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01 Oct 2014

Ask a Mexican: Why Don't Mexicans Get Green Cards and Come Here Legally?

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Dear Mexican: Why don’t Mexicans get green cards and come into the United States legally?

After talking to people who have, I realize that the process is not hard, and it only takes a maximum of three years to do. By coming in illegally, people are taking jobs from legal Mexican citizens and taking advantage of the U.S. social-welfare systems. This causes increased taxes, not to mention increased costs of all types of insurance. These costs are forced onto all legal citizens, including Mexicans.

Do the Mexicans who cross the border illegally have any respect for people or their own culture?

Shane the Shooter

Dear Gabacho: Who says Mexicans don’t come here legally? The Pew Hispanic Center shows that nearly half of the 11.4 million Mexican immigrants in el Norte are legal, with about un terced of that half permanent residents—that’s a lot of Mexicans with green cards!

But factor in all the other immigrants wanting to get their micas, and the pie-en-el-cielo scenario you paint of folks going through the process within three years is as laughable as Mitt Romney considering another presidential run. I know people whose green-card applications have been held up for more than a decade because of the backlog of cases. And like I’ve said many times in this columna and elsewhere, no one’s going to wait for a superfluous piece of paper when you’re starving, and salvation is just a couple of thousand miles, a bus ride and some evil human-smugglers away.

As for the rest of your babble? Babadas.

What’s up with the scorpion symbol? I’ve seen it on the rear window of many a lowrider truck, and I’m baffled by what it means. One of my pocho friends says it has something to do with drug-smuggling. Is that true?

Gabacho de Albuquerque

Dear Gabacho: I seriously doubt the truck on which you saw a scorpion was of the lowrider genre—those are driven by Chicanos who usually leave their windows clean so that everyone can see the car-club trophy on the back of their seat. What you saw was a truck or a giant SUV driven by a paisa—a Mexican term for a hillbilly. And more likely than not, that paisa is from the state of Durango, where the alacrán is a symbol of pride given its desert/mountain landscape.

That said, narcos have appropriated the scorpion for the obvious, menacing reason, just as they’ve done to Tweety Bird and Santa Muerte—but to say everyone who puts those stickers on the back of their trucks is a drug-dealer is like saying everyone who wears pointy boots is a pendejo.

Oh, wait …

BUY THIS BOOK!

Just out from the University of Arizona Press: Our Sacred Maiz Is Our Mother: Indigeneity and Belonging in the Americas, by Roberto Cintli Rodriguez, professor of Mexican-American and Raza Studies at the University of Arizona. It’s an awesome treatise on the importance of corn in the Americas, combining history with ethnography, cultural studies and a bunch of desmadre. Buy, buy, compra!

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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