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Spencer Joseph Huefner

Professor Lisa Packer


ENGLISH 2010
3 September 2015
Just because you put syrup on something doesnt make it pancakes
In this day and age picking a cause to stand for isnt hard, and
the globalization of information has shown that there are more than a
couple problems in the world. Yet there are few as important and
pressing for us as humans as illegal immigration. How can a topic that
superficially seems to solely deal with hotheaded bureaucrats and us
being invaded. The recent activity in this topic has spurred more
debates and more surveys and studies than ever before. They claim to
be saying what we need to do and whats going on, when in reality
they might be so far in the maze that they cant even see over the
wall. This issue needs to be resolved if we ever want to be more whole
as a people and that is what I hope to cover in this piece, to lay out the
facts so that the ignorant may become educated on the multi colored
issue of illegal immigration.

The activity in politics recently is the driving force that led me


choosing to research this issue, between the slandering of ethnicities
with false stereotypes and the resorting to the build a bigger wall
solution it is clear that the issue is setting new lows. A recent article by
blogger and columnist Greg Hinz stated The declaration that most

Mexican immigrants are criminals first came along, guys with calves
the size of melons built by toting bags of illegal drugs across the Rio
Grande all day. That was followed by a promise to build the fence of all
fences and the call to send all 11 million home and the move is on to
repeal a 150-year-old clause granting citizenship to any person born in
the U.S. This shows many of the dilemmas revolving around this topic
and if its clear to see that this isnt the best solution it makes you
wonder if we perceive the problem for what it truly is.

Research done by
the American
Immigration Council
shows that with the
surge on unauthorized
immigrants crime rates
have dropped (see
figure 1.) and that
Figure 1. Criminalization of immigration in the
U.S.
have dropped by 41%. The numbers go on to show that native born
violent crime rates

citizens are more likely to commit crimes. The difference begins to


become more defined when you take in account that presence in the
U.S. without a visa is crime only illegal immigrants face and that nearly
one third are removed for this as opposed to the publics view of more
serious crimes such as robbery and sexual assault.

Ethnic strife and ugly stereotyping are now as American as


apple pie, Hinz states. As a nation 99.9% made up of immigrants our
tolerance of culture and beliefs are surprisingly non-existent. Yet racial
slurs and bigotry have existed for quite some time. The Irish were
stereotyped as drunken wastrels and unofficially barred from living in
certain neighborhoods. Italians were thieves, Poles blockheads best
employed as laborers, etc. (Hinz). Even now Asians are known for their

bad driving as with women, blacks are criminals and dont conform to
our ideals profiling like this is always untrue shows that its been
present for centuries and never bodes well for society. That coupled
with the great influx of technology and influence of media in our lives
shows that the warped state of information we are shown is amplified
In this case being it greatly affects all Hispanics and Latinos.

More than a year ago now I returned from serving a LDS mission
to Mexico City. From the moment I arrived I was called phrases like
gero and gringo, and It became apparent that I was representing
more than my
church, I was
representing my
country and my
race when I was
there. The
stereotypes of

Figure 2. Tepecoculco

the U.S. followed me. Of the several times I was robbed the thieves
seemed surprised to find out how little money we had. There I met
many people, those who were considered wealthy enough to have two
vehicles and others who could only afford beans to eat at meals and
would fast from their meals just to feed us (See Figure 2). The stories of
people braving the harsh journey to the U.S. were common in some of
the places I lived. Many people had hopes of making enough money to
leave for their children to be better off or to escape the violence of
drug cartels.

During the research for this piece I found myself asking are we
as informed as we think we are? The information we digest on a daily
basis is often from biased sources or high-ranking dignitaries and we

often find ourselves ready to picket our local governments when


something changes in our daily lives. Has we become so self absorbed
that we ignore even basic human decency when it doesnt conform to
todays standards?

Works Cited
Ewing, Walter, Daniel Martinez, and Ruben Rumbaut. "The
Criminalization of Immigration in the United States." American
Immigration Council. American Immigration Council, 8 July 2015.
Web. 8 Oct. 2015.
Hinz, Greg. "The Bad and the Ugly in the Immigration Debate."
Editorial. Crains

Chicago Business 31 Aug. 2015: n. pag. Print.


Tepecoculco, Tepecoculco. Personal photograph by author. 2013