Ask a Mexican on Asylum Seekers, Long-Lost Mexican Relatives, and Learning to Swim

I have read (the usual suspects and a few Know-Nothings) that illegals can say a few magic words to get temporary, pending review, asylum status. The reports say the illegals can claim asylum from drug gangs. My understanding is that fear of crime in one's home country has never been grounds for seeking asylum in the USA. So, these reports make no sense. My experience of the Mexican government's insufferable machismo is that it would go ballistic if we granted asylum to even one peon based on "government oppression." They would recall their ambassador, expel ours, and embargo the export of serapes and piñatas. Do you have any of the facts surrounding this brouhaha in San Diego?
Queso Grande

Both the Mexican and American government want to discount the threat of narco-violence as a plausible reason for refugee status for self-serving reasons — but look at the stats. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, which monitors the statuses of refugees worldwide, estimates that about 160,000 Mexicans have fled their homes, citing in a 2012 report that "the largest but least-acknowledged cause of new displacement was generalised [sic] drug-cartel violence and human rights abuses, in the form of fighting between cartels and government forces, extortions, kidnappings, assassinations and threats against civilians." Not all of these Mexicans went up to the United States, but it's not a big salto in logic to surmise that some of those internal refugees want to go up to el Norte — and more will follow. And why shouldn't they claim refugee status? We give it to Cubans whose sole reason to come to this country is to play major-league baseball — nothing against that awesome Los Angeles Dodgers coño Yasiel Puig, mind you . . .

Why the hell do Mexicans' parents want their kids to talk to relatives in Mexico when the kids don't know those people?
No Tia Goya Ni Que Ocho Cuartos

You mean you don't want to be introduced to the primo hermano of your bisabuela's yerno's madrina's ahijada's sobrina's madastra's third uncle once removed? What are you — a gabacho who has met their first cousin from Indiana only thrice?

As the summer draws to a close, I'm thankful, as that means the constant screaming of the kids in the swimming pool outside my apartment will cease. The parents drag the kids into the water when they do not want to go, and the older siblings and cousins then push the young kids underwater and force them to do things they don't want to. The kids are screaming and crying, and the parents sit by, laughing. I do not understand why fear is a part of childhood in Mexican families.
Confused Güera

Fear is as much a part of a Mexican childhood as piñatas and drunken uncles at baptisms. It prepares them for life in this country — sink, or swim, with no rafts allowed (that's for the Cubans). When we throw our kids in the pool, don't forget that they're surrounded by older siblings who know how to swim who are in turn being watched by adults who know how to swim. We must be doing something right: a May 2012 issue of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report found Latino children had the lowest rate of drowning deaths of any ethnicity, beating even gabachos.

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Gustavo Arellano
Contact: Gustavo Arellano