Big Head Press

L. Neil Smith's
Number 426, July 15, 2007

"Get a rope."


Confessions of an Illegal Immigrant
by Dick Wetherbee

Credit The Libertarian Enterprise

I have enjoyed J. D. Morris's articles on immigration and have neither the desire nor the knowledge to contradict anything he has said. I would like to tell tale of an illegal worker. I lived, usually legally, on a tourist visa, in Mexico for more than 5 years. I occasionally overstayed my visa, making me an illegal immigrant

I often worked, always illegally. I played music, tended bar and taught English. The bar tending and playing music always got me in trouble. The teaching, never.

Finding work in Mexico can be difficult, even for a citizen, and Mexicans will get quite upset about a foreigner taking their jobs. Every time I got a job playing music or bar tending someone would rat me out and I would get a visit from a Government functionary who would warn me to stop. I was never arrested or even threatened with deportation. When I taught English (illegally) I was invited to the Chief of Police's house for dinner (his daughter was one of my students).

As my Spanish and my skill at bribery improved I began smuggling power tools and consumer electronics into the country. Much better money than teaching.

I fell into the Mexican habit of not paying too much attention to what day or even which month it was so I sometimes overstayed my visa. I would sneak out via Belize or Guatemala and then re-enter, legal again, not having missed more than a day of work teaching Mexican kids to say, “John saw the train”

About 4 times a year I would go to Texas and load up on circular saws and ceiling fans and bribe my way past the border guards. I got caught once. It took a large bribe and I was sent on my way with all my stuff but minus all my money. (Except for the twenty I had stashed in my sock)

I doubt that this adds anything to the immigration debate, but I had a good time, made a few bucks and didn't go to prison.

Clearly the Mexican government should have done something about me and people like me. I'm glad they didn't.

Dick Wetherbee's only credentials are as a small boat captain, very small boats, the smallest license available. He has been thrown out of every college he attended.


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