"Politicians use everything." says Domingo Sanchez, an immigrant from Mexico City who gained his citizenship in 2007, and one ...
Blue skies, heat waves, and white clouds float overhead as a group of immigrants sneak past a bush on a hot summer day. When asked why they risk their lives with this dangerous journey, a man peaks his head from the group and quietly whispers "for my children", and there's a light murmur of agreement. Another head surfaces, a woman with dark eyes whose draped in a black garment to keep her skin from burning from the harsh sun, speaks softly; "Because America is the land of opportunity."
But as their feet tear from walking hundreds of miles in cheap, hand-woven shoes, and their knees begin to buckle from their malnourished travels, they don't realize just really why they're being given the opportunity.
A family of four stumbles past a journalist marking an event that happens every week south of the border. They stare at him in fear, afraid that he will turn them in and their goal of reaching the United States will end right there, at the hands of a white American. But in his hands are not that, rather than a pen and notebook, assuring them he is there only to document what they're doing - and look the other way while it happens. Their olive skin glistens from the brash of the sun, and his skin begins to chap, and for the day they seem equal on their journey for a better future in different ways. Yet, while their journeys are different, their work is for the same people.
Every year, over 720,000 people cross the southern border into the United States illegally. Every four years, over 81,000,000 Americans say they believe illegal immigrants should be able to vote. Fifty-three percent of Democrats, a total of about 52,250,000 people, support the right for illegal immigrants to vote. What is the incentive for American-Democrats to so passionately give votes to unauthorized, undocumented immigrants? What they get in return.
"Jobs." says 23-year old José Gutierrez , an immigrant living in California who crossed the border illegally with his mom and dad when he was just 11-years old. "The reason we come to the United States is for jobs, and it seems the Democrats are the only ones who consider we have families to feed, too." However, those families aren't necessarily here in the United States, as Guiterrez admits. "Most of the money my parents made went back to Mexico, to people much poorer than us." Guiterrez continued, saying that he didn't see any money from his first pay check, "it went back to Mexico. I sent it through the mail." When asked how they exchanged the money currency, he said, "They didn't. They would store it aside until they had enough, and then when they did, they would make the journey here and join us."
Another immigrant we interviewed, who asked to remain unnamed, told us there were people that could get you "easily across the border" if you're willing to pay. Typical rides included a 12-hour trip hidden in the floorboards of a van, sweating and nearly dying from heat stroke, before crossing what must seem like the golden gates into the United States. Prices range from $7,000-$12,000, so many choose the cheaper option of walking, which is usually about $4,000. So, where does that money come from? Jose Gutierrez gives us a small insight to the secret world of what could be called illegal-immigrant economics. This world of illegal-immigrant economics is much larger than it may seem, as reports wager that over $23 billion was sent back to Mexico by illegal immigrants just last year. However, the money doesn't come easy. A man living in California who told us he had many relatives who came to the United States illegally, told us just how illegal immigrants manage to land jobs when so many Americans struggle to land one themselves.
"A lot of them start out in manual labor jobs like housekeeping or cleaning for women, construction or landscaping for men, and a lot of restaurants have under the table jobs." When asked how these workers get hired without paperwork, the man who wanted to be called Antonio said, "most don't care about that, they're just looking to hire dedicated workers."
It becomes a balancing act of maintaining a low enough profile to stay under the radar from pressuring law enforcement, yet do enough to earn plenty of money for their families at home. Despite personal belief, the life of an illegal immigrant is undeniably rough, isolated, and most of all; unofficial.
Politicians are using this to their advantage, establishing big cities as their stomping grounds to garnish the support they need to win an election, especially in extremely blue-states like California. In 2016, not one Republican even bothered to run for a Senate seat. In cities like Los Angeles, 1 in 10 residents is an illegal immigrant. Democrats are using these cities as feeding grounds for votes, promising to turn a blind eye to under the table transactions in return for a city that looks the other way, and enables prosperity while doing so. Pew Research reports that out of the 11.1 million unauthorized immigrants living in the United States, over 8 million are employed in the U.S. civilian work force, not counting the ones who work unofficial jobs and receive payment under the table, tax-free.
In politics, winning is everything; it's a politicians livelihood. Favoring legislation that benefits undocumented and illegal immigrants means 11 million more votes, enough to sway any vote favoring the party that appeals to that demographic. So, why don't Republicans attempt to appeal to illegal immigrants in the way Democrats do? It's because they don't have to.
In places outside well-known "sanctuary cities" like Los Angeles and San Francisco, people tend to lean more Republican. In Elk Grove, a suburb of Sacramento, a population of 167,000 people elected Republican Steve Ly, with a majority of council members Republican, as well. The 88,000 residents that make up Chico, California elected Sean Morgan, a Republican politician who promises stronger legislation on business and stronger police. In Oakdale, a rising population of about 30,000, elected visionary Republican Pat Paul, who became the first woman to become elected to the Stanislaus Board of Supervisors. In Modesto, California, over 250,000 residents elected Republican Ted Brandvold. There's thousands of small cities like these spread around California that continue to elect Republicans to represent them, so why don't they win? Simply put, cities like Chico, Elk Grove, Modesto, Oakdale, and others don't merely amount to even half of that of illegal immigrants continuing to cross the border illegally, stuffing voting ballots in favor of the politicians that promote ideas in their favor. Republican politicians simply won't change their rhetoric, but Democrats already have, and continue to do so.
Illinois is another state that is strongly blue, despite having major Republican influence spread rampant around the state. Again, no Republicans came close to being elected for a seat in Senate in Illinoise like California.
These numbers make it seem almost unfair for Republicans in the political race to vote for representation. Surely, having the ability to just vote for who runs your city council isn't the idea of Democracy. Luckily, the founding fathers saw this happening over three years before it actually did; establishing the electoral college. The electoral college promises equal representation for Americans across the nation, and continues to squash Democrats plans of stuffing the ballot boxes full of illegal votes.
Back to what really matters; the people it affects. Nearly a million of people in search of a better life cross the border each year, yet are taken advantage of by power hungry politicians who see the sorrowful faces of illegal immigrants, the tears from young children and cries from hungry stomachs, as nothing more than a vote. Condensing the vote in America has become an epidemic, and now that the electoral college protected against tyranny and voter fraud from winning, Democrats are up in arms at the realization that nearly 11 million of their votes will be sent away. More importantly, there strong holds in states like California and Illinois will vanish, and they'll lose nearly 100 points on the electoral college map. Without California and Illinois, Democrats would never win another political race. Rather than losing, they resort to encouraging immigrants to sacrifice themselves and their families in return for a small favor; their vote.
Republicans support legal residency for all citizens; it's hard to say the same for Democrats. The Democratic party has been extremely vocal in their support for undocumented immigrants, yet not so much for the legal immigrants that make up a huge percentage of the American population. It's no wonder why nearly 30 percent of legal Hispanics and Latinos voted in Donald Trump's favor for the 2016 Presidential election. Yet, as Democrats continue their efforts on condensing the vote in strong hold states like California and Illinois, unwilling illegal immigrants will find themselves thrust into cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, and forced to follow the thought that their only hope is Democrat.
By Michael Marsh