Sunday, January 20, 2008

Things My Mother Taught Me

When I was a little girl, my mother taught me three very important lessons. They were the most important lessons in life and I carry them with me today.

Faith - Family - Country
Faith: My mother taught all of her children to believe in God. We are Catholic. Every Sunday, we woke up early, we put on our Sunday best, we went to Church. She taught us that if we believed in God and followed his commandments, going to church filled up our souls each week and we would walk back into our week refreshed, filled with love and truth, ready for the challenges of the upcoming week.
Family: After church, our entire family gathered together for our family dinner. We all sat around the table, said Grace, and talked as family. We were taught to always rely on Family First. Friends may come and go, but you always have family in the end.
Country: We were taught to love our Country, this land of opportunity, but it came with responsibility. We must work hard, maintain a strong work ethic, complete our education, have a good career, support our country in time of peace and war, honor the military and obey our laws. We were also taught to remember where we came from, our ethnicity and never be ashamed of the fact that we were migrant workers who worked hard and had the opportunity to succeed in this great country of ours.
My beautiful mother passed away last Monday. At her funeral, family and friends came to remember and honor her. Her funeral was both a celebration and a send off to her Heavenly journey. We miss her, but we also know she is in Heaven with our father.


Anonymous said...


copyright laws prevent me from posting the whole article here - but here are some points from an LA times article.

This fine family is costing the US taxpayers a lot of money in benefits. When you Dee talk about your plan, your plan for some of the 20 million undocumented to leave the US and go back to the country they came from and for most of the 20 million to get legal us residency,

which category do you put this family discussed below in?

My question is, according to your plan, if we accept your plan, do the us taxpayers continue to support these folks or do they go back

thanks for your candid answer

An illegal immigrant couple with six children were already living in poverty. Then the quadruplets arrived. They're still in a daze.
Sam Quinones
Times Staff Writer
1960 words
28 July 2006
Los Angeles Times
Home Edition
Copyright 2006 The Los Angeles Times

With two teenage daughters at home and triplets still in diapers, Angela Magdaleno's family overflowed from a one-bedroom apartment in South Los Angeles that they strained to afford.

Diapers had to be changed 15 times a day, feedings held every three hours. One triplet, 3-year-old Alfredo Jr., needed special attention because he was born with liquid on his brain and partially paralyzed.

Even simple events -- like going to the store -- required complex orchestration.

And that was before the quadruplets arrived.

On July 6, Magdaleno gave birth to two boys and two girls, drawing national media attention as a bewildered mother of 10 (with nine living at home). Now, she and her husband, Alfredo Anzaldo, 44, must figure out how to provide for everyone on Anzaldo's maximum pay of $400 a week as a carpet installer.

Both Magdaleno and Anzaldo are illegal immigrants, settled for years in an immigrant enclave. Magdaleno has the same number of children as her parents, who were peasant farmers in Mexico. Like her parents, she is living in poverty and struggling to provide for her family.

"It's not sweet," said her 36-year-old sister, Alejandra. "It's very sad. The life for girls back there in Mexico is the same as the one Angela has now. They marry and have children, and that's their lives."

Neither Magdaleno nor her husband speaks English, though she has been in the United States 22 years and he 28. Even her teenage daughters speak mostly Spanish; their English vocabulary is limited.

Yet all of Magdaleno's 10 children are U.S. citizens. The triplets receive subsidized school lunches. All the youngsters have had their healthcare bills covered by Medi-Cal, the state and federal healthcare program for the poor.

Alfredo Jr. had been hospitalized all his life until recently. He's had three state-funded brain operations and will require several more, the family said. The couple receive $700 in monthly Social Security payments to help with his medical needs.

"I thank this country that they gave me Medi-Cal," Magdaleno said. "There's nothing like that in Mexico."

Angela Magdaleno's story began as many Mexican immigrant stories do: in a village where work was scarce and wages were low.

She grew up in Los Positos, in the central Mexican state of Jalisco, the eldest of 10. For girls, life consisted of hard work, little schooling, no birth control and thus, said Alejandra, raising "all the children God gives you."

Angela and Justina left school at fifth grade to work in fields and tortilla shops to help support their family.

In 1984, hoping to make more money to send home, the girls were the first Magdalenos to cross illegally into the United States. Angela was 19. The sisters found work in sewing factories, and apartments in the growing Latino immigrant communities of South Los Angeles.

Over the years, their eight siblings followed them.

Angela married, had two daughters, then divorced.

In 1990, she met Anzaldo, an immigrant from the state of Nayarit, Mexico, who had three daughters from relationships with two women -- one in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Anzaldo was working in auto shops.

The couple married in 1992 and had a daughter together.

Magdaleno then had a tubal ligation. She thought she was done having children. But a few years later, things changed.

Anzaldo had only daughters, and the couple were getting older. He saw his chance at having a son slipping away.

"I wanted a son," he said, "because I didn't have one."

Magdaleno too had always wanted a boy. Anzaldo paid for an operation to reverse Magdaleno's tubal ligation. The couple thought they might return to Mexico after the child was born.

But for several years, she didn't get pregnant, Magdaleno said.

So she asked a woman who returned periodically to Mexico to bring her back fertility drugs. The woman supplied her with various pills and injections over several years, Magdaleno said.

"I took a lot," she said. "I don't remember what they're called."

Finally, in 2002, Magdaleno got pregnant -- with triplets.

Talk of returning to Mexico ceased when their son, Alfredo, was born with hydrocephalus.

Their life became cramped and chaotic, with seven people crammed into their one-bedroom apartment.

Dee said...

Do you know what your article tells me Anon? The employers like to have illegal immigrants employed so they can exploit them and keep them living in poverty conditions.

I have been rethinking my view. I believe we should legalize those here that qualify.. legalize as in Guest Worker and they have an opportunity to apply for citizenship if they have been here, crime free for x number of years.

What many on your side do not understand is, as long as we keep status quo and do not sanction or imprison employers, we will continue to have illegal immigrants come here to work. Since they are illegal, they will hide and not assimilate. We have to attack the employers and put them in prison. We have to draw a line and make as many that qualify legal. We have to make sure the employers follow the immigration laws.

Bottom line is, as long as employers are not imprisoned and we remain status quo, we will continue to have illegal immigration without assimilation.

Anonymous said...


thanks for your comments. Anyone that doesn't support putting employers in jail is persona non grata as far as i am concerned.

However, isn't it logical for people to move to the usa simply for the free medical care even if they can't get jobs -

i mean read the quote
"I thank this country that they gave me Medi-Cal," Magdaleno said. "There's nothing like that in Mexico."

Dee, help me out here. If i am a single mother living in south america with three severely handicapped kids, each of which needs a million dollars in medical care, isn't it logical for me to move to the USA even if i can't get a job? I mean even if no employer will employ me, isn't the $3 million worth of free medial care and my natural maternal instinct going to make me want to move to the USA

God bless the good hearted people of the usa, anyone who comes here with sick children gets cared for no matter whether they are documented or not.

Dee, pls comment on whether some people will keep coming even if the employers don't hire them

Dee said...

Well, Anon, I have been doing some re thinking.

I am reading ExMex by Jorge Castaneda. He says many of the new illegal immigrants, those coming now, are coming from south Mexico and Central, South America. There is extreme poverty in those locations. Many are coming because of NAFTA-CAFTA, poverty, escaping the violence in their countries.

My evolving view is, we need to do something about NAFTA-CAFTA. We need to help south Mexico and Central-South America improve their own economies and provide jobs, work in their countries. We should help them stabilize their economies. I think this would help them and us. It would certainly solve many of the Immigration issues we are facing.

Many of us should discuss the possibilities and our recommendations.

Liquidmicro said...

NAFTA and CAFTA were put in place with the thinking that our farmers would play by the rules, incorporating the H-2A visa, however, due to their greed, the farmers found it easier to pay minimum wage instead of paying the required costs associated with the H-2A. Thus, lower prices for exporting to the farmer, plus subsidized monies for farms, which again was meant to help with the added costs of using the H-2A visa program. The farmers have duped the American Citizen and caused severe hardships due to cheating the system to most of Central and South America.

All 'Illegals' here now should be placed on the H-2A visas and force the farmers to hire them as mandated for the visa, to include all associated costs. Then reduce all subsidizations to the farmers.

Most farms that have been shut down due to the 'Cheating American Farmers' are located in the central and southern areas of Mexico, these farmers are some of those coming here now. I say, give them back their farms in their countries, go after our farmers, since due to their greed, we are in this position.

Anonymous said...

well even if nafta and cafta are revoked and there is a marshall plan for latin america and great things happen there,

there are still going to be huge numbers of people who want to come to the us for the free medical care

in fact if you are the mother of a child needing expensive surgery you are negligent to not try to bring your child to the us

the above posts seem like cop outs to me - the fact is that even if there are severe employer sanctions and undocumented can't get jobs the sickest and most expensive of them will keep coming

i think i am entitled to an answer from dee - if we give you what you want and make the 20 million in to citizens and then large numbers of undocumented come in to the usa seeking expensive medical treatment, Dee will you boot them out without giving them treatment or will you give them treatment

my point here is that i am not sure that if we give you citizenship for the 20 million that is the end of it - i think after the 20 million become citizens millions more come to the usa and i don't think Dee has the stomach to round up the millions that come here after the 20 million become citizens

we are talking about making 20 million people in to citizens here - if dee wants it to happen she should be clear about what happens next.

in specific terms

patriot said...

dee, you keep talking about sanctioning and imprisoning the employers and this is exactly what the SAVE ACT will do and yet you object to it. Even if there are parts of the SAVE ACT that you don't like the mandate of the e-verify system to be used by employers will accomplish just what you claim you want and that is to stop employers from hiring illegals and imprison them and/or lose their business licenses if they don't comply. You are talking out of both sides of your mouth dee and that is where you are losing any credibility with your views. You say you want employer sanctions but you object to new legislation that will make them accountable, sanction them and imprison them if they don't comply. It is hypocritical!

Dee said...

If we move the 12 - 20M here to a path to citizenship and simultaneously secure our borders utilizing technology (ex any legal visitors carry secure id with gps) we will know where they are. We need to bring the 12M out of the shadows and either legalize or deport them.

Secondly, if the Southern Mexico and Central American farmlands are re established and they become self sufficient, then you will not see the numbers from those portions of the country leaving. Studies tell us they were not coming before the nineties. Most do not want to leave their homeland but feel they do not have recourse (according to book I am reading).

I think you agree that it is mostly the new illegal immigrants that are not assimilating.

We have to do new thinking. We cannot continue with status quo.
We agree to secure borders and employer sanctions.

Can we also agree to enforcement of the H-2A visa process and sanctions for the employers who do not follow them? Can we agree to secure ID? Can we agree to business support for those farms in MX and C.America that were impacted or put out of business by NAFTA - CAFTA? Can we agree to incentives for those here for micro loans to set up businesses for themselves up MX? (loans not gifts)

We need to come together and think out of the box if we are to resolve these issues.

patriot said...

Why do you think we should go as far as granting our precious citizenship to those who have violated our immigration laws, dee? I can see them returning to their homelands and applying to come here as a guest worker based on our labor needs but citizenship? Hell, no! Many are only here to work anyway and their devotion is to their homelands. Why this push for citizenship?

Yes, we do agree on secure borders and employer sanction but we don't agree on the methods. So no, we are not really in agreement on those two things.

Secure I.D.? Ok we agree on that one. Nafta/Cafta...get rid of them. Micro loans? I don't know enough about the details to say yea or nay.

Either way, we need to secure our borders (not your way) first and then impliment the e-verify system in the workplace.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the loss of your mother, Dee. I'm thinking of you.

D Flinchum

Dee said...

Thank you D. Flinchum.
I appreciate your kind thoughts.
It was a very rough week, even more so because some of my siblings are very ill. It makes me think of how fragile life is and we are all getting older.

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