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By Martin Lamarque

About this blog: I have lived in Belle Haven since 1997, and work as an interpreter in the emergency department of a county hospital. My main interest is to help improve society by way of giving families the support and information they need to ra...  (More)

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My experience with an illegal alien

Uploaded: Aug 6, 2014
Given the heated discussions brought about by the latest invasion of our country, I didn't want to appear ignorant of the subject.

I would like to tell you the story of my experience with this issue of illegal immigration. Something that has become as American, as our humble apple pie.

Many years ago, some 32, to be exact, I met a guy who used to go by a name that didn't match his bad English. Because by then being politically correct had already been invented, those who worked with him were left to wonder (but only behind his back), what the deal was with the guy.

Doesn't he know that is not a Mexican name? And if he is going to go around pretending that is his name, at least he should try to get rid of that thick accent of his
Can't someone tell him it would be fine with us if he just went ahead and confess his real name is José, or Juan, or Pedro? it would've spared others the work of having to contain their cyinicism everytime he struggled to pronounce his name.

Because he was a decent and hard-working fellow, most didn't really care whether the guy had papers or not. Besides, there weren't that many illegal aliens in Palo Alto at the time. The few that were known of, had been absorbed into the workforce, and quietly went home to the other side of 101, at the end of their shifts.

But nonetheless, a few people were bothered by this guy's deceiving tactics, and did what they could to make him feel unwelcomed. He needed to know that our country valued truthfulness, and if he was not brave enough to come forward and fess up his real status and identity, he was not deserving of friendship.

I didn't know it at the time, but this is probably what created the idea of illegal aliens being invisible. They have been everywhere, but we all pretended no to see them.

In any case, I stayed in touch with this illegal folk, and little by little, as he trusted me, he eventually told me the reason he had crossed the border, without the proper documents.
It turned out that a couple of years before, his brother had vanished while working in Las Vegas, and not being able to bear with the anguish of not knowing what had been of him, he decided to come north to try to find him.

With not much English or resources to launch his search, he ended up in Palo Alto.
Like most illegal aliens then, at the beginning he would go back to his country from time to time. But as the crossing became more difficult, he started a family here, and made the US his permanent home.

Because today I've run out of space, I will stop here. It will have to be on another day that I tell you more about this guy. He is still around, and I couldn't believe my eyes last time I bumped into him... he was blogging for The Almanac!

I am telling you, if allowed, these illegal aliens will eventually end up everywhere.
Local Journalism.
What is it worth to you?


Posted by Grateful, a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park,
on Aug 7, 2014 at 12:58 pm

Little by little, as stories such as yours are told, people may come to realize that those "illegal aliens" they treat as disposal objects are made of real flesh and blood, with beating hearts that feel pain and joy -- and everything in between -- just as authentically as our own friends and family members feel their emotions.

Thanks for your story, Martin. I hope you found your brother.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Aug 7, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.


while I don't view illegals as "disposable" I view them as illegals. They did not enter this country legally. More than that they are "line jumpers." There are many that have stood in line while folks that jump the border get in front of them. It's flat wrong. Either you believe in the laws of the land to which you wish to emigrate or you don't. If you don't, you don't belong here. Harsh I know, but we simply cannot accept everyone that wants to come to this country, least of all those that don't respect our laws.

Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 7:09 am

@Menlo Voter
Thanks for reading my blog.
I am sure the native peoples of this land would heartily agree with you.

Thank you for your kind words.
Like with many other issues, the Right has done an excellent job at developing over simplistic talking points. At face value, these would seem to make sense, but like just about all of their a?la Limbaugh ramblings, fail to take into account history, and most importantly, to take responsibility for the downright misguided and illegal US foreign policies of the recent past. Policies that have resulted in the big migrations they now complain about.

Posted by Reagamesties, a resident of another community,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 11:04 am

Call them what they are - Reagamesties.

Thanks to Ronnie creating ten million Reaganmesties in '86, with Ronnie under pressure and thus Ronnie kowtowing to his superiors, big business. Since then, every so called "illegal" (aka: Reaganmesties) has come over because of Ronnie.

Ronnie folded like a cheap suit he was (no insult to inexpensive clothing, of course) because Big Business wanted cheap labor - no rules, no benefits, drive wages down.

Ronnie, not having a spine, folded just like he did in Beirut.

Every Republican since, has done the same. Ever see a Republican allocate money towards enforcing our laws and penalizing businesses for hiring Reagamesties or outsourcing to firms that employ cheap Reagamesties?

Hypocrites that want a fence - sure. But throw a businessman in jail? Heck no.

Reagamesties. And our current GOP hypocrites. Hand in glove against working families, and for Big Business.

Posted by Menlo Voter, a resident of Menlo Park: other,
on Aug 8, 2014 at 8:32 pm

Menlo Voter is a registered user.


apples and oranges.


you are absolutely right. I have long advocated that we should go after employers that hire illegals. Put a few of them in jail and it would stop. Unfortunately, as you note that isn't going to happen. And it isn't just because of the republicans. Democrats aren't any better when it comes to the immigration problem.

Posted by Fair Oaks, a resident of Menlo Park: Fair Oaks,
on Aug 10, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Posted by Martin Lamarque, "I am sure the native peoples of this land would heartily agree with you."

I hear this all the time, and it is a convenient line to justify illegal actions. If you're going to use this line at least know the history of "the native peoples of this land". Just be man and admit you did something illegal and got away with it. But all you're doing is mocking the law and showing people how smart you think you are by bragging about getting away with an illegal activity.

There are people -- from all areas of the world ... Europe, Asia, S. America, etc. -- who are trying to immigrate here legally and have to wait for years to go through the LEGAL process. Some may never make it here, but at least they have self respect and respect for the laws of the nation to which they want to immigrate.

Posted by throw them in jail, a resident of Portola Valley: other,
on Aug 11, 2014 at 11:16 am

"And it isn't just because of the republicans. Democrats aren't any better when it comes to the immigration problem."

Yes. But which ones are the hypocrites about it, always screaming at the top of their lungs they want billions for a couple miles of wall, and refuse to spend a dime on enforcement inside the wall? Our GOP.

Heck, even the last Republican presidential candidate, the great Mitt Romney (father born in Mexico) said he believed in self-deportation. Web Link

Posted by Susn, a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park,
on Aug 11, 2014 at 2:19 pm

"Native peoples" I wish illegal aliens would stop aligning themselves with indigenous Americans as if that somehow justifies coming here illegally. If you consider it was wrong of Europeans to come here originally, why would you think it is okay for you, a descendant of the Spanish Conquistadores, to come here illegally? You are not one of the indigenous people of California.

Posted by Wow, a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights,
on Aug 12, 2014 at 1:29 pm

You have struck a chord. Sadly it did not bring out the best in our community.

Posted by Martin Lamarque, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Aug 12, 2014 at 6:49 pm

@ Wow: I sure did.
Who knows? Maybe they are some of the best our community has to offer, and their opinions just happen to be formed by disinformation, ignorance of history, or even by at some point having been affected by some illegal immigrant in a personal, direct way.
Someone here mentioned Reagan's amnesty of '86, which in my opinion, besides benefiting immigrants who acquired legal status, significantly increased the labor pool, and greatly benefited businesses.
As a result, the working class here saw their already low wages, go even lower. For many, there is a reason to be mad. But thanks to talking heads working for the Republican Party, hatred has been promoted against the little guilty guy, and not against the big time culprits.
Another big factor that mostly doesn't get talked about is NAFTA. A trade treaty between the US and Mexico, one of the most corrupt governments on earth. Big businesses on both countries are the main beneficiaries, and the working class on both sides of the border gets shortchanged again.
What was the main side effect, besides enriching the already very rich?: A huge wave of immigrants looking for a better life on this side of the Tortilla Wall. Like every other group of immigrants before them...

In any case; thanks for reading my blog.

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