THE LIBERTARIAN ENTERPRISE
Number 426, July 15, 2007
"Get a rope."
Confessions of an Illegal Immigrant
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.