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Legal vs. Illegal Immigration


This is the true story of a legal immigrant and how he loved America. Today’s fervor over this issue has become headline news while the truth is overwhelmed by emotion. As Congress continues to debate ways to address illegal immigration, we must remember the many hard-working legal immigrants that contribute so much to our nation's economy and culture. This is the story of one such man.


Rodolfo Escalera was from humble beginnings, born in a small town, Lerdo Durango, Mexico. His father, an inventor and artist in his own right and his mother a full-time homemaker. An only son with two older sisters he was raised with an excellent work ethic. In his late teens his father passed away from a massive heart attack leaving him to step-up and fill the “man of the house” shoes. Shortly after his fathers passing his mother announced to her family that she was making arrangements for the family to move to the “land of opportunity”, the United States of America, to embark on a fresh start and a new life. She went through all the legal channels to prepare her children’s immigration papers as well as those of her own, wanting to do things correctly and just. Keep in mind that none of them could speak a word of English but all were determined to succeed.


Escalera knowing that he had to do his part to help support the family promptly secured a job as a dish washer, all the while listening to American radio and after hours watching American TV so as to learn the English language. From there he went on to work as a theatre attendant and was able to watch and listen to American movies all along picking up on the English language. For him it was not an option but a matter of survival. He was an immigrant in a foreign land and he knew that he had to play by the rules that applied there and learning the language was of paramount importance. He eventually was able to secure his “dream job” working in a commercial art company where he could actually apply his skills and get paid for it! With this new job came his opportunity to return to Mexico and marry his childhood sweetheart who had also already prepared for her legal passage into this great country. They married in Mexico and returned to their new home which they rented in Los Angeles California.


The rest as they say is history… Escalera went on build a beautiful family with his wife Susana as well as a successful commercial art business which afforded him the opportunity to place all his children in private schools, a nice home in the suburbs, new cars every few years, wonderful vacations etc… he truly realized the American Dream!


When asked about this country he would wax poetically as it being the greatest country in the world and one that early in his residence here had actually taken steps to fight for in its defense, having joined the US Army during a period of war only to be honorably, medically discharged before he saw any action.


He would defend this country passionately with his opinions and never understood the groups who would defend the rights of those who were here illegally. “This is our country” he would say, “and if you want to be here, then damnit, you need to be here legally or get out, go home until you can be here the right way” He would fume over seeing his tax dollars being channeled to those who were undeserving. He was all for immigration, its part of what makes this country so awesome, it just had to be legal immigration where all of our ways were respected and upheld. Anything less was unacceptable, not to be tolerated, and those who opposed had the freedom to go back from where they came from if they did not like it...

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