Here in the Southwest there is an expression used which is probably not heard in other parts of America, and certainly not in other parts of the world. To hear the expression, “Works like a Mexican” is one of the highest forms of praise anyone here in the Southwest who is not a Mexican National will ever hear about how they do their job.
Contrary to popular belief, Mexican immigrants in America, legal or not do not fit the picture that most of America appears to want to paint for them. I find illegal Mexican Nationals to be among the hardest working, most conscientious people I ever met.
Over half my meals each week are most likely prepared in some way by a Mexican. The home I live in was built by Mexican labor. Most of the low pay high risk workers I come into contact with are Mexican. No matter where I choose to go or eat, whether it be a car wash, coffee shop, or upscale dining, it is likely that a Mexican works there.
I hear some people say, illegal Mexicans are taking all the jobs. I have to agree with this comment because for the most part it is true. Mexican laborers work at the most physical and lowest paying jobs in the local job market.
Mexican labor does jobs such as re-roofing houses in ninety plus degree heat (in the shade) eight or more hours a day. Mexican labor can be found working at processing plants for minimum wage – if they are not cheated out of it. Mexican labor frames and builds houses, do yard work, clear trash. Mexicans pray they hopefully not get cheated out of their pay when a greedy foreman or business owner calls immigration to report them working illegally at the end of the day or week.
Mexicans who enter America illegally are made out of the same stuff we Americans were made of a few centuries ago. Illegal Mexicans are first and foremost above the average in intelligence. They have to be to be successful in America with so much going against them. No one really is giving them a hand up, despite what is popular in the press. Most illegal Mexicans do not want a hand up, instead they want to be successful on their own, and left alone to live quietly.
Illegal Mexicans are risk takers. Some pay thousands of dollars to get across the border. They risk their health and life to gain entry in America. Some Mexicans die in the process of getting to America. Mexicans trying to get to America die of heat exhaustion in the trailers of semi trucks, the vast deserts, shipping containers, automobile cutouts, anything that could possibly hide conceal a human being.
Some Mexicans are murdered by the Mules they paid to smuggle them across the wasteland desert separating Mexico from America. Some Mexicans are kidnapped and forced to carry tens of pounds of illegal drugs across the border at gun point.
Mexicans illegally in America are for the most part hard working people. We Americans have become soft. When we agree to work for someone, it usually means we agree to show up for the agreed upon hours per week. We generally complain about what we have to do, and in some cases we do the minimum.
We Americans at times complain about our pay. We dislike for our boss(es) because they expect us to actually do work. We determine the parameters of our work, deciding privately what we will or will not do, and for how long.
Mexicans are thrilled to get a job, they don’t care the pay is low. All they know is they will make more money in a month than they would make in six months or more in Mexico, if they were lucky.
As an example, if a Mexican is hired to clean, they clean until they are told they can take a break. They don’t move extra slow and do the absolute minimum, or decide when they have cleaned enough for the day. They keep cleaning until the work day is done. They find something else of added value to do if they can not possibly clean anymore.
Illegal Mexicans are a thrifty people. They send enormous amounts of money home to their families in Mexico each month, sometimes paying a ‘handling’ tax, all while making a poor wage.
Mexicans do not generally have most of what we Americans have come to think as necessities for life. Illegal Mexicans are happy with less than the minimum, because what we Americans consider the minimum, illegal Mexicans know is better than they would have had on the other side of the border.
I have found most illegal Mexican people to be warm, caring, forthright, and honest. That is more than I can say of some Americans living in the same neighborhoods as their illegal Mexican neighbors. Mexican’s are generally very family oriented, and prefer law and order to violence and trouble.
Almost all the violence and murders committed by Mexicans is drug related. Illegal Mexicans, in my experience are meek and humble. They do not have any choice. Even the smallest public incident could mean deportation.
My life would grind to a quick halt without Mexicans doing work for minimum pay which some born and raised Americans are too good to do for so little money. Whether the situation is right or wrong is another matter. Most cities in the Southwest could not enjoy the level of luxury and comfort they enjoy for so little, if it were not for illegal Mexican labor taking care of our wants and needs in all areas of our lives each and every day.