Facebook Status Targets Immigration, Misses the Point


A popular Facebook status message that will no doubt spread across the social network like many other politically-inspired messages using humor targets the debate on illegal immigration.

Unfortunately, while it looks on the surface to make a perfectly valid point, it misses a bigger one.

The message takes the form of something along the lines of this:

“Your car is Japanese. Your vodka is Russian. Your pizza is Italian. Your kebab is Turkish. Your democracy is Greek. Your coffee is Brazilian. Your movies are American. Your tea is Tamil. Your shirt is Indian. Your oil is Saudi Arabian. Your electronics are Chinese. Your numbers Arabic, your letters Latin. And you complain if your neighbor is an immigrant?”

It’s funny. It’s even cute.

It makes you think.

But then I thought about one other detail it’s cutesy question ignores.

Of the material things mentioned above that I purchase or acquire, all of them, one way or another, were legally purchased or acquired. I buy my coffee, I pay for movie admission, I shell out money for the oil and gas I put in the car I bought. And in each case, I used funds that were left over after income taxes I payed because it was what the law required.

I would never complain if my neighbor were an immigrant. I know many people who are immigrants. Nearly all of us who were born here are the product of immigrants who got here long before we came along.

But I would complain if my neighbor were an illegal immigrant who I learned was undocumented and not paying his fair share of taxes like the rest of us, while potentially taking advantage of services designed for and payed by taxpayers.

I don’t happen to think that this is an unreasonable point of view, regardless of where my coffee or my shirt comes from.

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • There are plenty of people who are here perfectly legally, are citizens, and don't pay any taxes. I assume that you'd display the same aggression towards a family next door who relied on food stamps and welfare to get by, seeing as they likely don't pay any taxes and do make use of social programs which are out of reach for non-citizens.

    • You're right, Mika, and no, I wouldn't have a problem with people who are on food stamps. I suspect that some of them actually still pay taxes as well; they may get a lot more of what they pay back, but I am pretty sure that they still have to pay a little into the system with whatever work or other income that they receive. I've volunteered in the past with helping people receive assistance at Christmastime, and it's quite shocking — and humbling — to see people who are scraping by, and not scraping by, because of low income and virtually no opportunity combined with staggering bills for medication. And these aren't people who walk around with lots of "bling" and have smartphones and drive nice cars.

      My only real issue is people who abuse the system. And virtually every system has them.

      The Facebook status at which I poked fun seems to want to gloss over that particular detail.

  • Too true. These attempts (on both sides of the issue, I might add) at currying favor or challenging one’s POV are indicative of what politics and social discourse has become in the USA. Simplistic and misguided.

    Sort of like the last seven administrations or so.

    And this comment. 😉

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