that I saw many, many cases of immigration fraud in 3 countries in which I served, stemming from the 1986 "reforms", and yet the State Department was virtually powerless to overturn cases even with documented evidence of fraud/ineligibility because the INS had initially approved the immigration petition.

Second, we need to decide as a country what we want to accomplish through our immigration policies. Is it "family reunification", bringing in the brightest minds in science, technology, etc. or some combination thereof? If we don't have a clear understanding/consensus regarding the goals of our immigration policy, then any "reforms" Congress enacts will be misguided to say the least.

Third, we have to face the reality that we, as a nation, are essentially bankrupt. We can not afford to literally mortgage our children's futures to pay for everything that we can not afford now. It is time to make some very difficult choices about what we can and can not pay for. Any sort of immigration reform, as currently under consideration, is going to cost us more money -- if for no other reason that additional health care costs, but there are many other costs too. I would argue that it is time to take care of our own citizens first, and not to add many more millions to the rolls. Yes, their situation is unfortunate - however, what is more important -- taking care of people who are already citizens and LEGAL immigrants -- or taking care of those who CHOSE to come illegally. I'm not unsympathetic to the plight of individual immigrants, whose stories are often compelling. But, we have to make decisions based on what makes sense for the WHOLE country not just individuals.

Posted by: sarah_metzger2 | March 23, 2010 8:57 AM | Report abuse

The Democrats have an plan to be the controlling Majority party and a lock on power far into the future & Turn this Nation into a socialist Third World welfare state, a socialist paradise. Obama has already said next on the agenda is Immigration reform, which are simple code words for Amnesty & citizenship for the 20 to 30 millions invading Criminals & Uneducated Prolific breeding Third World rejects as a reward for invading this Nation and breaking numerous laws alone with all their Mother,s, Dad,s, Sisters and Brothers in a never ending chain. This will add millions of educating hating, gang joining Hispanics breeding at a prodigious rate & producing more dependent welfare Democrats & assuring enough Democrat Welfare voters to control this Nation forever!

If the Democrats are successful in grating Amnesty for the millions of illegal Aliens alone with chain immigration we will have lost this Nation. Our future will be a one party Socialist Dictatorship & in a few years a Third World cesspool of Corruption, Crime,Poverty & Misery modeled on Mexico & nothing short of a civil war will be able to break the yoke and servitude of citizens to Obama & the Democrats!


Posted by: american1 | March 23, 2010 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Cubans, Mexicans and anyone else here illegally should be rounded up and deported, then come back in after being indoctrinated via the legal process. ICE should have used the protest march as an opportunity to do their jobs.

Posted by: pt1836metz | March 23, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

It goes to show that in the Post, anyone is allowed to write articles.

It seems that many people commenting here DO NOT REALIZE or know that NO ONE escapes the grasp of the IRS; illegal aliens also PAY taxes, the people who hire them might not report it to the IRS but they pay TAXES. They pay taxes when they buy food, fuel, cloths, etc.

Don't be IGNORANT and don't be filled with racism and hatred towards your fellow bother and sister. Put yourself in their shoe, JUST TRY for a moment.

God Bless!

Posted by: riceldi | March 23, 2010 9:05 AM | Report abuse

I guess I've seen it all now. People with no rights and in this country illegally marching on Washington to demand their rights. I'd call it an invasion force.

Posted by: hz9604 | March 23, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

I am sympathetic to the cause of immigration reform, but I have some advice for the protesters after being forced to watch from my car as I was stranded on East Capitol near my home Sunday afternoon.

1) East Capitol Hill is a residential neighborhood. Don't protest there. We don't have any influence on the Hill, and resent being unable to get home because of your political agenda.

2) Please dress up a bit. Grubby white t-shirts, ratty jeans and floppy tennis shoes make it look like you are getting ready to go to the beach or watch TV, not defend your political rights. Wearing colorful and clean polo shirts would give a much better impression.

3) Put your signs in English. You are trying to convince the majority that you belong, not make a political statement about your home culture. Those who speak Spanish, Farsi, Mandarin, etc. are already on your side.

4) Wave American flags or US state flags. If you wanted to stay in Honduras or Nigeria, why did you come here?

5) What's up with Puerto Ricans protesting? Aren't you already US citizens?

Posted by: AxelDC | March 23, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps if they marched with confederate flags and called themselves a Tea Party, it would be OK with you?"
__________________________________

Wow, I was tending to agree with Ms. Rodriguez, but you've made a very valid point! Those who carry the racist confederate flag immigrated here and stole this land from Native Americans, and now they want to shout foul when others want the same right.

Posted by: Beingsensible | March 23, 2010 9:08 AM | Report abuse

Each day call as many businesses (nail salons, hotels, restaurants, landscaping - do not discriminate based on business owner race.. and say -->IMMIGRATION RAID. If illegals are there, it will disrupt the businesses that EXPLOIT them.
------------------------------------
I never heard of that...is it typical for someone to call and announce a raid before hand? How does the caller identify themselves...as ICE?

Posted by: pt1836metz | March 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

As far as I'm concerned, you can shoot them at the border, and leave them for the buzzards.

Posted by: dashriprock | March 23, 2010 9:14 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Sarah Metzger!
Best post on the board.
Our immigration policies should not be directed by the interests of political parties; the GOP not willing to give citizenship but continuing to allow them to spill over the border to be exploited by business owners, and the Dems looking for a new "victim" base. If they could get these people amnesty, they realize it would cement their hold on the government for decades to come. They are willing to work with the unions to throw American workers under the bus to accomplish this.
Do Americans even realize we have already granted an amnesty in 1986?
If we were really concerned about Kennedy's 1965 Immigration Reform Act we would be freezing ALL immigration from Latin American countries to truly allow for a mix of immigrants.

Posted by: menopausequeen | March 23, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Most of them are victims because they would not be trying to leave their magnificent homelands were it not for the US crushing their economies. The most violent places in Mexico are directly on the US border, fueled by American's need for illegal drugs. People flee this for the safety of the American way for exactly the same reason the vast majority of our ancestors fled their lands, legally and illegally. Everyone just wants to sleep through the night, or walk down the street without fear of a violent physical attack.
--------------------------
Thats not exactly true, otherwise you would not have gangs like MS13 coming here creating terrible acts of violence and terrorism.

Posted by: pt1836metz | March 23, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

Hey Beingsensible,,,,,,

Those Americans, who took the land from the indigenous populous, carried the confederate flag, and enslaved the blacks. Still live among us. There called democrats.

Have you ever wondered why Martin Luther King was a devout Republican ?

Posted by: dashriprock | March 23, 2010 9:22 AM | Report abuse

where the hell was our our immigration law enforcement when all these illegals were marching on our capitol.remember before 9/11 it was called immigration&naturalization service.but when it was discovered six months after 9/11 they were sending visa renewal papers to the murderers.this was the only government agency that changed it`s name because it showed how disfuntional it was and it still is and i don`t care how many times you change it`s name,american citizens being murdered in mexico and still nothing is being done.totally disgusted.

Posted by: SISSD1 | March 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

If someone is begging to come into this country they need to be waiving an American flag. Seems that if someone is so proud of THEIR country and needs the wave THEIR flag then go back to that proud place you so hard try to escape. That goes for anyone. Don't diss Americans by waiving YOUR FLAG in our faces.

Posted by: pt1836metz | March 23, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

The Invasion & Occupation MUST END. Illegal entry should be a capitol offense without the right to appeal. GET OUT, and take your mexican flags with you.

Posted by: brattykathyi1 | March 23, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

Eva ... are you that simple-minded that you would care what flags people were carrying in this march? What is wrong with letting people know where you are from? It doesn't mean that in order to become an American you must hate the country you came from. And I would like to know how anyone could fault people for coming to this country to escape a life where $2.00 a day is a common wage! These aren't the people with the doctorates and university degrees ... they sit at home in comfort while these people march!!
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$2.00 a day is the common wage because 1. the cost of living is generally lower there and 2. because the birthrate is so high that the employer has his choice of workers and doesn't have to pay more. The only reason that they think low U.S. wages are good is in comparison with what they had in their home countries--and due to the fact that they often don't pay TAXES here out of those wages and are able to get "free" services such as healthcare and education--services that are subsidized by those of us who actually earn enough to be net payers of taxes. You know--those of us who managed to stay in school and actually worked our way through college in order to GET a decent salary, rather than going for immediate gratification.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:27 AM | Report abuse

There is absolutely no excuse for Latino immigrants not learning English other than they rely on their culture of huge extended families to get by without it. Churches and community centers across America offer ESL night classes for free. People who don't take advantage of them are plain lazy.

We make it too easy for Latinos not to assimilate.

Posted by: coloradodog | March 23, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

"There was a constant barrage from a Mexican tour guide, and from a local, on how the US had "STOLEN" TX, CA and the SW portion of the US."

It is indisputable that we certainly DID.

Posted by: trh123
--------
And it's INDISPUTABLE that MEXICANS STOLE THOSE LANDS FROM THE NATIVE AMERICANS. No moral high ground there.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

These people are not in the USA to become citizens, to shed their former loyalty for a new country. They are here to make a living for themselves and for their family members back in their native countries, where they cannot survive. They break the law of the USA, then clamor to be not recognized as criminals. I applaud their work-ethic and their determination. I fault their methods. They do not belong here.

Posted by: schaeffz | March 23, 2010 9:30 AM | Report abuse

scientist1 wrote:"If prospective immigrants respected the laws of this country they would attempt to come here legally. The US needs a guest-worker program; the reason people like Mexican laborers is because they work long, hard, and effectively for low pay."
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We HAVE a guest worker program, several of them in fact, including H2-A and B for unskilled seasonal agricultural workers and for unskilled other workers, respectively. Guess what? Neither employers nor illegal aliens want to use them. Employers would have to pay more and follow the rules. The worker would have to leave when the job ended. Without enforcement NO "guest worker" program can work.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Were you there Sunday? I saw few flags that weren't the good ol' red, white, and blue. The ones I did see included those of the Republic of Ireland, Somalia, Germany, Korea and Italy, as well as those you mentioned. I guess you were too busy helping carry the immigration stereotype to notice the others.

Posted by: damannion
--------------
You forgot to mention the Salvadoran flags prominently displayed in a news story by Reuters.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

"Did they not choose to come to this country, and did they not know that they either entered illegally or illegally overstayed visas? Of course they did. Do they not appreciate that one of the things that makes this country great is the rule of law"

You nailed it here. They are not victims of anything but their own sense of entitlement. They come here illegally have a slew of anchor children and then we have to suffer through the cry of "we are breaking up families" when they finally get caught and sent home. The law or the constitution should be changed so that if the parents of children are here illegally the children are not citizens. Every time I read the line Mr. & Mrs. Pick the country citizen, undocumented immigrants and their five chilren, who are Americans citizens it makes me sick with disgust.

Posted by: fastaire | March 23, 2010 9:36 AM | Report abuse

reithl wrote:"As a Georgetown University librarian, I've been playing piano for this community for about half a dozen years - you really have to get to know the immigrants intimately and observe them over a period of time in order to judge them accurately. Too many of the comments on this blog seem to be made more in ignorance than in knowledge of who these people in our midst really are."
-------------
And you, as a Georgetown librarian, think that ALL illegal aliens are like the few you work with?!! Your stereotype would be as wrong as mine would be if I were to tar all illegal aliens with the same characteristics as those featured in some of the Post's stories earlier this year (the young Hispanic drop out, the young unwed mother), although statistics actually suggest that the latter view is more likely. What we do KNOW about illegal aliens is that they're, well, illegal. Willing to break not only immigration laws, but several laws when it suits them.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Immigration is one of those issues that we should really try to seek common ground on.

I was at the immigration rally. I didn't attend, but I live on the route they took to get to and from the rally.

By and large I saw probably 500 American flags for every one Mexican flag.

And the people were orderly and very polite. They didn't trash the neighborhood, like some rallies do (particularly the anti-abortion folks have a very bad habit of leaving their trash for residents to deal with).

I run a small business in DC. I simply could not get by without immigrant day labor. Americans won't do the jobs that I need done - the occasional furniture hauling, the occasional landscaping or odd job.

The one thing I will say is I do thing English should be a requirement for citizenship. English classes or proficiency should be a requirement, period.

But those claiming that immigrants are taking American jobs.... at least in DC, the local Americans simply won't do many types of manual labor.

Posted by: Hillman1 | March 23, 2010 9:42 AM | Report abuse

The Israeli Flags are different, the protesters there are asking for help for Israel the country, not to become more American. Anyone carrying a foreign flag and asking for become an American is confused in the extreme.

On the Guest worker programs, I thought they were all used to maximum quota every year, is this not true?

I think the Political parties have cut a deal, The Republican oppose enforcement on Business, and The Democrats oppose enforcement on individuals. Together nothing gets done, which is the intent of their corporate masters.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000 | March 23, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Press 1 for English Press 2 for German. The Austrians speak German.


Posted by: cmarshdtihqcom | March 23, 2010 9:45 AM | Report abuse

It goes to show that in the Post, anyone is allowed to write articles.

It seems that many people commenting here DO NOT REALIZE or know that NO ONE escapes the grasp of the IRS; illegal aliens also PAY taxes, the people who hire them might not report it to the IRS but they pay TAXES. They pay taxes when they buy food, fuel, cloths, etc.

Don't be IGNORANT and don't be filled with racism and hatred towards your fellow bother and sister. Put yourself in their shoe, JUST TRY for a moment.

God Bless!

Posted by: riceldi
---------
Richeldi, you're showing YOUR ignorance, if you think that paying sales taxes lets you off the hook for paying federal and state income taxes. Not so.

Furthermore, illegal aliens who use stolen IDs are getting the people who own those IDs into trouble with the IRS because the IRS goes after the actual owner of the ID for the taxes owed.

Of course, paying taxes is an obligation of literally everyone who works in this country, legal or not, because everyone uses the public services provided, although not all services, such as public transporation. However, paying taxes is an OBLIGATION of residency. It is NOT a basis for citizenship. And illegal aliens flunk on that latter. They not only violate federal immigration laws, but they violate federal tax laws as well.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:50 AM | Report abuse

I run a small business in DC. I simply could not get by without immigrant day labor. Americans won't do the jobs that I need done - the occasional furniture hauling, the occasional landscaping or odd job.

The one thing I will say is I do thing English should be a requirement for citizenship. English classes or proficiency should be a requirement, period.

But those claiming that immigrants are taking American jobs.... at least in DC, the local Americans simply won't do many types of manual labor.

Posted by: Hillman1
--------------
Isn't that nice--the American taxpayer in general gets to subsidize the illegal alien so that you can get a keep occasional worker. How generous of you.
What you really mean is that local Americans won't do the manual labor you want AT THE PRICE YOU WANT TO PAY.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

On the Guest worker programs, I thought they were all used to maximum quota every year, is this not true?

I think the Political parties have cut a deal, The Republican oppose enforcement on Business, and The Democrats oppose enforcement on individuals. Together nothing gets done, which is the intent of their corporate masters.

Posted by: Muddy_Buddy_2000
-----------
Nope. There is NO cap on H2-B for example. And no reason why the caps that exist couldn't be expanded except that the Democratic Congress tried to hold them hostage to getting amnesty in 2007. Of course, the labor unions don't want guest worker programs, either, because they drive down wages for Americans.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Get used to it America. The democrats want more voters and the republicans want more slaves. You sit in the crevice between the two parties pursuing their own selfish interests. From here they will crap on the mexicans, and in here they will screw you. Are screwing you.

What makes you think either of our political parties has any interest in changing the status quo here? They will divide you with different lies, and you being the foolish believer you are will believe your lies, and condemn the others for theirs.

You deserve what is happening to you.

Posted by: barferio | March 23, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Follow and respect our laws, or leave.

Posted by: jckdoors | March 23, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Every year around this time, you see a whole bunch of Americans waving Irish flags and claiming Irish pride. Somehow nobody questions that.

I suspect Rodriguez hasn't had to deal directly with the modern immigration system. Even if you do everything right, make no mistakes, and are sponsored by an American citizen, it can still take thousands of dollars and up to a decade to emigrate legally to the U.S. Illegal immigrants aren't victims--but they're right that the system needs reform.

Posted by: dkp01 | March 23, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

MdLaw wrote:"Interesting that I don't hear similar criticism of folks flying Italian flags in Little Italy, or those who have Spanish or Swedish flag stickers on their bumpers."
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When we get MILLIONS of illegal aliens from Italy or Sweden demanding services such as bilingual education in those languages and at our expense, and DEMANDING that we give them amnesty and a right to become citizens, then I'll object to their flags. As it is, there are quite a few Irish illegal aliens and Poles as well, so yes, I'd object to those.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

There is no need to "fix" immigration - just implement and follow the laws regarding immigration already in place. No "fix" needed.

Get in line, fill out the paperwork, follow the rules. Do NOT enter our country illegally and then demand "rights" to which you are NOT entitled.

Can I break the law and be rewarded for doing so? Didn't think so.

Posted by: Utahreb | March 23, 2010 10:04 AM | Report abuse

There is no need to "fix" immigration - just implement and follow the laws regarding immigration already in place. No "fix" needed.

Get in line, fill out the paperwork, follow the rules. Do NOT enter our country illegally and then demand "rights" to which you are NOT entitled.

Can I break the law and be rewarded for doing so? Didn't think so.

Posted by: Utahreb | March 23, 2010 10:06 AM | Report abuse

I noted a concern about the jews which is likely a concern of the pope and church. A bigger concern is that spanish may become the main language of United States and our english language become culture become secondary. We are still far from that but as time goes on will become ever closer. In time we will become a divided nation. And a divided nation can not stand.

Posted by: artg | March 23, 2010 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps if they marched with confederate flags and called themselves a Tea Party, it would be OK with you?"
__________________________________

Wow, I was tending to agree with Ms. Rodriguez, but you've made a very valid point! Those who carry the racist confederate flag immigrated here and stole this land from Native Americans, and now they want to shout foul when others want the same right.

Posted by: Beingsensible
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Just as Latinos did in Latin America.

Fact is, if Native Americans had had a country instead of a bunch of disparate tribes, and if they had had immigration laws, it would have been better for them. We learn from their mistakes. There will be NO AMNESTY..

And do you realize what you're admitting to? That illegal aliens come not to become part of this society but to conquer it?

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

I suspect Rodriguez hasn't had to deal directly with the modern immigration system. Even if you do everything right, make no mistakes, and are sponsored by an American citizen, it can still take thousands of dollars and up to a decade to emigrate legally to the U.S. Illegal immigrants aren't victims--but they're right that the system needs reform.

Posted by: dkp01
-----------
The reason it generally takes sol long to emigrate legally is because there is SO MUCH DEMAND, particularly from countries that already send a lot of legal immigrants such as Mexico and the Philippines. Now, why should we want to make it easy for any one country to have a lock on our immigration system? Or to change the culture of our country, particularly when their own countries are apparently so bad they don't want to live there? Mexico already pretty much does--it sends 15-20% of our legal immigration and has for 20 years because of our family reunification policy.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 10:14 AM | Report abuse

"Many of today's immigrant's just see the US as a meal ticket--there's no need to integrate (language, culture, etc.) because they don't agree with or want to truly be all that it takes to be an American."
***
I think this poster hit the nail on the head, as far as I'm concerned at least.

I was brought up learning that the US was the proverbial melting pot. All cultures and customes blended together to form a whole greater than the sum of it's parts... something uniquely American.

So, you can imagine my frustration as a teacher when I have students who show up for kindergarten, having been born in the Unites States (Alexandria, VA to be specific)speaking no English and requiring ELL services. That, to me, is laziness and an unwilligness to assimilate. That's not acceptable.

Posted by: penance091 | March 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad your parents came from Cuba, thank God. Even wearing a Hispanic surname but it seems that you've forgotten or never had a profound analysis of the reason why your parents came to America. It is clear that Castro has made life miserable for the people of Cuba, you know better than me and many like your parents have left the island - human survival -; you should also know that the wave of immigrants from Central America and Mexico which started mainly in the 80's and has gradually increased over the years was and has been for many reasons. My parents came from Central America in early 80's.
There was not a Castro there, but there were civil wars in the region sponsored by the United States, once again the survival instinct made people run away, like your parents did. If Castro relinquished power, how long would be necessary for turning Cuba into a prosperous country where everyone would like to live?, Is the same situation in countries that have experienced wars, natural disasters, etc.. When your parents came to America, had few Cubans in Florida and felt compelled to learn English, the case is different nowadays, there are more than 45 million Hispanics in the U.S., I consider myself one of them, do you?; maybe that is the reason why many of my people do not learn the language, it is a shame because life is harder and the chances of success are slim.
If anything I agree with you, is that we need immigration reform. An amendment to keep the channels for new immigrants and that also includes those who for various reasons are already within the United States. Learning the English language should be included in the new reforms and also punish employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Also, we're proud of where we came from, but we are more proud of where we live. Raising a flag should not make us believe that we are dealing with people arrogant or pushy. It's just a sample of the diversity of nationalities that for hundreds of years have invaded the United States, a nation of immigrants and where each has its own excuse, you have to Fidel Castro, I have a civil war in central america. Cubans reach U.S. shores and are automatically resident, no other country has such a blessing!. Many die at sea or burned skin arrive without documents, without speaking English.
The history of Cuban migrants has no comparison with any other immigrant community, much less with those countries that you mention in your article. To give a more accurate opinon you need to know that each population in the world has different causes or reasons for leaving their land. Greetings.

Posted by: SISP | March 23, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

There's always a few people that don't think things through and bring their flags...But overall, this was better than the 2006 march when there were thousands of international flags.

By the way, mpmck has made a HUGE valid point. Cuban Americans don't get it, specially the ones that were political refugees. They were part of the Batista- loving oligarchy and now they look down on the poor "campesinos" that migrate to the U.S.A. I bet Mrs. Rodriguez' parents were wealthy in Cuba and didn't look back when they left their hired-help in Castro's dictatorship. Please Señora Rodriguez, come down from your castle and be a bit more sensitive to the serf's plight. Gracias mija!

Posted by: JudyGG
_____________________________
Excellent post.

Posted by: wturecki | March 23, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

I'm glad your parents came from Cuba, thank God. Even wearing a Hispanic surname but you forgot or never had a profound analysis of the reason why your parents came to America. It is clear that Castro has made life miserable for the people of Cuba, you know better than me and many like your parents have left the island - human survival -; you should also know that the wave of immigrants from Central America and Mexico which started in the 80's and has gradually increased over the years was and has been for many reasons. My parents came from Central America in early 80.
There was not a Castro there, but there were civil wars in the region sponsored by the United States, once again the survival instinct made people run away, like your parents did. If Castro relinquished power, how long would be necessary for turning Cuba into a prosperous country where everyone would like to live?, Is the same situation in countries that have experienced war, natural disasters, etc.. When your parents came to America, had few Cubans in Florida and felt compelled to learn English, the case is different nowadays, there are more than 45 million Hispanics (I consider myself one) in the U.S., maybe that is the reason why many of my people do not learn the language, it is a shame because life is harder and the chances of success are slim.
If anything I agree with you, is that we need immigration reform. An amendment to keep the channels for new immigrants and that also includes those who for various reasons are already within the United States. Learning the English language should be included in the new reforms and also punish employers who hire illegal immigrants.
Also, we're proud of where we came from, but we are more proud of where we live. Raising a flag should not make us believe that we are dealing with people arrogant or pushy. It's just a sample of the diversity of nationalities that for hundreds of years have invaded the United States, a nation of immigrants and where each has its own excuse, you have to Fidel Castro, I have a civil war in central america. Cubans reach U.S. shores and are automatically resident, no other country has such a blessing!. Many die at sea or burned skin arrive without documents, without speaking English.
The history of Cuban migrants has no comparison with any other immigrant community, much less with countries that you mention in your article. To give a more accurate opinon you need to know that each population in the world has different causes or reasons for leaving their land. Greetings.

Posted by: SISP | March 23, 2010 10:18 AM | Report abuse

A couple of years ago, they tore down the USA flag over a post office, and hung the Mexican flag!

I know of no foreign country, when masses of lawbreakers such as these, would be able to march in that country's streets and made demands that their laws be changed to suit them!

Legal immigration fine....but we have our own citizens out of work....and if Obama grants amnesty...and puts more on the government teat and more citizens out of work......that will be his Waterloo!

Posted by: dareisay | March 23, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

By the way, mpmck has made a HUGE valid point. Cuban Americans don't get it, specially the ones that were political refugees. They were part of the Batista- loving oligarchy and now they look down on the poor "campesinos" that migrate to the U.S.A. I bet Mrs. Rodriguez' parents were wealthy in Cuba and didn't look back when they left their hired-help in Castro's dictatorship. Please Señora Rodriguez, come down from your castle and be a bit more sensitive to the serf's plight. Gracias mija!

Posted by: JudyGG
_____________________________
Excellent post.

Posted by: wturecki
-------------------------------
JudyGG, you might try understanding the AMERICAN workers' point of view, you know, those of us whose parents and grandparents WERE the "campesinos" in the old days--and were able to immigrate here LEGALLY because at that time there was a NEED for lots of unskilled labor and NO social services. Those days are long gone, and it's now the U.S. worker who's harmed the most by illegal immigration--and the wealthy in this country who benefit. Your problems in YOUR country are not justification for bringing them to this country and harming Americans while you seek a better life for yourself at OUR expense.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez, as a fellow Cuban (but that came in '79 not '60), I find it odd you would point out that protesters had Mexican flags, when I have seen dozens of Cuban marches/celebrations/protests etc where Cuban flags were ubiquitous. (Please see any protest re: Elian if you have forgotten.) I must have missed your article denouncing those.
I also disagree that these protesters should be more humble. Has there ever been a protest where something wasn't demanded??? Lets not forget, these are the same people who perform a myriad of jobs in our economy that are neccessary and that no one else will do. And that most of these folk have been paying taxes without receiving benefits for years. Given all this, I dont think they need to act as "humble" as you would want.

Posted by: David5791 | March 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse

I'll wave a Mexican flag on Cinco de mayo. Mexicans and South Americans are our brothers and sisters. People come here seeking a better more peaceful existence. This is the same reason my grandparents came here. We should ask to preserve our language and culture - ours is better thats why they come here - but we need to treat people as we wish to be treated. There are also very compelling economic reasons why a more open policy is beneficial to the US. G. Bush may have actually had this one right.

Posted by: bob29 | March 23, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

I also disagree that these protesters should be more humble. Has there ever been a protest where something wasn't demanded??? Lets not forget, these are the same people who perform a myriad of jobs in our economy that are neccessary and that no one else will do. And that most of these folk have been paying taxes without receiving benefits for years. Given all this, I dont think they need to act as "humble" as you would want.

Posted by: David5791
-------------
You're simply quite, quite wrong, David. Illegal aliens do work at wages Americans can't afford to work at because Americans actually have to pay taxes and can't get "free" medical care without proving they have absolutely no resources--or by having debt collectors after them. The WAGE is what determines how many people will work. Raise the wage and Americans will do the work. Furthermore, David, if illegal aliens are doing work that Americans won't do at wages Americans can't afford to take, isn't it counter to OUR interests to legalize them? After all, employers would then have to pay them more and if employers paid more, AMERICANS would want those jobs. (And if illegal aliens are actually PAYING taxes, that is, NET taxpayers, then they're definitely doing a job that pays enough for an American to want to do it.)

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Those commenters who state it is no different than Israel supporters waving the Israeli flag during protests are quite mistaken.

The analogy fails, and fails quite miserably.

Supporters of Israel who wave its flag, or a free Tibet who wave its flag, or to protest the oppressive regime in Burma who wave its flag, or the stolen election in Iran who wave its flag, do so to show support for a foreign people or ideal they believe are deserving of U.S. attention and support.

Waving foreign flags while protesting in support of gaining citizenship in the U.S., on the other hand, is an oxymoron.

In the case of the former, the protesters seek attention in support of a foreign cause.

In the case of the latter, the protesters demand the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship while waving flags of foreign countries.

As far as I am concerned, they just failed the first test for U.S. citizenship, inasmuch as they exhibited a profound lack of understanding as to what they demand really means.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | March 23, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

The Mexican drug war will envelope the U.S. once we start again forgiving these illegal creeps for invading us. The border patrol said on NPR that Latino drug dealers are already posted throughout the U.S. ready to rev up business once the illegals are amnestied. I live next door to a Latino drug dealer. Amnesty makes people lose respect for the law; you can already see that. CASA of Maryland promotes this through its association with Hugo Chavez (read its Web site), who just arrested somebody who said Venezuela is a haven for drug dealers. Just wait, America - you think the infiltration is bad right now?

Posted by: beoods | March 23, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Those commenters who state it is no different than Israel supporters waving the Israeli flag during protests are quite mistaken.

The analogy fails, and fails quite miserably.

Supporters of Israel who wave its flag, or a free Tibet who wave its flag, or to protest the oppressive regime in Burma who wave its flag, or the stolen election in Iran who wave its flag, do so to show support for a foreign people or ideal they believe are deserving of U.S. attention and support.

Waving foreign flags while protesting in support of gaining citizenship in the U.S., on the other hand, is an oxymoron.

In the case of the former, the protesters seek attention in support of a foreign cause.

In the case of the latter, the protesters demand the rights and privileges of U.S. citizenship while waving flags of foreign countries.

As far as I am concerned, they just failed the first test for U.S. citizenship, inasmuch as they exhibited a profound lack of understanding as to what they demand really means.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | March 23, 2010 10:39 AM | Report abuse

People are clearly missing her point. Her point is that if you are asking someone to forgive you of your crimes, and to allow you to become a permanent member of their society, then why are yuo waiving the flag of the other country? The one you left behind because YOU want to be an American? Is it too much to ask that in a parade ASKING for leniency, that you show some level of humility? No one is saying you have to give up your heritage, but YOU came here illegally, YOU want to become American. YOU have to assimilate. If YOU don't want to, you know your way back home.

Posted by: nsu1203 | March 23, 2010 10:42 AM | Report abuse

A great article. Don't ask or think you are entitled to services from the US while proclaiming your allegiance to another country. Anyone doing so should be deported immediately. I also agree that the reason their countries are 3rd world is the lack of law and rights. Coming here illegally only serves to lower the standard of the US if you are here illegal leave now. Or face the consequences.

Posted by: askgees | March 23, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

come on, Eva, it is easy to understand this kind of behavior; playing the role of victim is the fastest way to gain support from some politician eager to play the role of defender of the oppressed whether they mean it or not.

now that health care is a done deal, we are about to embark on the nest crusade; how to deal with illegal immigration and its consequences on our nation and its economy. And right at the top of the list of things to consider is how to give over ten million criminals amnesty and make some political hay out of it. What better way to do so than to wrap these illegals in the cloth of victimhood. Works every time with a gullable and soft minded populace.

Posted by: bobfbell | March 23, 2010 10:51 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez, as a fellow Cuban (but that came in '79 not '60), I find it odd you would point out that protesters had Mexican flags, when I have seen dozens of Cuban marches/celebrations/protests etc where Cuban flags were ubiquitous. (Please see any protest re: Elian if you have forgotten.) I must have missed your article denouncing those.
I also disagree that these protesters should be more humble. Has there ever been a protest where something wasn't demanded??? Lets not forget, these are the same people who perform a myriad of jobs in our economy that are neccessary and that no one else will do. And that most of these folk have been paying taxes without receiving benefits for years. Given all this, I dont think they need to act as "humble" as you would want.
Posted by: David5791 | March 23, 2010 10:29 AM | Report abuse
Why is it ret@rds like you always try throwing the THEY DO THE JOBS WE WON’T BS into the mix. This is something an idi0t with now real understanding says. Try educating yourself and quit repeating every stup1d thing you hear. I’m sure the hundreds of thousands of out of work Americans would love one of those jobs. If not then they can starve. Also I would suggest you read the Oath of Citizenship. It clearly lays out the requirements for becoming an American. If you can not follow them then get back on the boat we’re sending you home.

Posted by: askgees | March 23, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Enforce the law! No Amnesty for law-breakers. Citizens First.
End illegal immigration in Maryland Join www.HelpSaveMaryland.com

Posted by: bb67chev | March 23, 2010 11:02 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps they got the idea from the supporters of Israel who parade around the capitol with flags of Israel on all sides. And these flag wavers leave no doubt where their allegiances are. So what is good for one should be okay for the other.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | March 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse


Well, you have the freedom to wave your Nazi and KKK flags, and I am sure that you use that freedom at your Klan meetings.

Posted by: grantpaten | March 23, 2010 11:09 AM | Report abuse

I agree. It doesn't matter where they come from, they are asking for rights in this country so it seems to me that the U.S. flag would be much more effective. Waving the flag of the country they left behind, for whatever reason, tends to sharpen the opposition and emphasize the "us vs. them" reactions.

Posted by: laelyn | March 23, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

No non-citizen has the right to demand anything of this country, other than it respect the rule of law in international affairs and to treat those who enter the country legally as guests. It is totally illogical for illegal immigrants to be protesting their status to our congress. If they have issues with how the U.S. conducts itself they need to voice them to an international organization or their government. The erroneously equate their desires with rights.

Posted by: csintala79 | March 23, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

now that health care is a done deal, we are about to embark on the nest crusade; how to deal with illegal immigration and its consequences on our nation and its economy. And right at the top of the list of things to consider is how to give over ten million criminals amnesty and make some political hay out of it. What better way to do so than to wrap these illegals in the cloth of victimhood. Works every time with a gullable and soft minded populace.

Posted by: bobfbell
----------
That "gullable" (sic) populace is already worried about uemployment, stagnant incomes, and rising costs for taxes and goods and services. It's one thing to ignore illegal immigration and not realize how many illegal aliens there actually are in the country. It's quite another for Americans to be told that there are 20 million (and that figure, from Bear Stearns, is probably closer than the old Census figure of 12 million), 7-8 million of whom are doing jobs that Americans should be doing, and who, as members of the working poor, are using services that taxpayers pay for while Americans do without.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

The idea of letting whole groups of in to pursue freedom is touching, but an impractical guideline on which to base entry into the country. The Cuban policy itself if absurd, and based on Cold War propaganda sniping more than any rational policy. Is Castro worse than Saddam was? Or presently Than Shwe of Burma? Or the leadership of China? Probably not.
But Cubans get a free pass because they're nearby. Why should Mexicans and Central Americans get a special right to jump the line and come to the United States to seek freedom, whether economic or social or personal, just because they share a land border and could walk in? Surely plenty of hard working immigrants from the rest of the world deserve a fair chance. I've met plenty of Europeans who would like to move to America, who are educated and believe in the economic freedom and possibility of the US.
She's right that these people are not victims. They made choices. If immigration reform ever happens it should be a detailed process allowing more entry from the first and third world based on legitimate need. We run out of H1Bs every year. Just don't tell me the Taco Bell can't find someone to work crappy hours at minimum wage so the solution is to import some underclass who will do anything.

Posted by: solskin | March 23, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Perhaps they got the idea from the supporters of Israel who parade around the capitol with flags of Israel on all sides. And these flag wavers leave no doubt where their allegiances are. So what is good for one should be okay for the other.

Posted by: rkthomas2mriscom | March 22, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse


Well, you have the freedom to wave your Nazi and KKK flags, and I am sure that you use that freedom at your Klan meetings.

Posted by: grantpaten
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I am neither a Nazi nor a Klan member nor a Confederate nor a Teapartier. I am an American, an Arab-American, a (lapsed) Democrat (on this issue) and I OPPOSE amnesty. Keep on calling all us ordinary Americans who actually believe in the EQUAL application of the laws of this country names and you'll find out just how well that doesn't play if and when Congresscritters actually decide to discuss "immigration reform". And just keep on waving those foreign flags, please. A few years ago, it made even my 85-year-old mother, who had largely been indifferent to illegal immigration (and who was the daughter of immigrants) realize just how unlike illegal aliens are from the legal immigrants she grew up with.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

solskin wrote:"The idea of letting whole groups of in to pursue freedom is touching, but an impractical guideline on which to base entry into the country. The Cuban policy itself if absurd, and based on Cold War propaganda sniping more than any rational policy.."
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Note, also, that the reason we still have this policy is LARGELY because of the efforts of the CUBAN-American lobby in the United States, a group which is looking out for the best intersts of ITS ETHNIC group, not the United States as a whole. Furthermore, countries such as Mexico and India have made it clear that their aim in getting more of their countrymen to be U.S. citizens, through amnesty or H1-B, is to gain POLITICAL POWER FOR THEIR POSITIONS in U.S. domestic and foreign policies. Those of you who speak of U.S. intervention in Latin America would do well to remember that much of that intervention is with the instigation and assistance of YOUR COUNTRYMEN HERE, so YOU are NOT BLAMELESS.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I disagree with the columnist. So, to the pro-illegals, I urge you: Please continue to wave those Mexican flags. Please continue to show disrespect to the American flag by wearing it as a cape or flying it upside down. Please continue to shriek hateful slogans toward "pilgrims" (i.e. the people who built the country you think you are entitled to live in) in Spanish. Please continue to carry Spanish signs and banners. Please continue to make all your demands for welfare (paid for by English-speaking people) in Spanish. Please continue to pump your fists in the air and shriek "Viva La Raza" (Long Live My Race).

This will help the anti-amnesty cause more than anything else.

Viva La Raza! And don't forget to wave those Mexican flags!

Posted by: MaryJessel | March 23, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

If anyone thinks the immigration and citizenship requirements are harsh here in the U.S., check out the requirements of other nations, such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, etc. Buddy, you had better have big bucks or a rare and seriously needed professional skill to become a resident or citizen in those and other nations. Dishwashers need not apply.

Posted by: csintala79 | March 23, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Ms. Rodriguez states "Did they not choose to come to this country, and did they not know that they either entered illegally or illegally overstayed visas? Of course they did."

No, not necessarily. Many of them entered exactly as the author of the article herself did--as young children accompanying their parents. Others were here lawfully for many years and fell out of status for a myriad of reasons including bureaucratic errors.

We lose our own humanity when we dehumanize others through sweeping generalizations. Just as illegal immigrants have no blanket entitlement to be treated as 'victims', neither do US citizens have a blanket entitlement to treat them as criminals.

Posted by: fbgraham2 | March 23, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

I am sure out of work "Americans" can find a job picking oranges or landscaping tomorrow if they tried - please take a picture and post it on the Internet when you find an example of that actually happening

By the way, I have no idea what in my comments would violate "the Oath of Citizenship." Although I appreciate you offering to put me back on the boat (I came on a plane), I am certain that if put to a vote, you or me, I can tell by the intelligence of your comment that I would win every time.

________________________________
Why is it ret@rds like you always try throwing the THEY DO THE JOBS WE WON’T BS into the mix. This is something an idi0t with now real understanding says. Try educating yourself and quit repeating every stup1d thing you hear. I’m sure the hundreds of thousands of out of work Americans would love one of those jobs. If not then they can starve. Also I would suggest you read the Oath of Citizenship. It clearly lays out the requirements for becoming an American. If you can not follow them then get back on the boat we’re sending you home.

Posted by: David5791 | March 23, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

Your points are well taken but a couple clarifications.
- many immigrants do pay taxes, it is deducted automatically from their paychecks like other Americans, but they do not get the resulting benefit (Social Security for example). So in many instances they contribute without any return.
-- Also it is likely that in fact immigration creates more jobs. When a company can pay minimum wage for landscaping, cleaning etc etc, they may be able to hire more of other workers as the aforementioned wage costs are lower. Illegal immigration generally only lowers wages at the lowest end of the pay spectrum, which ironically enough most harms immigrants that have been here a little longer, not "Americans".


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You're simply quite, quite wrong, David. Illegal aliens do work at wages Americans can't afford to work at because Americans actually have to pay taxes and can't get "free" medical care without proving they have absolutely no resources--or by having debt collectors after them. The WAGE is what determines how many people will work. Raise the wage and Americans will do the work. Furthermore, David, if illegal aliens are doing work that Americans won't do at wages Americans can't afford to take, isn't it counter to OUR interests to legalize them? After all, employers would then have to pay them more and if employers paid more, AMERICANS would want those jobs. (And if illegal aliens are actually PAYING taxes, that is, NET taxpayers, then they're definitely doing a job that pays enough for an American to want to do it.)

Posted by: David5791 | March 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Small difference between carrying an Israeli flag and that of a central American country. Many of these people are not Israeli, but supporters of Israel. Mexicians, in particular feel that the southwest was "stolen" from them, and still consider it part of their country, despite the fact that we fought a war over the territory and won. This little fact has yet to be written out of history books. Secondly, the Mexican government hands out booklets on how to sneak into the country illegally, therefore enocouraging Mexicans and others to come here illegally. I am sure that they are not encouraging their best and brightest to leave. Third and lastly, these new immigrants seem uninterested in becoming American, which separates them from the people who came here earlier. The don't want to speak English, require special classes during the school day, and are unwilling to embrace our laws and traditions. This three facts result in nothing less than an invasion, swamping the US with people the Latin American countries dont seem to want. I am sure there are hardworking, educated illegal immigrants among those currently here, but that does not change the fact that many are not, and many are criminals, and are a drain on our already overtaxed infastructure, schools, hospitals and other public services. Here is a solution: within 6 months, a $5000 dollar one time fee will be charged to all illegal immigrant families, $2500 for a single immigrant. This one time fee buys you and/or your family legal status, and a valid Social Security card. This will two things. Raise Hundreds of billions of dollars for the government, and make this illegal immigrants, legal immigrants. Then the current policy of naturalization will kick in, and two birds killed with one stone.

Posted by: jay441 | March 23, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

P.S. I am part hispanic. My Grandmother, who was Austrian, came to the US at age 14 only knowing how to speak Austrian. She grew up in West Tampa and spent her life working a s a servant for rich people. Not only did she live to be 88, but also learned to speak fluent English AND Spanish. Can you image "Press one for English, press two for Austrian" back then?

Posted by: theFieldMarshall | March 23, 2010 7:01 AM | Report abuse
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There is no language called "Austrian". They speak German in Austria.

Posted by: mehuwss | March 23, 2010 11:44 AM | Report abuse

No, not necessarily. Many of them entered exactly as the author of the article herself did--as young children accompanying their parents. Others were here lawfully for many years and fell out of status for a myriad of reasons including bureaucratic errors.

We lose our own humanity when we dehumanize others through sweeping generalizations. Just as illegal immigrants have no blanket entitlement to be treated as 'victims', neither do US citizens have a blanket entitlement to treat them as criminals.

Posted by: fbgraham2
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The fact is, they ARE all criminals, though the circumstances and reasons differ. The child who is brought here is the victim of his parents' BAD DECISIONS--until he or she decides at age 18 to remain here illegally. But it is up to the parent to deal with the problem they created--not for the U.S. government to reward their child with citizenship that allows him to in turn reward his parents who broke the law. As for "bureaucratic errors", it's far more likely that illegal aliens LIED in the first place to get a non immigrant visa when they had every intention of remaining here and violating the terms of that visa. If they came here WITH A GREEN CARD, then they're LEGAL immigrants and can only lose that status if they abandon it or commit a crime of moral turpitude. If they came here with a NON immigrant visa, then they chose to take a risk that they'd be able to adjust that status here. Again, that was THEIR CHOICE. The only guarantee to a green card is when USCIS has actually granted you one.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 11:47 AM | Report abuse

No, not necessarily. Many of them entered exactly as the author of the article herself did--as young children accompanying their parents. Others were here lawfully for many years and fell out of status for a myriad of reasons including bureaucratic errors.

We lose our own humanity when we dehumanize others through sweeping generalizations. Just as illegal immigrants have no blanket entitlement to be treated as 'victims', neither do US citizens have a blanket entitlement to treat them as criminals.

Posted by: fbgraham2
-------------------
The fact is, they ARE all criminals, though the circumstances and reasons differ. The child who is brought here is the victim of his parents' BAD DECISIONS--until he or she decides at age 18 to remain here illegally. But it is up to the parent to deal with the problem they created--not for the U.S. government to reward their child with citizenship that allows him to in turn reward his parents who broke the law. As for "bureaucratic errors", it's far more likely that illegal aliens LIED in the first place to get a non immigrant visa when they had every intention of remaining here and violating the terms of that visa. If they came here WITH A GREEN CARD, then they're LEGAL immigrants and can only lose that status if they abandon it or commit a crime of moral turpitude. If they came here with a NON immigrant visa, then they chose to take a risk that they'd be able to adjust that status here. Again, that was THEIR CHOICE. The only guarantee to a green card is when USCIS has actually granted you one.

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

PS, in the picture above, I'm less disturbed by the Mexican flag, than I am by the fact that the pro-illegal-alien demonstrators are attacking an effigy of an American immigration officer.

Nice way to demonstrate respect for our authorities, right?

Posted by: MaryJessel | March 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Arrogance and entitlement are precisely right.

These illegals have indeed broken the law by unlawfully entering the country or overstaying, and they are wreaking havoc in many communities -- refusing to assimilate, dragging on resources and support systems intended for Americans, committing crime (drunk driving, rape and identity theft especially).

These illegals, with their low levels of skill and education, do not enrich communities -- they diminish and even ruin them.

Yet they are brazen enough to demand benefits they have done nothing to deserve -- and to which they are not entitled.

Legal immigrants are welcome. These con artists and entitlement bums are not.

Posted by: wmpowellfan | March 23, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

My grandparents on both sides of my family were immigrants, legally, from Europe, who became U.S. citizens. They were so committed to being Americans that they only spoke English around my parents and did not teach my parents the languages of their countries of origin. While I feel sad that I did not get to know more of their languages and cultures because they did not transmit this to my parents, I am proud of their resolute desire to become citizens of this country. I think immigrants can preserve culture and language while also doing what it takes to become legal citizens of this country. Demanding immigration reform is exactly what is needed, but not in the way the protesters meant. What we really need to demand is that immigration laws be completely reformed to provide a reasonable path to citizenship while also enforcing the laws of our country. You don't get to come here because you feel justified breaking the law and not applying for legal entry. Laws and enforcement may seem like inconvenient impediments (e.g. - red light and speed cameras), but there's a reason for them. I don't get to run any light I want or go as fast as I please to facilitate my own wants and needs, but unfortunately too many people think this is true and have caused the proliferation of these cameras. Coming to this country without applying legally is breaking the law, regardless of what argument you bring to the table and no matter what your need is. The world is full of endless need, but it doesn't give you the right to break the law.

Posted by: MacsRock | March 23, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

It seems everyone has an opinion on immigration. Therefore, it would be nice if people who expressed an opinion expressed an informed one. The starting point for anyone interested in this subject is to sit down and read Father Hesburgh's report and the late great Barbara Jordan's report. The first was commissioned by President Carter and the second my President Clinton. These two distinguished Americans assembled blue ribbon commissions and in due time they produced reports on what this nation's immigration policy should be. Unfortunately, they produced reports that assumed they should recommend what was in the best interests of this country which meant they were not documents the political elites embraced or activists supported. As a consequence, they were filed in the circular file. And people wonder why immigration reform has not been enacted and why this is such a divisive issue.

Posted by: jeffreed | March 23, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

by the way, fbgraham2, today there was a piece in one of the major newspapers online about a couple of parents who appeared on Dr. Phil bragging about shoplifting, with the help of their kids, more than $100,000 in goods a year. While we certainly don't blame the kids for what their parents have taught them, what do we do when, as young adults, they STILL commit these and perhaps worse crimes? At some point, the child becomes responsible for his own behavior. While we might not give a child an adult sentence, especially in this circumstance, do we tell the kids that it's OK to keep on stealing because he doesn't know anything else? How is illegal immigration any different?

Posted by: Ali4 | March 23, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

This is just another facet of looking reality in the face and calling it something else. Anyone flying a Mexican flag while partaking of American liberties certainly has the right to do so, but it is a slap in the face of EVERY American when they exercise that right in that manner. When our men & women of all ethnicities and cultural backgrounds are in uniform overseas and dying every day, to see someone - a lot of someones - flying the flags of foreign nations and using phrases like "La Raza" - it is nothing less than an insult of the worst kind to the sacrifices those in uniform make.

If you feel so strongly about Mexico, Honduras, etc - then go back there - please! Go and make things better there rather than insulting us in our own house!

Posted by: cerebus-72 | March 23, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Those Cuban Americans, like the author, who love to set themselves or their parents as perfect examples of civility should understand that they have been afforded the special priviledges that citizens of other AMERICAN PROTECTORATES enjoy, namely, the privilege to migrate to the US.

Cubans used to be subjects of the American state; therefore, they were given all kinds of facilities to flee the Castro regime. Mexico is an independent country; therefore, its citizens do not have an automatic right, like the Cubans, to migrate to the U.S. Therein lies the difference and not, as the author sugests, within the attitudes of the Cuban citizens.

Having said that, I am firmly against the idea that, somehow, undocumented workers are victims of the system. Mexican people, like myself,should be demanding better living conditions IN MEXICO and not in the U.S. NOBODY, I MEAN NOBODY, has a right to demand U.S. citizenship simply because they live in the US.

I am a former undocumented immigrant from Mexico. I am now a binational citizen.

Having said that, I am firmly against the idea that, somehow, undocumented workers are victims of the system. Mexican people, like myself,should be demanding better living conditions for Mexican workers, IN MEXICO! And not in the U.S.. NOBODY, I MEAN NOBODY, has a right to demand U.S. citizenship simply because they live in the US or because their parents brought them here.

I am currently living in Mexico because I believe that the best thing that American citizens can do for Mexico is to help it modernize itself.

A good first step would be to return to Mexico the millions of Mexican citizens living in the U.S. illegally. This influx of millions of people used to living in freedom and a democratic society would force the political mafia IN MEXICO to change and improve the lives of millions of Mexican citizens IN MEXICO and would go a long way in eliminating the need to migrate to other countries in search of a better future.

Foced repatriations would be ablessing for Mexican democracy because it would stop the Mexican government to deal with the issues it has been able to neglect for more than 70 years, income distribution is one of them. The millions of Mexican citizens who would return could provide the mexican political system with much needed fresh blood and ideas.

Therefore, I encourage all of those who sympatize with the Latino immigrant community to oppose the amnesty proposals being floated by some congressman. Instead, lets work to repatriate all the millions of Mexican workers who left Mexico in the past two decades. Imagine what a tremendous boost to the nascent Mexican democracy would be to have all those millions of Mexican citizens coming back to Mexico and marching down the Zocalo demanding democracy and better living conditions IN THEIR OWN COUNTRY!!

But maybe I am just dreaming

Posted by: AtlantaLatino | March 23, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

It is unfortunate that so many have forgotten why they left those countries whose flags they now wave, using it as taunt for the country they wish to be a part of. From every debate regarding immigration the glaring omission is the total failure of these L. American countries to provide jobs and living wages for their people.

As an immigrant who toiled as a migrant worker alongside my parents and siblings I recognize the social dynamics but cannot accept the sense of entitlement for those that made a conscious decision to enter this ciuntry illegally.

There's enough blame to go around - to agri-business lobbies; for consumers who believe the cheap prices at the supermarket are a true reflection of a living wage for agri-workers; for employers who don't want to pay a living wage; for our govt that allows/provides a alrge pool of labor without legal labor protection and for giving some of these sending countries a relief valve for their failed social policies;

No country should allow countless millions to remain in the shadows, potentially a population in which nefarious individuals (criminals, terrorists, et cetera) can more easily hide.

Posted by: pecroma1 | March 23, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

First you need to know that there are illegal immigrants and there a illegal aliens. Immigrants "WANT" to become Americans. Aliens are here simply to send money 'home'. Billions of dollars which I am sure does more good for the country than aid sent by the US government since the people really get the money and not some corrupt government official.

Posted by: expatyank | March 23, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

"[A]rrogance and entitlement"? Wow, you got that right!

That's the thing that most annoys a lot of us "long time Americans".

My dad's people settled Kansas early on. They continued to speak German for some generations, but they also spoke English. But they always understood that their hearts, lives, and hopes for Fortune were here in the USA, not back in Germany. And when the World Wars cane, they were plenty glad that they spoke English and that nobody had ever seen them waving a German flag or demanding special rights because of their origins.

Why can't these "La Raza" people do the same? If you're coming here, you should come here to be "Becoming American". When my ancestors got here, as soon as they could, they moved out of "germantown" and became just like everybody else. Well, okay, we are what we are... but the best word for that is "Americans".

Latin Americans should do the same, whether they came in legally or not. Drop the "latin" and become American. There is only one flag you should wave here, maybe two: for your State, and for your Nation.

Posted by: thardman | March 23, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

A) The first early pro-amnesty/pro-invasion marches had far more Mexican flags than seen on Sunday, until the pro-amnesty groups and the cheap labor lobby astroturfed them and began handing out free American flags.

B) It is NOT tragic that we don't allow more people 'the opportunity your parents had.' We already allow over a million people to come here legally each and every year - a record, all-time historic high. Back in the 80s the number was barely half that (and we had far less illegal immigration, too).

C) The problems that people experience in their own countries are not to be solved by simply moving across a nation's borders. People don't change radically simply by packing their bags and moving a few miles. The decline of the American economy, including stagnant working class wages and soaring budget deficits, is in no small part due to the excess immigration of the last 20 years.

Posted by: wjalden | March 23, 2010 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Jeff Reed wrote: "Unfortunately, [Jordan and Hesburgh] produced reports that assumed they should recommend WHAT WAS IN THE BEST INTERESTS OF THIS COUNTRY which meant they were not documents the political elites embraced or activists supported."

Very well said, sir, and worth repeating. Immigration policy is, first and foremost, about the best interests of American citizens. Looking at the wrack and ruin of our own country at present, I'm pretty sure the policy is failing.

Too often various people ignore those interests or business groups use phony compassion to push their own. Socialists think a person from any other country has as much right to live in the USA as an American does. They do not think the land Americans paid for and bled for to be ours, but to be the worlds'.

I am an American citizen. I was born here. My ancestors settled, built and, yes, conquered this land; they bled and even died for it, when Lincoln and Roosevelt and Wilson and Johnson ordered them to. Yet I am expected to obey every single law, including the obscene, un-Constitutional piece of crap passed by Congress on Sunday. If I don't I could lose my job, my home, my family, and even my freedom. I could abandon my underwater mortgage, which illegals with NINJA loans have done in droves, but my credit rating would be destroyed and my family would lack a home. I am forced to labor under a greater legal burden than people to whose illegal behavior Congress routinely turns a blind eye. I can think of nothing more obnoxious than for these illegals, who came here without invitation and against the express laws of our country, to think themselves ill-used.

Posted by: wjalden | March 23, 2010 3:47 PM | Report abuse

When I was young, in the summers of 1963 and 1964, I had the great privilege and pleasure of spending extended "residential holidays" in Mexico. A blue-eyed, blond-haired gringo who spoke Spanish fairly well (unlike the rest of my family), I was something of a hit, first in San Miguel de Allende (1963) then Guanajuato (1964). I was 12 and 13.

I love Mexico and her people to this day, and always will.

Yet I, too, resent the flying of the Mexican flag in a demonstration calling for badly-needed reform of our immigration laws. Perhaps to relate the story of the first time I saw this will explain why it cuts very, very close to my heart.

We were in San Antonio maybe 1966 or so and watched a spectacular parade that included junior ROTC close-order drill teams. Several were amazingly good, including one made up entirely of young men apparently of Latino extraction, whom I took likely to be of Mexican descent.

Then I noticed the unit's guidon [flag] bearer: his flagpole had three flags proudly flying from it: those of the State of Texas, the United States, and Mexico. In that order -- starting at the bottom.

Yes, the flag of Mexico was displayed on top of the U.S. flag, and that violates every diplomatic protocol, not to mention every common courtesy, there is.

To be fair, my anger wasn't really directed against the cadets; no doubt (and with good cause) they had been raised to be proud of their heritage rather than ashamed or apologetic. My anger was towards the school officials, ESPECIALLY the ROTC instructors, who permitted such a travesty. Then I thought about that; perhaps the Mexican Consul-General or another government official was present -- but even if that were the case, protocol would call for the two flags to be carried on separate flagpoles and at equal height. I knew THAT much even as a teenager.

I've lost friends, and the friendship of family members, over my arguing (rather passionately, even heatedly, at times) for immigration reform, and I feel like I've been slapped in the face when in my OWN country an illegal immigrant or someone who is legally present (perhaps as a citizen, for that matter) acting on illegal immigrants' behalf flies a FOREIGN flag.

I'm a native-born Texan. It would never even occur to me, were I to move to, say, Oklahoma, to march through the streets of Oklahoma City demanding some right native Oklahomans had -- waving a Texas flag! (In fact, in that particular case, I'd really be asking for it -- and deserving of it.)

Besides, in just how many countries can people *illegally* present openly march anyway?

Damned few, that's how many.

Ms. Rodriguez, thank you for this piece. And rest assured, my passion for Things Latino hasn't diminished one jot. (I really love the Cuban dish of pork and black beans! Is that the dish you mentioned?)

Posted by: MekhongKurt1 | March 23, 2010 6:47 PM | Report abuse

Great great blog Ms. Rodriguez, you have made an excellent point. Thanks! The only problem is that the ones that really need to read it probably can't.

Posted by: countryfirst1 | March 23, 2010 7:56 PM | Report abuse

Your personal history, fascinating as it may be to you, is quite beside the point. The actions of the demonstrators were perfectly legal and, as a group, their behavior was far more decorous than that of some other groups who recently assembled in Washington to express political views. So what if some participants displayed a little cultural pride? Were you offended by all the Irish flags in evidence on March 17?

Posted by: mvl92147 | March 23, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Eva Rodriguez’ complaint about people flying flags from their respective countries at the Immigration Reform march Sunday (“Post Partisan”, Tuesday, March 23) was confusing. She answered her own question: of course the flags are symbols of pride or cultural identity. I have lived for extended periods in three Latin American countries and have flown American flags in celebration (with my Latin compatriots) on US national festival days (e.g., July 4) in each one. And like her family learning English, my family and I learned Spanish.

But she was clearly seeing only what she wanted to see. American flags, large and small, were EVERYWHERE and were even being given away. I’d wager there were at least twice as many American flags than sovereign national flags.

Probably almost as numerous as country flags were the signs and posters appealing to the moral side of reform, such as the famous biblical quotation of Matthew 25:35-40. Regardless of how people got here, why do we as Americans permit raids of homes and workplaces, deport “illegals” (usually parents) and split up families, not help them find at least temporary work while the reform package is framed and debated?

Since childhood my America was always compassionate toward those who had little and risked everything coming here. I’m not so sure about Ms. Rodriguez’s America.

Posted by: ggarriott1 | March 25, 2010 11:22 AM | Report abuse

I agree with Ms. Rodriguez on this issue: people who are marching to proclaim their rights in America have no business waving flags from other countries.

I went through this with my Greek grandparents: you want to live here, you have to assimilate. Speak English, and stop insisting that everything Greek is superior. You want to live among Greek people? I've got a good idea where you can find some: in Greece!

Posted by: momosity1 | March 25, 2010 9:04 PM | Report abuse

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