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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

To Voice or Not to Voice

A friend called me over the weekend to catch me up on the latest news. It seems the restaurant she works for was invaded by the IRS who raided the cash register of all its cash contents, receipts and pay checks not yet distributed. The owners were on vacation in Florida and were unaware of the invasion. But that is not what this is about.

During the raid, a minority immigrant cook in the kitchen began sweating, scared the suited people who invaded the restaurant were actually INS. My friend and I wondered about this. Why would or should the cook be frightened? Only one answer came to us. The female cook is in the United States illegally. This realization prompted another question. How could she be if all businesses are required to take a copy of a drivers license or Social Security card?

I don't begrudge any human the right to survive but I have to say I became very angry about that cook being in this country illegally. The right to survive does not include illegal activity. One doesn't steal. One labors to find legal means to buy food and housing. Then I became even more angry when I thought about the restaurant hiring the illegal immigrant. When I voiced this to my friend, she told me the co-owner is an immigrant who has family working for him - one of whom is the immigrant cook. My friend feels she can say nothing to authorities for fear of losing her job.

All of this aside, I have to wonder how living life in fear affects the quality of life for the immigrant cook? How does it affect her home life; the quality of her work? Years from now, yes, she will probably look back and say leaving her home country for the United States was the best thing she's ever done but if you think about it, how can she possibly recall any pleasant memories if she was consumed with fear and guilt for going against the law?

If you are here illegally, then do the right thing. If not to obey the laws then at least for yourself and your quality of life.

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