If, after reading this, you still think Jan "Eva Braun" Brewer and the Arizona Asshats are doing the right thing, there is no hope for you. You'll never understand because you probably white, middle-class, and think you know who the right people are and who can stay in this country and who should go. Now, to be fair, this story doesn't take place in the Arizona Fascist State, but it is a direct result of the anti-immigration-as-long-as-you're-Mexican sentiment growing in the Southwest.
Down in Texas, nineteen-year-old Luis Alberto Delgado wasn't wearing a seatbelt while riding in a car, which is illegal. And that one little click could have kept him safe, in a multitude of ways. See, his brother, the driver, was stopped by police and Luis was cited for the lack of the buckle-up; the normal fine for such an offense is a fine of somewhere between $25 and $50.
But, in Luis Delgado's case, he wasn't fined; he was deported. He was sent to Mexico, unable to re-enter the United Sates. Good? you say, Them dirty Mexicans should be sent back? Well, Luis Delgado is an American citizen with a valid US birth certificate, Texas ID, and Social Security card to prove it.
Really? So how did immigration authorities determine that Delgado was not an American? It's simple; he speaks poor English. That was enough to convince the police to call U.S. Border Patrol, enough to make immigration authorities insist that he had fake papers, enough to motivate them to coerce Delgado into signing papers that he believed would allow his release, but actually led to him being immediately removed to Mexico.
Now, this American of Mexican descent could be sentenced to twenty years in jail just for trying to come home. And, as for his poor English, Luis Delgado says that he was born in Houston, but moved to Mexico and spent most of his childhood there, hence his shaky English.
But, seriously, is shaky English a strong enough reason to send someone packing? If it is, I know a helluva a lot of people, white people, here in South Carolina who should be worried. But, they aren't worried because the color of their skin is better than a birth certificate or driver's license or Social Security card. White is right, in America these days.
And yet, in the America these days, we have people like Jan Brewer who want to create a state of panic for anyone with an accent, or brown skin, or god forbid, both. People like Jan Brewer would allow Spanish-speaking members of society to be treated as second-class citizens. But the fact remains, no matter how many of you might want to change it, there is no official language of America; that's what makes it America. We are everyone and we are from everywhere; we speak every language; we worship, or don't worship, any way we choose. But we don't, or at least we shouldn't, punish anyone because they sound different or look different or act different.
That, most decidedly, is not America.