Americans are working in the fields. Good news! But the bad news is that they are anchor babies. But the good news is that this anchor baby isn't gangbanging.
The Los Angeles Times October 30, 2011Children Of Immigrants Hit An Economic Ceiling
Even the well-educated find it tough to earn middle-class wages, and some end up in the farm fields where their parents toiled to give them better lives.
Reporting from Dos Palos, Calif.— A Salvadoran flag wrapped around his neck to block out the sun, Geremias Romero hunches low to the ground alongside the other laborers, following the tractor along rows of cantaloupes.
He reaches into the leafy green rows of fruit, touches a melon to gauge its ripeness, and then tosses it into a cart, where another laborer boxes it. Walk, pick, toss. The pattern goes on all morning.
Harvesting cantaloupes for $8.25 an hour isn't the job that Romero, 28, dreamed of as a child. Born in Newark, N.J., to immigrant parents from El Salvador, he graduated from high school and has taken classes at the Art Institute of Philadelphia and Merced Community College. He has experience as a special education teacher but, unable to find a teaching job, he's started working in the fields.
"I'd rather keep myself working than get in trouble," he said, wiping his hands on his ripped jeans, stained with grass. "My dad started from nothing. He worked hard, so I don't mind working hard too..."
"We've never had so many American-born working in the fields," said Joe Del Bosque, the Central Valley farmer who hired Romero and other laborers like him to pick melons. "Farm work is usually the big step for some people to push their kids
into the American Dream."
They include Raul Lopez, 23, who worked as a contractor for a utility company during the construction boom but is now back in the fields picking cantaloupes.
"We're still struggling, so we have to go where the work is," said Lopez, whose mother, a Mexican immigrant, just passed her U.S. citizenship exam.
Of course Del Bosque is not old enough to remember the 50s or 60s, or even the Joad family who worked California's Central Valley in the agricultural industry during the 30s. Americans used to do the work illegal aliens do now. Just ask Cesar Chavez. But that was before the $10 billion spent a month on welfare, food stamps, Section 8, and TANF.
But it does show that Americans can be forced to do the work Americans won't do. And it proves that Romney, Perry, Hugh Hewitt, et. al. are wrong.
And the other question is whether it is good that Romero is not wearing an American flag around his neck? At least he isn't desecrating it. But it might also show his sympathy and love is for El Salvador despite being an anchor baby.
But in the end, with huge young black male unemployment rate, we don't need anchor babies in the fields, we need blacks in the fields.