On May 5, 1862, the French forces of Napoleon III found themselves summarily defeated by a group of relatively ill-prepared Mexican soldiers in what would later become known as the Batalla de Puebla.
A relatively obscure holiday in Mexico itself, “Cinco de Mayo” is so widely celebrated in the United States that many mistakenly believe it to be Mexico’s Independence Day. (Which is the September 16, for the record.)
The fact of the matter is that it’s irrelevant what the holiday commemorates. The conundrum is elsewhere: it is one thing to enjoy one’s cultural heritage and history, but it is entirely another to demand submission of the host culture.
American pride was dealt a blow this week when a California court ruled it was illegal to wear a shirt with an American flag on it on Cinco de Mayo. (Photo: AP via the Huffington Post)
Take, for example, the students in a California school district who were prohibited from wearing (via a decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals) American flags on their clothing during Cinco de Mayo, out of respect for the Mexican holiday.
Fast forward a few years when those same students enter, or at least try to, the workforce.
[sharequote align="center"]What we have is an identity problem.[/sharequote]
If the Obama administration has its way—as they push for a “proposal to create up to 100,000 more guest worker permits for the spouses of foreign workers,”— these same young people who were told to silence their own national pride (on American soil) in favor of another nation’s celebration will be faced with the fact that yet again, their own government has bumped them to second place.
The prospects for today’s searching worker are dismal as it is. The labor force participation rate (that is, the number of able-bodied Americans who could work if they could find a job) is at its lowest since 1978.
A proposed rule from President Obama would allow 100,000 "spouses of foreign employees" gain work permits in the US. A crowd marches along Pennsylvania Avenue during the DC March for Jobs on July 15, 2013 in Washington, DC. Conservative activists and supporters rallied against the Senate's immigration legislation and the impact illegal immigration has on reduced wages and employment opportunities for some Americans. Credit: Getty Images
“By some estimates, a record 90 million-plus people are hopelessly sitting on the sidelines,” writes Michelle Malkin.
As Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) puts it, “Nearly 1 in 2 recent college graduates are underemployed and approximately 1 in 3 African-American youth is unemployed.”
What’s more, as the Daily Caller’s Neil Munro notes, “The rise in the number of unemployed Americans was accompanied by increased employment of immigrants.”
“Come on, 100,000 jobs is a drop in the bucket,” some proponents of the administration's plan may scoff.
It’s really irrelevant whether it’s 20 jobs or 20 million jobs. The fact of the matter is that we live under a government that has elected to foster a social order which considers and elevates the sentiments, concerns, and well-being of seemingly everyone but its own citizens.
President Obama has spent the better part of his time in office telling the American people some variation of two things:
1. You’re in dire straits and it’s not my fault
2. I’m the guy to fix it all by creating [insert figure here] million jobs
(AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
To this end, President Obama’s administration has spent trillions of our hard-earned tax dollars implementing meaningless pieces of legislation like the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act," which was supposedly meant to put Americans back to work. Since then, millions more have lost their jobs.
Meanwhile, President Obama has stood firmly in the way of advancements like the Keystone Pipeline, a project that would bring thousands of jobs to the workforce, and bolster an economy that has been limping along for years. As if this wasn’t hard enough to swallow in light of our dismal economic situation, we’re now supposed to choke back the fact that our government seems far more interested in employing foreign nationals than it does its own people?
“But without these migrant workers, who would take the jobs Americans won’t?” still other proponents will argue.
First, these permits extend to non-citizens who are “frequently hired in professions where large numbers of qualified Americans are available and seeking work—in a diverse range of occupations and skill levels."
Second, we Americans are in a bind. And we’re working however and wherever we can.
In this July 26, 2011, file photo, a worker hangs from an oil derrick outside of Williston, N.D. State data show that 1 billion barrels of oil have been produced from the rich Bakken shale formation in western North Dakota and eastern Montana. Data show that North Dakota has tallied 852 million barrels of Bakken crude, and Montana has produced about 151 million barrels. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
Take the oil boom in North Dakota. With all due respect to my state’s next door neighbor, it’s not exactly an island paradise. With extremely long, harsh winters and substantial isolation, it’s not on the top of most people’s dream list.
Yet they’re coming in droves, following the jobs--whatever they may be. People are leaving high tax, high unemployment states like California and New York in favor of places like North Dakota, as well as Texas, Utah, and others. It’s reminiscent of the great migrations of the Great Depression, when people simply picked up and went wherever the work took them.
The same holds true today. People are looking for work, and they’re uprooting their lives to go and find it, wherever it may be. And with measures like the permit increase, their president is looking to give even more of their jobs away.
The pros or cons of the guest worker program concept aside, the fact is that by pushing for an increase now—while simultaneously pushing to give amnesty to millions of illegal aliens—is like adding salt to the wound.
It shows a very public, complete and utter disregard for what should be this nation’s primary concern: its own citizenry and their economic plight. We do not have a labor force problem that must be addressed by an influx of additional temporary workers. With so many millions unemployed, underemployed, and utterly discouraged, there are throngs who would jump at a job opportunity.
Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. rejects a plan from President Obama to give work permits to 100,000 spouses of foreign employees. Credit: AP
What we have is an identity problem.
Instead of worrying about the free speech rights of students who wish to express their patriotism freely, our courts are more concerned about the sensitivities of the Mexican population. Instead of worrying about rule of law and general public safety, our president vocalized a concern that Arizona’s immigration law (SB 1070) might make Latinos “feel bad.”
And now, instead of concerning himself with the employment plight of his own people, our president has again turned his attention elsewhere.
We live in an America that is increasingly ashamed of and even vitriolic about our own culture, heritage and people. Indeed, so many of us have been taught (largely in schools funded by taxpayer dollars) to believe that America is responsible for many of the world’s ills—instead of the reality that America has been a bastion for freedom and prosperity in a world of poverty and tyranny.
If we’ve only been taught to believe the former, it’s not surprising that our leaders are more concerned with appeasing and catering to everyone but American citizens.
The president's term will end someday, and he'll go on to live a comfortable life of fortune, continued political influence, and personal recognition.
Meanwhile, we (and our children's children) will toil to repay the debt he has compiled while simultaneously handing our jobs away.
As the bearers of such a load, it seems only fair that we be allowed to ask our leader a simple question:
When is it going to be about us, Mr. President?
Mary Ramirez is a full time writer, and creator of www.afuturefree.com--a political commentary blog. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; or on Twitter: @AFutureFree
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