News item #1: As of Nov. 30, 13 states had enacted 19 employment laws
related to immigrants since Jan. 1, 2008, according to a December
report issued by the National Conference of State Legislatures. The
laws covered hiring unauthorized workers, employment verification,
unemployment benefits and so forth.
The states: Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and, of course, Mississippi.
News item #2: According to a report by the nonprofit Progressive States Network, lawmakers facing some of the smallest undocumented immigrant populations have approved the harshest anti-immigrant measures.
Kiss and tell
Imagine that you are a lawmaker in, say, one of 13 states.
It's a week-day morning, and the Legislature is in session.
You awake to the buzzing of a Phillips alarm clock. Made in Mexico.
You yawn and stretch and throw off the bedspread you bought from Linens 'n Things. Made in Mexico.
Oh, well: Time for every morning's business. Thank goodness for Kleenex, you think. Moist. Fresh. Flushable. Sewer safe. And Mexican.
You patter to the refrigerator, a Frigidaire from Electrolux - a company employing thousands, many in Chihuahua City. That's in Mexico.
Mmm, you think. Doesn't that leftover tortilla look good? Better not, though. Not that hungry. You grab a good old American snack from the candy dish instead. Hershey's Kisses - puckered and packed in Monterrey.
One of the true garden spots of MEH-hee-co.
After your shower, you squeeze a gummy substance onto your toothbrush. Crest. Packed in red, white and blue tubes by machines run by hands that are calloused, paste-encrusted, Mexican.
It's time to get dressed.
You feel casual today. Let's try on those Wrangler stretch jeans imported by the great and sovereign country of ... no, wait.
How about these Savane slacks instead? Savane, it is. From the Dominican Republic.
The nadir of zenith
On the way out the door you stop to watch the local news on TV: People protesting e-verify laws. Commies. You snap off the set, a Zenith from Mexico.
Outside, in the garage, you warm up your Volkswagen (Mexican). Or your Ford Fusion (Mexican). Or your Chrysler 300C with, si!, the engine made in Mexico: a V-Ocho. You can't wait for your new Ford Fiesta. It's on order, from a place near Mexico City.
After a long, hard day of passing laws guaranteed to make immigrants feel unwelcome, you drive home for a relaxing pull on a frosty Dos Equis chilled to perfection in the Mexican-made interior of the fridge. Or how about a Corona? Tecate? Negra Modelo? All are reasonably priced.
No? Need something stronger after all that drama today? Ahhh. This will do. Viva Cuervo! Much better.
Darn foreigners. Nearly ruined your day. They need to learn their place.
Contact staff writer Gary Pettus at (601) 961-7037 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org