As the Senate begins to overhaul the particularly harsh immigration policy passed by the House, thousands of pro-immigrant protestors have taken to the streets to voice their opinion -- among them, the elusive Chupacabra!
To: The United States Senate
Re: U.S. Immigration Policy
Ladies and Gentlemen of the Senate,
I am writing to you from a small cave somewhere in the American Southwest, my humble home since 1996. I live a quiet life here, and rarely involve myself in politics of any kind. There is a reason for this, which I am sure many of you may have already guessed. You see, I am an illegal immigrant in this country, and live in constant fear of deportation at the hands of your INS agents. In addition, I am El Chupacabra, famed goat-sucker of Latin legend.
As I said, I normally keep my political opinions (as well as my scaly, greenish-gray body) hidden from others, but was so moved by the thousands of students who left school this week to march in support of immigrant rights that I felt compelled to step up and lend my voice to the cause. My horrible, braying, unnatural voice.
Allow me to tell you my story. I was born in Iztapalapa, one of the poorest areas of Mexico City, in a small shack made of cinder blocks. My mother was a beautiful young seamstress who had been kicked out of the house when her family discovered she was pregnant without a husband. My father was a Chupacabra who inseminated her while she slept before boarding an orb of light and fleeing to the farthest regions of the galaxy.
It was difficult growing up without a father to teach me how to play baseball or ride a bike, and my human mother only shrieked and stabbed at me when I approached our filthy dwelling. Clean water was scarce, as were the delicious goats that filled my dreams. The only thing that kept me warm at night as I drifted off to sleep in the local dump, clutching the carcass of a rat or mangy squirrel, was the dream of a better world where the livestock were plenty. A better world. America.
I first attempted to make my way across the border at 16 by pulling the stuffing from an enormous Tweety Bird doll and sewing myself inside. As any cryptozoologist can tell you, the mature Chupacabra is typically between three and four feet tall, but since I was still young, it seemed an easy fit. Once concealed, I attempted to get myself sold on the Tijuana border as a cheap souvenir for American tourists. Unfortunately, I had not thought to ask for the assistance of a roadside seller, and all of the drivers squealed away in horror at the sight of a dirty Tweety Bird hopping toward them in the rearview mirror, the sharp quills of my back protruding through the doll’s furry yellow hide.
Although daunted by this first experience, I eventually did make it across the border by hiding inside of a small shipping container in the back of a truck, nearly dying of dehydration in the process. Were there an easier way for me to come to America legally (and also if I weren’t a horrific creature of urban legend that would doubtless be quarantined by the military, tested and destroyed), of course I would have done it. But so desperately did I crave escape from the misery of my own land that the risk of death was not too great. I would have done anything to get here. And my story is not rare.
I understand that after the terrorist attacks on this country, Americans are nervous about protecting their borders, but we must remember that this is a country built by immigrants! You may deride the Mexicans and los Chubacabras now, but remember how the Italians were treated when they came here. Or the Irish. Or the Chinese. They were all considered swarthy, shifty, un-American immigrants at one time. Now, these groups make up the backbone of society and own many, many goats that I will suck on.
I am so tired of hearing American citizens talk about how the illegal immigrants are coming in and taking their jobs from them. Come on! If we weren’t illegal, you wouldn’t be able to get away with paying us next to nothing. And do you really want to have those jobs? Do you really want to clean toilets, or wash dishes, or maul livestock all night long? I mean, can you imagine your typical New York stockbroker having to sneak onto a farmer’s property in the middle of the night and quietly drink the blood of five goats? Forget about it! First of all, he wouldn’t possess the dread gaze of the Chupacabra, a gaze which makes all animals freeze and succumb to my vampiric embrace. Secondly, he wouldn’t want to get his fancy suit all dirty.
I am glad that Congress is finally making some attempts to deal with the 11 million unauthorized migrants and 15 elusive Chupacabras now in the United States, but the bill passed by the House to make all of us felons is ridiculous. And the perception that we are coming into this country in order to take advantage of America’s benefits while we lie around doing nothing is just plain stupid. We work hard for next to nothing, always afraid of being deported back to the squalor from which we came. We are an engine for this country, and we want to be accepted by this country. Yes, we have broken laws to get here, but many of us needed a solution right away, and the slow motion of the bureaucracies just would not do. Also, the number of goat attacks on children has dropped to an all-time low since we got here. It’s true. Seriously.
The Senate Judiciary Committee’s recommendation to allow illegal immigrants to stay after paying a fine, learning English and getting a background check is preferable to what the House wants, although the fines are a bit steep – $1,000 now, $1,000 later, plus any back taxes we might owe. Chupa ain’t got that kind of scratch – I don’t know where you’re getting your figures. Maybe you let people work it off over time – something reasonable like that. Chupa don’t have all the answers, neither. But as you continue to work toward a solution, you should remember that even though many of us don’t know English, we do know “give me your hungry, your tired, your poor.” We are poor, we are tired, and we are hungry for the blood of your small and defenseless livestock (or domestic pets if we happen to be located in an urban center).
We are the American dream.
The Weekly Memo is a biweekly behind-the-scenes look at the revealing correspondence of our most fascinating thinkers, leaders, celebrities, and weirdoes.