In America you work or you don’t eat

I’ve been following Adam Baldwin on twitter, not because he’s an actor, but because he’s interesting and interested. He’s not interesting because I agree with much of what he says if not all, but because he actually puts some intelligent thought into his beliefs.

This, in the Hollywood crowd, is a rarity. Oh, they are fanatical and emotional about their cause du jours, but they don’t often spend the time to actually acquaint themselves with the facts. No offense to Mr. Baldwin or some others, but many entertainers seem to think it’s enough to be famous and for that alone we should follow along like good little sheep and believe what they have to say. Umm, no. Get the facts, present an intelligent opinion and then I’ll be interested in what you have to say.

Lately, Baldwin has been tweeting about the new Arizona Immigration law. A lot of people are going ballistic about this, including the Washington crew who also seem to be clueless about what is actually in the law and what our federal laws are. Some of his comments got me to thinking and I decided to post a blog about it. Yes, I know as an aspiring author a person shouldn’t post anything controversial, but I think following the law shouldn’t be controversial.

This is a pretty good analysis of the new law, in case you are want to look.

Perhaps Mr. Johnson should actually be worried about half a million illegal aliens in Arizona destroying the Arizona environment instead of 8,000 Marines capsizing Guam and destroying the coral reefs.

Years ago, I worked in a western store. A Hispanic lady came in and asked for Rosa. I told her Rosa was working in the back, could I help her. She insisted I go get Rosa. Rather than argue with the customer, I told Rosa a customer wanted her and I went back to working on the hat I was shaping. Rosa, without even talking to the woman stalked over to me and started cussing me out. She informed me she was sick of my white ass being prejudiced against Chicanos and refusing to wait on them and she was going to turn me into LULAC and file a lawsuit on me.

Excuse me? Me racist? The woman didn’t want me waiting on her because I was white and it wasn’t because she didn’t speak English because I heard them later going back and forth between Spanish and English.

Rather than cause a scene in front of customers, I waited until we could visit with the owner about it, and another girl who worked there verified the woman refused to let me wait on her. I then told Rosa she better not threaten me again or ever raise her voice to me.

When I first started working for the company I work for now, I was surprised when January rolled around and a group of people from Chicago who had just moved down were scrambling to find people with illegal alien family members who had children born here. I asked one girl why they were looking for children. As it turns out, this is a well-known tax scam. The illegals don’t file income taxes because they either don’t work or do day jobs that pay cash. A citizen then gets the social security numbers of their children, files them on their income tax as dependents and then they split the refund. Of the twelve people on the crew, all but two found illegals to use and up their refund. The two who didn’t were so new here, they hadn’t made many contacts yet.

Neat little scam, huh?

It made me wonder why I bother to keep all my receipts and do my taxes like I’m supposed to.

My grandfather on my father’s side came to America from Denmark when he was a young man. He did it the right way and came in legally. He worked hard and became a citizen. Grandma’s family came from Denmark when she was a baby. They also came in through Ellis Island and worked to become citizens.

Grandma and Grandpa eventually moved to Montana where he drove a freight wagon to make a living. Grandma often traveled with him to save money. They scrimped, saved and did without to buy a small farm and then worked their butts off to keep it going.

Grandma refused to allow Grandpa to teach the children Danish or even name then Danish names. She insisted they were in the new country and they were Americans. They weren’t Danish Americans, they were just Americans and danged proud of it.

Years later, after Grandma died, Grandpa used to go back to Denmark once a year to visit his family. Apparently one of them made the remark he thought he was better than everyone else because he was a rich American.

I had to laugh at that. Even after electricity became available, Grandpa refused to spend the money to have the house wired so Grandma would have a few modern amenities. She died in a small farmhouse with no running water or electricity.

Grandpa took umbrage with the accusation and told his cousin, “No, no. No one gave me anything. I worked for everything I have. It’s not like here. In America you work or you don’t eat.”

Isn’t it amazing how far we have come in two short generations? We have multi-generational welfare families. They know all they need to do to get more money is have more babies. They have no idea what work is because no one does. Why should they? The government will provide.

I have no problem with legal immigrants. What I have a problem with is illegals who milk the system for all it’s worth and then send their money back to Mexico.

One of the security guards at the company used to work for United Way. He quit because he got sick of people who refused to work and had figured out the system so well, they just went from one organization to the next in a huge circle so they don’t have to work. He, by the way, is Hispanic.

I know times get hard for everyone and sometimes people need temporary help. Lord knows I’ve been there. Instead of expecting the government to feed my family, I took in ironing. I walked to houses to clean them to save gas. I baked bread for people. There were a lot of times we ate beans for weeks and lots of rice and gravy made with dry milk. No one went hungry, but there wasn’t a lot of variety and we survived.

If you want to come to America and become a productive citizen, no one has a problem with that. If you want to come to America and proclaim your national pride while you live off the welfare system paid for by people like myself who live payday-to-payday and pay my fair taxes, I have a problem.

Oh, and for those who say we white Euros are discriminating against the native people? Not really. The reason Mexicans speak Spanish is because the Spanish intermarried with the natives.

Stop and think, people.


  1. Interesting analysis. I agree that it’s not okay for people to milk the system. But why don’t we change the *system* so it can’t be milked (how it is possible for non-citizens to get welfare for years, for example?) instead of punishing those (and their children) who *are* trying to do right by their families and by this country (and their country of origin)?

    I’m really not trying to attack–I guess I just think there are more productive and fair ways to handle the situation you describe.


  2. Carla, the problem is many people do not want the system changed. Politicians cater to whatever will get them the votes. Supporting more “free” in the system gets them elected over and over and over again. How do we change it?

    Arizona finally got tired of the status quo by the federal government and did something to change it. Now they are being vilified.

    How is it possible for non-citizens to get welfare? Because our politicians have passed laws making it illegal to ask if a person is an illegal alien when they apply for aid. Odd isn’t it?

    If people come here, become citizens and get jobs, then, as I said, they should be welcome. Coming here to get on the welfare rolls, refusing to work or pay taxes like the rest of us is not OK.

    One family in my church campaigned forever to have the services translated in Spanish because Grandma couldn’t understand English. The pastor offered to start up free classes at the church for people to learn English. The response? No, you don’t understand. She is proud of her heritage and refuses to learn to speak English or become a citizen. Then Grandma needs to go back to Mexico and be proud. Several hundred members of a church should not have to make an adjustment for one person who refuses to accept the fact we speak English.

  3. Being an Arizona native (not Native), I have to comment on this post. BTW, the title is very powerful.

    I was born in this state and have lived here most of my life. My paternal grandfather came to this country as a boy from Italy after his mother passed away. His father raised him in NY. He fought in WWII for this country. He played for the Yankees farm team. He learned English and never spoke Italian again…at least, not that I recall, but he passed away when I was six years old. And he worked for the Post Office, raising his family in AZ. You can’t get any more “American” than that. While my grandfather was proud of his heritage, he was also proud to be an American and adopted that into his heritage.

    My maternal great and great-great-grandparents came to this country from England and Wales in the 1800s. On one side, they were bricklayers by trade, and worked very hard for their land in PA, a little place once known as Constable Hollow. There’s a hall in NY named after them. On the other side, coalminers, who worked very hard for what little they had. I still recall my grandfather’s coal mining stories and of courting a woman who was well above him – my grandmother.

    All became citizens and never once lived off the government until retirement with their Social Security, and even then, my grandfather still managed to run several small businesses. He also got a check from the Black Lung Association, who, when he died, did NOT cut the check or discontinue it to my grandmother. I have mad respect for them because of that. Social Security doesn’t pay much, even when you work your entire life.

    I don’t have Native blood in me, nor do I have Hispanic, but I do have about nine cultures running through my veins. I am the melting pot of America.

    I’m not pleased with the things my state has done in these last weeks, especially regarding the removal of partner benefits. I do not support the immigration law. I think it’s ridiculous. I think it’s wrong. I think that the police and sheriff departments have enough to do without adding to their workload.

    But I don’t think it’s as controversial as people are making it out to be. People hear bits and pieces, and they cling to that hearsay rather than researching for themselves what the truth might be. It’s the one aspect of the human condition that drives me mad.

    I also have seen my brother out of work since September 2009, and myself since October 2008.

    I have never taken advantage of a system that’s been there for me. I’ve never needed to…until now. While my disability paperwork goes through, waiting for denial I’m certain where I’ll have to appeal it, I have to eat. I take care of my sick mother. My mother has to eat too. I’m in too much pain to work specific jobs that relate to my experience anymore, and I can’t find work in this valley of the sun. My brother can’t even find day labor jobs. That’s when you know it’s bad. IF I can find a job after I move in a week from this temporary home I now live in, I will gladly accept the employment. I will not turn down a paycheck. I agree with you about the multi-generational families on welfare. People like that make it harder for someone like me who needs the temporary help.

    I don’t think your post is controversial. You’ve presented your experiences and facts eloquently, and provided links to educate.

    As a result of this law, many Hispanics, illegal and not, want to leave the state. I wonder if the Chinese and the Nigerians and whoever else is here illegally feel the same. Somehow, I really don’t have a problem with that.

    Great post. Thank you.

  4. Jinxie, I’m a melting pot on my mother’s side. Her grandfather moved his family to California because he was ashamed of being Native. I think that’s terribly sad, but that’s the way it was back then.

    I lived in Arizona for about a year. Wickenberg and Phoenix.

    No state passes laws that everyone agrees with. I would not support the partner benefit laws. I hoped more states were moving toward partner benefits and partner rights in hospitals etc. My sister went to Canada last year to marry her longtime partner. I am thrilled she and her partner are happy. Heaven knows she deserves it. I would be mortified if she or her partner were denied benefits or weren’t allowed to be with each other if one were hospitalized.

    As for the immigration law. Personally,I hope Texas passes one and also passes a law cutting off welfare to illegal aliens regardless of country of origin. Last year there was a gun battle in my apt complex. Illegals fighting over drug turf and I live in one of the better complexes. The man who died was still in his car, which was running and it wiped out several cars where mine is normally parked. I usually got home from work between 12:30 and 2 am. That particular night, I got home at 1:30 and the police were still there investigating the murder. I missed getting caught in the middle of that by about 20 minutes.

    The school system here is abysmal due to the large illegal population. Our glorious school board decided that putting children in bilingual classes so they can learn how to speak English discriminates against them. So, the citizen children sit and twiddle their thumbs or color pages while the teachers work with the non-English speaking children. One principal insisted my boys be put into the class with the mentally handicapped children because their grades were so bad. I fought them tooth and toenail over that until they agreed to have them tested by a school psychologist. Turns out they were both genius level IQ and simply bored out of their minds. If I hadn’t fought this, and it came at a price because I had to keep driving into town for each meeting and that extra gas meant cutting into a grocery budget that already had us eating beans every week.

    Several years ago, a carload of illegals ran a stop light and totaled my car. If I had been a few more feet into the intersection, I would have been killed. No insurance, of course. They disappeared back to Mexico while the investigation was going on, so no legal recourse. If we had your law on the books they would have at least been able to arrest them. As it was, give them a ticket and turn them loose for not having a drivers license or insurance.

    Yes, I realize police actually arresting illegals they come in contact with during the course of a criminal investigation is going to make more work for them, but perhaps it will cut down on some of the repeat offenders.

    I’m in the same boat as you regarding fighting the disability. The WC doctor declared everything is fine and awarded a 10% impairment rating for sprains. There is far more damage than that and I am paying for a lawyer I can’t afford to fight it. My money runs out the end of September. After that, if the knees, back and neck aren’t improved, I don’t know what I’m going to do. I can’t work. Yes, I’m very worried and I may very well be applying for aid. I see no problem with it for people who need it because of circumstances beyond their control. I’ve already told Will he needs to apply for Medicaid for Logan since his GI bill allows nearly nothing for living expenses and his class schedule is so screwed up he can’t get a job. Even with being a combat vet, he can’t get Tricare insurance on the baby if he isn’t active duty. It seems if a Guard has been in combat, they should be allowed to pay for insurance through Tricare, but not so. Once they go off active duty, their insurance is cut off.

  5. Jinxie 2

    The problem I have with assistance is taxpayers paying for illegals who pay no taxes or people who live on it for generations.

    In the southwest and California, the illegal problems tend to be from Mexico. Apparently in the northwest there is a large problem with Russians. It’s a problem the entire country has and the feds are doing nothing about it, nor will they.

    As a nation we simply cannot keep racking up debt trying to support illegals who pay no taxes, but reap all the benefits. It’s not fair to the citizens or the states.

  6. Amen, Julie.

    The one thing irritates the hell out of me in all this is that the people that oppose the law are forgetting (?) that the key word here is ILLEGAL.

    The six countries I’ve travelled to all required that non-citizens had their passports/identification AT ALL TIMES. Why should it be any different here?

    Bottom line – if you are not here legally, you should either go home or follow the process to stay.

    All of our ancestors did it – why is it discrimination to require it now?

    Drives me nuts.

  7. Exactly, Tara. If we go to other countries illegally no one is going to say, “Oh, well, they just love our country.”

    In most countries, they would be jailed immediately and might not see the light of day for years.

    One of the big problems is just coming to America and having a baby makes that baby a citizen. That is one thing that needs to be changed asap, but it won’t be.

  8. I’ll try not to be so long-winded in this comment. That may be difficult for me.

    We may live in different states, but they really aren’t that much different when it comes to all of this. I don’t support giving illegals state aid, but I do think the children shouldn’t suffer and be fed. That’s how they get it. I’m not happy that politicians made it illegal to ask someone applying for aid if they were illegal. That’s the stupidest law I’ve ever heard of. They just asked me for a copy of my mother’s birth certificate to prove she was a citizen. Isn’t that the same thing? I don’t support illegals being here if they’re just feeding off the system most Americans don’t even use. Like you, I have a problem with that. If, like the woman you described in one of your comments, they refuse to learn English because they are proud of their heritage, I have a problem with it too. You can be proud of your heritage and bilingual. My paternal grandfather was. I shouldn’t have to change my native tongue to communicate with you. At the same time, if I travel to another country, I WILL learn the native language before I go out of respect because not everyone in the world should HAVE to speak English if it’s not their country’s language.

    I’ve experienced gun battles; however, there were no illegals involved. I’ve always lived in the Mesa-Tempe area. That means it’s surrounded by reservation and South Phoenix and farmland. The illegals weren’t the problem. The gangs were, and they live on the “rez” and in South Phoenix. If you don’t know those areas, they are *not* predominantly Hispanic. I won’t even go into how much I hate gangs.

    I worked at a school district for 7 years. By the time I left, more than 50% of the school was Hispanic with overloaded classrooms where non-English speaking students sit in class with English speaking students and everything you said in your last comment. I don’t think I have to mention Arizona’s ranking in the national education system. It’s pathetic and the very reason I would absolutely home school if I had children.

    I know. I really do. I was probably really tired with my last comment and more upset about the other things my wonderful desert state has done recently. I’m not completely opposed to the immigration law. Your link to the NY Times article certainly cleared some questions up and I plan to repeat that link because it does explain the law very well. I’m just not very thrilled with my governor these days. I have similar issues with the new gun law. While I support gun laws fully, I’m not certain I like the idea that anyone can now carry concealed. ANYONE … without going through the CCW class. That disturbs me.

    I’m sorry your great-grandfather was ashamed of being Native. I used to work with Native teens who didn’t even know their culture/heritage, and I, a “white” woman, was the one who had to teach it to them. *That* is a problem.

  9. Jinxie, I’m sorry I missed your last post. I lived in Phoenix for about a year before I met my husband. Even back then crime was a problem. I was warned repeatedly not to walk places if I didn’t have to. I went to work for a riding stable wrangling horses so I lived at the stables. That made it safer for me, but I was still cautious.

    The problem with out country is unlike most countries if not all, we grant automatic citizenship to a child born here. I’ve read far too many articles about women who wait until the last minute and then come across the border for that reason. One article revealed the woman’s husband was actually a doctor in Mexico, but she came across the border so she could get the benefits due to the child qualifying her for them. If someone offers you free money, most people are going to take it.

    Our country needs to do three things. Change the law making any baby born here a citizen. Cut off welfare benefits to illegals. Enforce the laws that are already on the books and make it easier for immigrants to get temporary work permits and enforce them.

    I understand people sometimes need help when things get bad, but it shouldn’t become a way of life.

    As I said before, I am more and more concerned about what’s going to happen when my disability runs out in September. So far, they haven’t been able to improve the pain and I can’t work like this. I have no idea what I’m going to do. Years ago, I could clean houses and take in ironing for extra money. Now, I can’t even clean my own apartment properly and I can’t do anything like scrub floors on my knees.

    We simply can’t afford to support illegal aliens. We have our own citizens to take care of.

    I went to a Pow Wow in Flathead, Montana a few years ago and was thrilled to see a lot of the proceeds went to programs to teach kids their native languages and history. People need to be proud of who they are, but they also need to be proud to be Americans.

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