Monday, August 02, 2010

Arizona Gov. Brewer’s Mexican Nightmare in the Future

Guest essay by Álvaro Huerta

The year is 2030. Not being able to sleep, former Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer finds herself alone in a strange, white room.

“Where am I?” she asks herself, as she experiences a recurring nightmare about Mexicans, before going back to sleep.

Always looking for a scapegoat for Arizona’s woes, even in her twilight years, Brewer’s dream places the burden of the state’s economic woes on individuals of Mexican decent, instead of the credit crises, housing bubble, banking deregulation policies, Wall Street greed and great recession.

Here’s goes a rough sketch of Brewer’s Mexican nightmare.

It has been over 20 years since she led Arizona into financial bankruptcy, following a series of anti-immigration laws that devastated the desert state’s already fragile economy. Not only did undocumented immigrants flee to other parts of the U.S. to avoid Arizona’s draconian laws, but also all people of Mexican descent, including citizens and permanent residents, who found the state too hostile for brown people.

Thanks to Brewer, a new term has been added to the American lexicon: Latino flight.

Gone are the Four C’s that have sustained Arizona’s economy for decades: cotton, cattle, citrus and copper. Gone are the Latino workers that toiled in these sectors; no more farm workers, miners, construction workers and small entrepreneurs; no more service workers, nannies, house cleaners, paid gardeners, bus boys, dishwashers, cooks, car wash workers and day laborers. Moreover, gone are the ethnic enterprises, catering to Latinos and mainstream communities alike, such as restaurants, construction companies, bakeries, local markets and clothing stores.

Apart from brown people fleeing this racist state in mass, the numerous lawsuits and national boycotts eventually took a toll on the state’s tourism sector, including retirement communities and long-term care facilities. This includes the loss of out-of-state business and trade with Mexico.

Consequently, the state government filed for bankruptcy, finding itself at the mercy of the federal government and President Antonio Villaraigosa.

The decline of Arizona, in Brewer’s delusional dream, started in 1942 when rural Mexicans successfully lobbied the U.S. and Mexican governments to create a guest worker program: the Bracero Program. As part of their master plan to enter the U.S. by the millions, the Bracero Program represented the Mexican Trojan Horse.

Contrary to the official story, where Mexican immigrants labored in the U.S. agricultural industry following WW II to meet labor shortage demands, this program was conceived by rural Mexicans as part of their plan to abandon their families, material possessions and personal dreams for a bigger goal: the browning of American society.

Instead of returning to Mexico, after their contracts expired during this two-decade program, the Mexicans sought refuge in America’s barrios, especially in the Southwestern states, such as California, Texas, Nevada and Arizona. They eventually made their way to the South, Midwest and other new destinations.

Once settled, the rural Mexicans—most of whom lacked formal education—met and organized at parks, churches and baseball games for decades without being detected. They disguised their covert activities during their Quinceañeras, weddings and funerals.

The Mexicans’ master plan against the American way of life consisted of a three-pronged attack: linguistic, demographic and employment.

First, learning from the French in Canada, the Mexicans decided to speak only in Spanish in order to challenge the dominant language. By maintaining their native language, the Mexicans could easily conspire in public settings without the English-only Americans becoming aware of their activities.

Also, the Mexican nannies (and house cleaners) all agreed to speak only in Spanish to the American children in their care. Refusing to be paid extra for the Spanish lessons, the domestic workers created a linguistic wedge between the American children and their monolingual parents.

Secondly, the Mexicans unanimously agreed to have a lot of babies. Over time, the Mexican population growth rate in the U.S. would eventually surpass the white-majority. While Mexicans agreed to have 8 babies on average, for instance, the Americans maintained their meager 1.5 babies on average.

Also, the Mexicans, meeting in maternity wards, decided to select the same baby names, such as Jose and Maria, to confuse the Americans. This allowed the Mexicans to easily exchange birth certificates, driver licenses and jobs.

“This is perfect,” one Mexican said at the original meeting. “Not only do we all look alike, we can exchange identities with each other.”

Lastly, the Mexicans initiated a long-term campaign of stealing manual labor jobs from American workers. Not only did the Mexicans take away these dead-end, low status jobs from American citizens, they also insisted on working for low wages without benefits.

“No, Mr. Smith,” said Jose at one meeting, “I refuse to work at the federal minimum wage. Please pay me in cash and don’t worry about any of that overtime and health coverage stuff.”

By doing so, the Mexicans created a lazy U.S. workforce and hampered America’s most prized virtue: the Protestant work ethic. Consequently, the Americans wasted no time in exporting all of the remaining manufacturing and factory jobs to foreign countries, whereby crippling the American economy.


Suddenly, Brewer awakes from her nightmare, finding herself in the same strange, white room. This time, however, she finds herself with company.

“Who are you all and where am I?” asks Brewer.

“I’m your doctor,” says the first person. “My name is Dr. Maria Gomez and you’re in a long-term care facility in Mexico.”

“Hello,” says the second person. “My name is Jose Gonzalez and I’m your nurse.”

“Good morning,” says the third person. “My name is Maria Cruz and I will care for all of your hygienic needs.” “I want to go home,” pleads Brewer.

“This is your new home,” says Dr. Gomez. “Your family couldn’t care for you anymore and they brought you here since Arizona exported all of their hospitals and long term care facilities.”

“Don’t worry,” Maria say, “In Mexico we have a saying, ‘Mi casa, es su casa.’ We’ll treat you like family.”

Without uttering another word, Brewer begins to weep.

[Álvaro Huerta is a Ph.D. candidate at UC Berkeley’s Department of City and Regional Planning, a Visiting Scholar at UCLA’s Chicano Studies Research Center, and a Visiting Lecturer Department of Urban Planning at UCLA. This essay first appeared in ImmigrationProf Blog.]


Featuring Chris Abani, Francisco Aragón, and Jenny Factor, with Alice Quinn

As part of the Beach=Culture series, the PSA presents a reading and moderated discussion with an eclectic mix of acclaimed contemporary poets. Co-sponsored by American Composers Forum, Los Angeles, The City of Santa Monica, and Red Hen Press.

Admission is free. Please make reservations online at or call (310) 458-2257.

WHERE: Annenberg Community Beach House, 415 Pacific Coast Highway, Santa Monica, CA
WHEN: Tuesday, August 3
TIME: 6:30 p.m.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Arizona's governer is crazy and racist! Period.
Also if America had a Latino Pres. we would still be dealing with same problems, regardless!

America’s supposed war on drugs is a phony war on self. America ia great at getting items across boarders all around the world – why not its own? You don’t think the government (that by the way was doing this long before Obama got into office) knows what who when and how? People are led to believe Obama has some supernatural power to change th eentire world in 4 to 8 years. He is going up against a family of decisions and power that was set into play long before he was even born. You cant have it both ways. You must bring truth to power and not be afraid or you lose forever. By the way, wouldn’t you have to agree that even if the Pres. was latino you wouyld have the same situation?