Dust Bowl descendents from Bakersfield are immigrants, too.

Maryann Kopp

Like so many other inhabitants of Bakersfield, I come from a family of farmers who came out here during the Dust Bowl because there were few other choices at the time.
My relatives were poor and exploited as a result of circumstances that beyond their control. They were just trying to find a way to keep on living.
Many other people in Bakersfield have this same background.
How quickly we forget.
The issue of illegal immigrants has been everywhere, and Bakersfield just made the motion to stop being a so-called safe haven for any illegal immigrants.
I understand that immigration is something that should be monitored (because what would we ever do if we weren’t able to say we’re better than another region?), but I can’t help but be a bit perplexed over how it all seemed to balloon overnight.
And what really bothers me the most is the incessant and generally unreasonable babble from people whose relatives were going through something very similar to what is going on right now.
I don’t get you people. It’s abhorrent when it happens to Americans, but if it happens to non-Americans right in front of our faces, it’s OK?
Oh, that’s right. Non-Americans are not human.
People are so quick to jump on any stupid bandwagon that I just want to know where the puppeteers have their hands shoved to make you all nod at the same time.
How can this bother people more than ignorant people having ignorant children, a war or the fact that thousands die from hunger every day?
For the most part, we are neck deep in “dummy” and it doesn’t seem to trouble people a bit.
But anything the media may be blowing up does. And having your job stolen by an immigrant does.
I have to say that I find such accusations to be a total crock. I have never had any prospective job “stolen” from me because there was an illegal immigrant in line behind me. And if they wanted it that badly, I would even give them cutsies in line because I know perfectly well that there are other places just waiting to beat me up for some crummy hourly wage.
I have, however, been beaten out for a job because I wasn’t bilingual. Did I blame the bilingual person or Hispanics in general for that? Of course I didn’t. I blamed myself for being an idiot back in high school and dropping my advanced-placement Spanish class because I wanted to ditch school and hang out with my ex-boyfriend. That got me far.
Some say that illegal immigrants should go fight our ridiculous war for us in order to become a “true citizen.” I happen to know of an immigrant who attends BC and has been to Iraq not once, but twice. This guy is more of a citizen than I’ll ever be. If someone tried to make me go fight in Iraq, I would have one foot in Canada and one hand waving goodbye in a heart beat.
Another thing that bothers me about all of this is the issue with the border fence that separates us from Mexico. How can anyone be surprised that someone can get around a fence? Let’s just draw a line in the dirt and put up a sign that says, “Do Not Cross.” I think it would be just as effective.
Its almost as if we think like those ignorant kids I mentioned earlier. Nothing says, “Keep out” like a fence. It’s brilliant.
If we really want to keep people out of our country, then I say we utilize one of Bakersfield’s most abundant natural resources: racist white trash.
We can just have them hang out at the border with fold out lawn chairs and a barbecue, and anyone even thinking of crossing will hear “Git ‘er done” and “Natty Ice” so many times that they’ll probably run back faster than we can say “Red, white and blue.”