It’s the rainy season here in South Florida, and my grass needs cutting every week to keep the homeowners association (HOA) off of my ass. My grass hasn’t been cut for three weeks now. Neither has the grass of many of my neighbors. My lawn man and his crew have been missing. I’m almost certain it’s because Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security, and the Border Patrol are now making unannounced searches for citizenship and residency documentation, Homeland Security has an immigration child detention center near by, and there is a lot of activity here over the last few months.
I didn’t know the immigration status of anyone working for my landscaping company. It’s none of my business. He offered a service, and I paid him. That’s our business together. Somehow, his status (or the status of his employees) and his business have collided. It’s impacting me now. I am forced to pay attention.
There is a healthy, legitimate fear among immigrant communities in South Florida and around the nation. This is only the beginning most believe. Illegal immigrants are hiding, not going to work, or maybe even leaving the country altogether. Because they don’t know who to trust, they don’t usually say goodbye. They just stop showing up! We are ignorant about the law (immigration policies) and reality here in the U.S.
Hardworking illegal immigrants that have been working out in the open here in the U.S. for years are now in hiding. So much so, that legitimate businesses that rely on their cheap labor are unable to operate now because their help is being hunted and detained. My lawn guy (who shall remain nameless) hasn’t even picked up his pay for last month.
It took me a minute to get it. It wasn’t until I noticed my grass was getting out of control that I figured out what was going on. I’m heartbroken that I took for granted his service and status.
Now, I must do something to my grass before the HOA starts sending nastygrams, thanks to the Trump Administration’s tougher stances on illegals immigration and family separation policies.
You may think this is not a big deal. If you do, you have absolutely no idea how much illegal immigrants contribute local and national American economies. If you live in any rural community or border state, you understand how the cheap labor of illegal immigrants and migrants help keep us going.
If it weren’t for migrants picking our fruits and vegetables, we would likely starve to death. Black people aren’t picking shit for anyone to eat anymore under any circumstances and rightly so. Black people picked for free for a long time (like 400 years) against their wills, so #timesup. We know white folks think picking is beneath them, if they think of who picks their fruits and vegetables at all. Illegal immigrants are America’s new pickers. They will work for low wages, in all sorts of conditions, keeping grocery stores, farmers markets and restaurants with food so we can stuff our fat, arrogant faces. They do the work we Americans won’t do.
Without immigrants, who will keep our lawns maintained? In many places, landscaping is now done by a combination of legal and illegal immigrants. I could cut my own grass. I did for years. When I my sons were at home, I had them to do it. Now I’m older, I pay someone to do it for me. It’s a luxury I can afford. Immigrants maintain our residential lawns, highways, shopping centers, strip malls, and other places keeping them beautiful, and they do it for less than Americans oftentimes. What happens if most of them are detained or go into hiding?
Those places will start looking like my crappy lawn!
Without the combination of legal and illegal immigrants, who will keep our kids, clean our homes; aid in preparing restaurant fare; bus tables; prep food; paint buildings; build new homes, high rises malls, and office buildings; repair our automobiles; fix broken stuff in our homes, clean our hotel rooms; pick our vegetables; or clean the bathrooms in malls especially in warm climates and in the South? Americans, especially White Americans, have absolutely no clue about how much this nation relies on the backs and hands of illegal immigrants to make our worlds go round because they have always been so far removed about what it takes to feed, clothe, and clean them.
Certain jobs are beneath them, and their children, including the current POTUS who has never served this nation in any capacity. Serving is not his forte, therefore, he doesn’t value it. Serving is for other people, not for them. The POTUS is causing a problem for us regular folks like me just trying to mind our own business and live until this nightmare of a presidency is over. His hate and race baiting is a problem for all of us.
If this administration continues to villanize, terrorize, and harass immigrant communities, soon we all will find our worlds less comfortable, unless perhaps you happen to live in a Lilly White, sanitized community. Even then, you’ll notice price increases for certain foods, products and services, or an absence altogether of some products and services that are impacted immigrant labor.
America was built on the back of immigrants and slaves, so “We the People” can’t afford to ignore what’s going on in this country today. Speak up today, or pick your own tomatoes tomorrow. The choice is yours. Losing immigrant farm workers is bad for business and bellies. You can base your decisions on laws, or you can base them or realities.
I chose to base my decisions on realities first.
Leave the illegal immigrants alone, we need them. Besides, the alt-right isn’t going to pick or clean our food or hotel rooms for us. Their just going to advise us at how superior they are and tell us who we need to hate.
Just dealing with my reality here!
I miss my landscapers. Most of the men couldn’t speak English, but they provided an invaluable service for me that I didn’t want to provide for myself. They were nice, never attempted to trick me out of money for services I didn’t need, reasonably priced, and they were always respectful. Now, I have to find another landscaping company, or go buy a new lawn mower to so I can restart my old/new job of cutting my own grass.
Thanks Donald Trump, I’m speechless (literally). He really is putting Americans back to work. I just didn’t expect it to be me doing manual labor though.
I guess that’s what making America great again means to some.