Ask a Mexican

Sending Illegal Immigrants Home Can Boomerang on the States

Dear Mexican: Magdalena has worked for me many years. She came over as a mojada with her two little girls when they were 4 and 6. The girls went to school but only until middle school because they are undocumented; they can't get a job or a bank account or a driver's license. One of them is almost 30 and has three kids; somehow she manages to work regularly. The other one has been sitting in jail for nearly two years because she hung out with the wrong cholo crowd. What is the 30-year-old supposed to do in Mexico, where they'd consider her a pocha and where she knows no one? What can she do here as an undocumented American? Why not just allow these kids to live here, pay taxes and be a part of the social fabric?

Good Gabacha

Dear Gabacha: Although your question is problematic (you didn't tell me what the jailed sister is up for and you should be more judgmental of your worker for letting her girls drop out of school as teenagers), you also brought up an inadvertent point that should give pause to those Know Nothings who want immediate deportations of all illegals. During the 1980s and 1990s, the U.S. government deported young Central American illegal immigrants who had joined the gang life. What did they do? They started gang chapters in their home countries and turned a local problem into a transnational nightmare, with nearly 80,000 such gang members in Central America alone, according to a 2006 study by the USAID Bureau for Latin American and Caribbean Affairs Office of Regional Sustainable Development. The same thing happened in Mexico, except those deported cholos usually ended up in the services of the drug cartels.

I'm a small woman, certainly too small to push my car down the street toward a gas station when it breaks down, as it frequently does. My fellow Americans honk and scream at me. It is those gallant men in their beat-up vehicles from south of the border who pull over and lend me a mano. What's up with that? Pequña y Agradecida

Dear Petite, Grateful Gabacha: You know why — because Mexicans are AWESOME. Except for new president Enrique Peña Nieto, of course — pinche puto pendejo baboso.