by H. Millard (c) 2003

Things weren't going well for me a few years ago. I had less than others, and I couldn't make much money where I was. So, I looked to where there was more money and where life was better: the Bush ranch in Texas.

That's when I decided to emigrate. It didn't seem fair that President Bush and his family had all that money and a big ranch, while my family and I had so much less. What did President Bush ever do to get that money? He was born. Period. Plus, he was on land that I think my ancestors probably once walked on. It's rightfully our land. It's Aztlan. Besides, I'm a hard worker and the Bush ranch is a ranch of immigrants. Citizenship doesn't matter. So, that's how I came to be here on the Bush ranch.

Jose A. HernandezAs you probably know, Bush has a racist and xenophobic fence around his ranch to try to keep me and people like me out, but I was able to sneak in. It was tough. There was a patch of desert I had to get through, but some people left water and food there so I could make the trip in safety. Now that I'm on the Bush ranch, it's like having sanctuary. When you're in, you're in. A couple of years ago, I brought my family and my cousins to the ranch also. Most days I hang out by Bush's barn and wait for day labor work. Of course, even if Mr. Bush does give me some occasional jobs, I don't make enough money to support myself and my family. Even if I did, I wouldn't use it here. I send most of it back home to my extended family so they can pay some Coyotes and also come here.

Jose Antonio Avalos  Bush the RancherI make ends meet by using the charities that Mr. Bush has opened on the ranch to give me free food, free clothes, free medical and dental care (Oh, did I forget to mention that Mr. Bush pays me under the table and doesn't pay any medical insurance for me and my family?). My kids also go to the free schools on the ranch. Since it wasn't fair that my kids didn't have good food to eat, the schools give them free breakfasts and lunches. But what about after school? I still have to loiter looking for work so I can buy beer and louder boom boxes. So who will watch my kids? No problemo. This is, after all, the Bush ranch. Bush has plenty of everything, and it's only fair that he share it with me. To help me out, the schools on the Bush ranch started free after school programs to watch my kids until I finish loitering each day.

Jose Guadalupe MendietaMy wife is pregnant again, but I know that Mr. Bush will supply free prenatal care to her and that he'll pay for the delivery. It's the fair thing to do. Our baby will be a Bush ranch citizen because he or she will be born on the ranch. This will give us some security. In case Mr. Bush ever tries to kick us off the ranch he won't be able to send our ranch citizen baby away and, he'll want us to stay to take care of the baby. Citizenship is wonderful.

Oh, because my growing family and I don't speak English, Mr. Bush had all the signs around the ranch worded in Spanish as well as English, and he and his family are learning my language so they can communicate with us. It's only right that they do this.

Jose Gabriel SalasUnfortunately, some members of Bush's family aren't very culturally sensitive and I've been hearing racist complaints about our music--they say it's too loud--and they even claim that my kids have started a gang and are doing drive by shootings on the ranch. It's not my kids. It's some other kids. They also don't like the graffiti on the barns and fences and they've been complaining about the discarded diapers. We don't like those racial stereotypes, and we don't know how they got started. Of course, on another level, we don't really care what the Gringos like or don't like. This is our land. We're here and we're not leaving. We're asking Mr. Bush for amnesty now. After all, we're here and it's only fair that we not be thought of as being here illegally. How can human beings be illegal? We don't believe in fences to separate people.

Mexican villagersAdios amigos...Well, my family and I and the rest of our village have now been on the Bush ranch for several years, and we were doing okay up until recently. Then, Mr. Bush and his family suddenly moved away. Now things aren't working so well and this place is getting like our old place that we left to come here. It's now just like Mexico. Everything's getting shabby. Crime is high. The ranch is now mired in poverty. Mr. Bush didn't leave any forwarding address, but as soon as we find where he's gone, we'll emigrate there. It just isn't fair that we have to live in the kind of conditions we have here.

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Roaming the Wastelands 1. ROAMING THE WASTELANDS
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