Wednesday, December 30, 2015

I Came Here to Work… Part II

I thought it would be better to try and finish off this entry today. There is no way to have a final answer nor a solution in 10 parragraphs. Yet, these are issues which affect us in our every day lives.

There is no easy answer to this issue. We need to respect, and stay within, the boundaries the existing laws allow. If these need change, this has to be done through due process, not executive order. This last is nothing but a devise used by a president incapable of negotiating an agreement on a given topic, and wanting to press his own agenda forward.

Borders have to be closely guarded while the system is revamped. Immigration is a privilege, not a right. Every country in the world chooses whom to allow into their borders and based on a quota basis. Why should this country be different? Yes, we offer hope as a society, but this hope has to be founded on a real possibility; when the system is broken down, that possibility begins to disappear. For those who come in as well as those who already live here. If you come into this country, you will be expected to assimilate into its system, not try to create your own. That, over the last two centuries, is what has allowed the dream to become a reality and to offer that hope of a better life.

And let’s be clear. When immigration is mentioned, I refer to all migrants, not just from Latin America. All have to be measured by the same stick. But, what about those who already live here, in the shadows of “illegality” as it were? They also should go through an internal vetting process. A real one, not a lip service one. Prior legal issues (not a minor driving issue or similar) should preclude their ability to stay. However, in many cases, there are families who have lived here for 6 – 10 – 20 years, raised families, often with children who have served in the US Armed Forces,  earned a living, paid taxes, and contributed to society.

These are not people who have come to try and change this country into something it isn’t. These are people who have come to work, relate to the US, and integrate into the system. Should they have an opportunity to reach their hoped for dream? I think they should. This would be a process which would take them through mandatory citizenship classes, language proficiency classes, etc.

In the end, they would continue to do what they have been doing and which would qualify them for this process: work, contribute, and help our country and society to continue to grow in diversity and flourish.

There is one final issue which we all have to be aware of. Those who already have the legal status and those who would be willing to sacrifice and work in order to get it: Immigration, residency and eventual citizenship in this USA is an earned privilege, not a right.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

I Came Here to Work.

This entry has been a while in the making. Perhaps not consciously, but definitely subconsciously. Yet, it has grown in content so this is the first part, of two parts... will try to finish it soon...

We live in a society which demands that thoughts and ideas be brought out, be heard. Especially when we witness issues and trends that can be considered harmful to that society or this, the country where it is harbored. My allegiance is to this wonderful country where we have all received not just a second chance to make a life, but a third, fourth and oftentimes many more chances. There is no other country in the world, I believe, where this could have come to pass. And I have worked and/or lived in some 50 of these countries. In that allegiance, however, one cannot be totally blind or deaf to the fact that there are areas where improvements can, and should be made.

I come to the core of this posting. A heartfelt core which brings out a duality of feelings that are not easily managed. Our country has become what it is largely due to a willingness to receive immigrants from almost every corner of the world and allow each one to rise or fall according to his/her efforts. It has been that fruitful and generous. We grow and push forward because of the energy and ideas that everyone brings to the table and the equation.  

On the one hand, there is my Hispanic background and my daily contact with folks who sacrificed everything to come to this country hoping for a better life for themselves and their children, working their days away in the pursuit of that hope.

On the other hand, is the knowledge this country and society are based on a set of general rules and parameters which have served it well for over 200 years. We can’t throw those laws away for the benefit of the few and the detriment of the nation. Much less for the political convenience of some who see this exchange as a way to reach power positions in this country, to then systematically destroy that structure that allowed them to be in the first place. When we come to this country as migrants, whether for political, social or reasons of economics, we come because it is different and better; because here we have opportunities that in our own countries we don’t have.

Yet, many who now come do so not in the spirit of working hard in order to improve but to try and find an easy way to make money, to live well without any kind of sacrifice. This means that those of us who live her, work here and pay taxes here, bankroll their attitude. In other words, we come here to improve our lot and then try to convert this country into an extension of our old country. Guess what… it will not work. And in the process, we will manage to destroy most of, if not all, the qualities that made this country an attractive destiny. And this attitude, unfortunately, extends to a whole generation of people born and bred right here.

The worst problem? This attitude is being promulgated by a government which sees it as a means to extend its political hold over the country through a short and long term change in the basic makeup of the system. Not necessarily for its betterment, but for the outright opportunities and artificial staying power which this control and political dominion will bring to their party. They forget or -worse yet- choose to ignore the catastrophic consequences this selfish thinking will bring for our children and grandchildren.

So, what about the migration issue we have to contend with? Can, or should, we send everyone who is outside the law back? Should we close the borders to further migration? Should we become an isolationist country and destroy the very essence of what has made us a great country? What about the terrorist issue? This is a very real problem in today’s world and, especially, for our country.

Part I.... Part II to follow

Monday, December 7, 2015

A Ray of Hope

For a list of reasons, Latin America’s political climate has long favored populist governments. Now this tide may be finally turning.
I went to bed last night, but was unable to fall asleep. Yes, I watched some TV, and read some. But, what was keeping me awake were the constant “beeps” coming from the telephone, letting me know that a new tweet had come through. And being the late hour it was on a Sunday night –when these beeps usually quiet down to silence- this meant an update from the twitting community in Venezuela, regarding elections.

I am not Venezuelan. But I had the opportunity to visit –repeatedly- this beautiful country and came to care for it and for a people who openly received me as one of their own. Later, when Chavez won, I knew they were in for a rude awakening. With the help from the Castro govt., a new tyranny was born. And worse yet, a tyranny that had tons of petro-funds available for propagating and controlling. Thus, the systematic destruction of a country began.

Yesterday, in a massive turnout of voters (estimated at 76%, highest in history) the people raised a cry that said ENOUGH!! Social media was present and, perhaps, a main reason as to why electoral fraud was not completed, as had been done before. The Assembly is now in the hands of the opposition and it is in these hands that rest the responsibility for peacefully rebuilding a country that is naturally rich in people and assets.

This reversal is important. More than meets the eye. A few weeks ago, Argentina started this trend with a solid NO to the reelection of a Populist government that had ruled the country with an iron hand  for many years. Yesterday, Venezuela did what was thought impossible through, again, a massive turnout of voters. In Ecuador, over 400,000 people went to an anti-Correa rally in Quito, the capital city. And in Brasil, the socialist government has its days counted. These are all governments that have supported inimically and –more importantly- economically, the government of Cuba.

The so-called Cuban government, after sinking the country’s economy and infrastructure into an utter disaster and after milking these countries for all they can give, is now running out of economic options. Ironically, its best possibility now seems to be the “hated” enemy…  they are obliged to fully open the doors to American tourism for quick dollars. What sociopolitical changes this may bring, remain to be seen.

Now that all the so called people friendly “isms” have been tried and found to be sorely wanting, maybe the other “ism”, Capitalism, may be able to come to the rescue of these economies and countries. Most importantly, Latin America seems to be leading the way to a democratic reality, where people have learned they can –and do- have a say in what happens in their country and society.

Be Well … Be Back!!!

Final Notes:
·       Pray for those who are fighting an illness which may take them away from their loved ones… Every request is heard, and counts!!
·       Follow us on Twitter … @RJAsPandora

·       Any comments please send to

Doña América and other memories.

I know she has already been mentioned somewhen along this line of sometimes unhinged memories as they relate to moments of my life , but y...