• May Day – brought to you by the International Workers of the World.

    The crops are all in and the peaches are rott’ning,
    The oranges piled in their creosote dumps;
    They’re flying ’em back to the Mexican border
    To pay all their money to wade back again

    Goodbye to my Juan, goodbye, Rosalita,
    Adios mis amigos, Jesus y Maria;
    You won’t have your names when you ride the big airplane,
    All they will call you will be “deportees”

    My father’s own father, he waded that river,
    They took all the money he made in his life;
    My brothers and sisters come working the fruit trees,
    And they rode the truck till they took down and died.

    Some of us are illegal, and some are not wanted,
    Our work contract’s out and we have to move on;
    Six hundred miles to that Mexican border,
    They chase us like outlaws, like rustlers, like thieves.

    We died in your hills, we died in your deserts,
    We died in your valleys and died on your plains.
    We died ‘neath your trees and we died in your bushes,
    Both sides of the river, we died just the same.

    The sky plane caught fire over Los Gatos Canyon,
    A fireball of lightning, and shook all our hills,
    Who are all these friends, all scattered like dry leaves?
    The radio says, “They are just deportees”

    Is this the best way we can grow our big orchards?
    Is this the best way we can grow our good fruit?
    To fall like dry leaves to rot on my topsoil
    And be called by no name except “deportees”?

    Woody Guthrie

  • DJ

    I love how we think this has never happened before. A brief look at history reminds us that California stripped Japanese-Americans (then the hated group) of the right to own property in 1913 with the Alien Land Act, followed by AZ in 1917, and in the following decade by Washington, Louisiana, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Kansas. Wyoming, Utah, and Arkansas passed similar legislation during WWII. Until 1948, court challenges to these laws failed. Not to mention the American-born Japanese-Americans who were stripped of their property during WWII.

    From 1929-1932, the INS under Hoover initiated the Mexican Repatriation, which expelled (without due process) as a million Mexican immigrants and Mexican-Americans. Some 60% were U.S. citizens. California finally apologized for this in 2005, but the fed never has.

    We love our immigrants, but we don’t like them very much. Oregon’s original constitution forbade Chinese immigrants to own property.

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