Tuesday, May 01, 2007

May march

They’re marching again in Chicago today. I can’t wait.

It’s thrilling.

Thousands of people united for a cause.

I don’t care what you believe on the immigration issue, when thousands of people gather like that, you can’t help but take notice.
Speaking of which:


On Tuesday, May 1 we will not be open for lunch.
We will not have the necessary workforce to maintain our
high levels of quality and service so we are closing for lunch only.
We will open at 5 p.m. for dinner.

“Check it out,” I say to Jim the IT guy, standing in front of the hostess counter at Lalo’s Mexican on LaSalle. “It’s because of the immigration march tomorrow.”

“They come here and do the jobs no one else wants,” he says.

“Yep, and when they don’t do the jobs no one else wants, businesses shut down.”
Your family is living in poverty. Every day is a struggle. There’s never enough money for food. There is no good medical care.

There is a job waiting for you in the United States. But you have to break the law to get it.

Would you do it? Would you break the law to provide the basics for your family?

I would. In a heartbeat.
Lalo’s is a classic Mexican restaurant: Bright colors, mosaic tiles on the wall, wrought iron. If you’ve ever been to Chicago, it’s in what used to be Michael Jordan’s restaurant. There are small, brass engraved nameplates at each booth, the only holdovers from that heady era.

“That’s the waiter from La Margarita,” says Jim the IT guy, taking a tortilla chip out of the freshly delivered basket.

“Really?” I say. “We should ask him what happened.”

La Margarita was our favorite Mexican restaurant in the Loop. It was reliably good food. And Francisco, our regular waiter, was fabulous – the kind of guy who’s there with a Diet Pepsi refill before you even think of asking.

It was a great place to take new employees for their welcome lunches and we always looked forward to it.

But at five city blocks away, it was a bit of a cold blustery hike in the winter. So a few weeks ago when the weather finally turned warm, we set out for our old standby – only to discover it was gone. Shut down. As if it was never there.

“They give us no notice,” Francisco tells us. “On December 22, I work. On December 26, I come and it is closed. They say nothing. I work there 11 years, nothing.”

Francisco, who worked the part-time lunch shift, went on to explain how bad he felt for the full time employees who were left jobless.

“This is why I always have two job,” he says. “You never know what happen.”
Businesses benefit from having illegal immigrants here because they do the shit jobs that no one else wants for low wages. And they don’t complain because they can’t complain – they’re here illegally.

Businesses hire illegal immigrants to avoid paying fair wages and health insurance.

Businesses are breaking the law.

Why are we so quick to blame poor brown people for the problems created by greedy white people?
Francisco is not serving up Diet Pepsi refills at Lalo’s today.

There’s no way of knowing if he is participating in the march.

But I know he’s a good guy. He works his ass off. Two jobs.
I am listening to: Ne-Yo - Because of You
I am reading: Nothing
And I am: Grateful


phatdoggy said...

It's hard to say if I'd go the illegal route, because I don't now what the legal route is. Could it be done in a relatively short time period? Is it costly? Can I come to the US and work toward being a legal citizen?

And then there are statistics... What part of the illegal population commits crimes as compared to the legal population? If you're illegal, know one knows who you are. Your fingerprints probably aren't on file anywhere. And like the idiot that killed the Chicago restaurant hostess a couple years ago... you can flee back to Mexico at your convenience.

I'm uninformed, probably because I'm already here. I see both sides of the debate. I'm not sure who's right, but I do know I like my Mexican food.

-Mr. Uk

dr. detroit said...

Hey Hedy...wouldya get off the race card!!!! It's not about the "WHITE PEOPLE." This is about economics. Anyone who owns a company is looking for the cheapest/hardest working labor force he/she can find. They don't care who/what they are. I would hire E.T. if he worked just as hard and I could pay him less. This is about M....O....N....E....Y!

btw....they are here ILLEGALLY! They need to go through the system and earn their right to live here LEGALLY. We are not a Charity Nation.

Hedy said...

Dr. Detroit: Help me out here, because I don't understand something. It's OKAY to hire people under the table because companies benefit from it? So when it comes to HIRING immigrants, we should look the other way. Do you not realize that immigrants wouldn't keep coming here illegally if companies weren't hiring them?

Dave said...

Hey Hedy,

Since you've read my posts on this, you know what I think; but, for Doc Det, its a hip hop kinda thing, we can solve the immigration problem in short order, if that's what we really want to do: go to the restaurants, drywall, chicken processing, framing, lawn service, etc., etc. companies and arrest the people that hire the bad, bad illegals.

We don't do that? An who's to blame for the problem then?

DewMama said...

I was in Downtown Orlando today, to see my daughter perform at the library. I saw, maybe, a dozen people total, out "marching." One group (and I use the word "group" loosely here) had a flag. The other group had a flag and one of the girls had a sign that she was carrying over her head--it was kind of bent, but I think I saw letters that could have been part of the word "immigration." Guess it's not as important here. Maybe it was just too damn hot.