Don't Buy the New Welfare-Queen Myth
Dear Mexican: As a Mexican, I'm always ashamed of the fact that a lot of Mexican women come to the U.S. just to have babies and utilize this country's welfare system. I know a lot of them that just keep having children and don't pay a dollar for the hospital care. They even lie about their marital status so they can get all the benefits without having earned them! But my question is this: Am I culero to feel that way? Do I betray my Mexican sisters because I think that if they can't support a family on their own, they should not propagate at our system's expense? Many of the people I know have had more than one baby! —Soy Culero
Dear I'm an Asshole: What's a fact? That some illegal immigrants have children in this country? Duh. But to claim that said people live it up by popping out more niños is a myth as fanciful as Reagan's welfare queen, unless your idea of paradise is waiting for the sword of Damocles called la migra. You're right in despising women who love spreading their legs yet can't pay for the resultant kiddies or even a pinche condom—but don't buy the hype that the vast majority of so-called "anchor babies" (also known as "United States citizens by virtue of the Constitution as upheld by the Supreme Court") were born with the explicit intent of enriching their parents. There's a lot of anecdotal evidence regarding such Mexicans (shit, I know a couple such putas), but the Mexican has never seen any empirical evidence documenting that this is a phenomenon on the level of salsa being America's top-selling condiment. Besides, illegal immigrants don't qualify for most social-assistance programs—only their children do, and those children are Americans, and it's OK for Americans to use welfare per the Manichean arguments of anti-immigrant loons, so what's the problem?
Dear Mexican: When I drive through my culturally diverse 'hood, I can spot the Mexicans. Even in August in San Antonio, the garage door is up, the interior garage walls are painted some garish blue or yellow, the television is blaring some game, and a crowd of Mexicans are sitting in lawn chairs and swilling beer from the garage refrigerator. Since when did the room where you should park your cars become a social habitat for Mexicans? Why do Mexicans like to sit in their garages, in the sweltering heat, and think that they're having a great time? —White Boy With a Squeaky-Clean Lexus IN the Garage
Dear Gabacho: Broder, you just described it. Whereas gabachos see a garage as a place to store their junk, cars, and meth labs, Mexicans see endless possibilities. A lounge. Workplace. Abattoir. An extra room to rent out to a couple dozen strangers. Everything, really, except a parking spot—that's what the lawn's for.
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT! Got a new book coming out in a month,cabrones—Orange County: A Personal History, my memoir of the most-Mexican-hating region in the Republic and the Reconquista. Learn theshocking truth about Mexicans learning English, attending college, and becoming more American than nachos! Check this column for future invasion dates in your town!
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Village Voice's biggest stories.