Morning Thanks

Garrison Keillor once said we'd all be better off if we all started the day by giving thanks for just one thing. I'll try.

Monday, April 21, 2008


A Year of Morning Thanks

The Immigrants

Our economy’s overall balance is immensely fragile. Honestly, disaster awaits us with only a bit of a shove either way.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal immigrants live here, in or near this small community. I'm not sure anyone really knows just exactly how many, and I'm quite sure that most of them are illegal. A couple of years ago at this time of year, national Hispanic leaders threatened a huge strike. If that would happen, even here in a little prairie cow town of 7000 people, many businesses--whole industries--would shut down. It’s that simple. Illegals do tons of work, much of it ugly, everyday, much of it no white people will do. Were they suddenly to walk, the town would be struck dumb, stupified, shut down cold.

And yet, there are those who scream.

Illegal immigration is an incredibly complex problem, but whatever strength or balance our economy still has is, at least in part, occasioned by our own law-breaking, hiring them on the way we do, as well as theirs. Some 140 years ago all of my ancestral Dutch Calvinists came here with nothing at all--and no language either.

It's not as easy a problem as a sky-high fence, and doing something about it will require more political will and clout than almost any candidate can muster.

Regardless, I am thankful, really, for the immense contribution of those many, new Hispanic neighbors of ours.

1 comment:

Real Live Preacher said...

There is also the irony of how admirable many of these people are. We rightly admire someone with the gumption to walk about 500 miles, facing death, only to work hard and send most of the money home to their family. If they weren't Mexicans, we'd be writing books about them.

Which is, I think, why we keep hiring them. Some part of us knows there has to be some control, but dang it, how do you not hire that person?