Ruben Navarrette Jr. or Vicente Fox?

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The column "A city about to change colors" (signonsandiego . com/news/op-ed/navarrette/20051019-9999-lz1e19navar.html) says it was written by San Diego Union-Tribute editorialist Ruben Navarrette Jr., but it reads like it was written by Vicente Fox.

I strongly urge you to read the column and use the email addresses below to let those papers that printed this know what you think. While most might appreciate the attention, some might also reconsider whether they want to continue being associated with his views.

After Katrina, Americans gave millions of dollars to help the victims, and our federal government will give untold billions more. This should be an opportunity for Americans of all races and backgrounds to come together and help each other. Unfortunately, some others tend to put their race before their country and their fellow citizens.
If you thought the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina was ugly, then you should take a look at what's happening now. It's not pretty.

The Rev. Jesse Jackson and New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin are up in arms because what has historically been a mostly black city may be on its way to becoming a largely brown city. Latino immigrants are coming to New Orleans from as far away as California to repair homes, clear debris, rebuild roads and do other jobs...
The vast majority of them are citizens of Mexico and other countries. Some are new crossers, others are illegal aliens who've been here for a while. The vast majority are not Americans.
Folks such as such as Jackson, who has also complained that too many of the government contracts to rebuild the city are going to firms outside Louisiana. Jackson has gone so far as to propose chartering buses to bring black evacuees back to New Orleans so they could claim jobs that Jackson insists are rightfully theirs.
First of all, not all the people on his buses were black, and I don't think even Jackson would have restricted it just to blacks. And, don't those former residents have a greater right to those jobs than illegal aliens? Would someone who's willing to put their country and their fellow citizens ahead of their race think the same thing as Navarette does? How could any American support such a position?
City officials say that one thing that keeps former residents from wanting to give New Orleans another chance is the lack of subsidized housing.

Guess what? Latino immigrants have to contend with the same shortage. The difference is that the immigrants are not sitting around and waiting for government to come to the rescue. They're probably living two or three families to a house, and saving money to buy a home of their own.

That's how it used to be in this country before the advent of the welfare state. And, if the immigrant values win out in this struggle — over those of the New Orleans officials — it could be that way again.
Those "immigrant values" include unsafe working and living conditions, hardly American values.

What's the American thing to do in this case? Let's do whatever we need to do to get those former residents - or at least other Americans - to do the jobs. Considering the subtext of those preceding paragraphs, if this had been written by a white person it would never have seen the light of day. Even if some of our fellow Americans are as shiftless as Navarrette wants us to believe, then we need to deal with that directly, and not just send them to other states where they'll continue to be a part of the welfare state.

Note that similar thoughts have been expressed by Raul A. Reyes of USA Today, Linda Chavez, and the Los Angeles Times' Gregory Rodriquez.

As stated above, I suggest writing to each of the sources that printed this and let them know what you think:

Here come the Latinos - Jesse and Nagin are up in arms ( jewishworldreview . com/1005/navarrette102005.php3

The Struggle for Competing Values in New Orleans ( realclearpolitics . com/Commentary/com-10_19_05_RNJ.html

New Orleans leaders fret over growing Latino population (, insidebayarea . com/dailyreview/oped/ci_3130817

Will it be Nuevo Orleans? (, insidebayarea . com/sanmateocountytimes/oped/ci_3130729

New Orleans leaders bemoan Latino influx ( pasadenastarnews . com/opinions/ci_3132321

Efforts to repair, rebuild New Orleans engulfed in racial politics ( app . com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20051020/OPINION/510200511/1030

Welcome to Nuevo Orleans ( sacbee . com/content/opinion/story/13737400p-14579360c.html

Why not Nuevo Orleans? (, vvdailypress . com/2005/112972761144583.html


Terrific blog! Navarette writes for my hometown paper, so I was slowly learning to despise him. However (and greatly to my surprise), he wrote a strong anti-illegal immigrant column today. Perhaps he has changed his mind on the issue. Also, I read about that pro-immigrant front group Americans for Border and Economic (in)Security. Just a front for big business. Thanks,

Jack D.

Right again, eh, you clever fellow!

The city I lived in insisted that a certain percentage of apartments be inspected annually, meaning that a city official and a rep from the apt management enter the selected apartments and look at possible health/safety problems. Our management was excellent, and I always complied when asked to allow them to inspect my apartment. This meant that about every 6-7 years or so I would be asked to allow them to inspect my apartment (apparently permission from the tenant was part of the inspection process), assuming that most tenants complied. The last 5 years I lived there, I was asked to allow inspection 4 times. My take on this was that many of the apartments were housing many more than the legal number of residents, let alone those on the lease; and the tenants didn't want to open themselves to eviction for over-occupancy, a health and safety violation. Keep in mind here that our management was actually quite good - they just had no way of enforcing occupancy laws short of surprise "midnight raids" for lack of a better word. Naturally they were hesitant to do this in our politically correct world.

In 2004, I ended up doing consulting work in NoVA, which necessitated my renting a condo in another complex. A young African woman drown in our pool. The complex posted a notice that this young woman was NOT a resident and she had no business in the complex at all. Her family insisted that she most certainly WAS a resident. Who was right? I suspect both were: The young woman was not on any valid lease but she was living there anyway in violation of rules.

Where will it end?

Someone I know travels around doing appliance service in a major California metropolitan area, and he tells me all the time about going into apartments, houses, condos etc occupied by (people who look and sound like) immigrants and seeing several sleeping bags on the floor of each bedroom and in the living room. Of course when you live like that, i.e. not like most Americans would want to live, you can work for a lot less as well.

"They're probably living two or three families to a house..."

Which, of course, makes for lovely neighborhoods with quite a nice ambience. Suburban tenements. And property values? Not to worry.

Absolutely correct as usual, eh, but let me add that the folks praising these 2 or 3 families to a house - not to mention dozens of assorted singles who come and go - do NOT live near these flop houses. They live well away from them.

I used to live in an apartment complex in NoVA that had served for years as a community of middle/working class residents of all ages, races, and ethnic groups. In the '90's it was inundated by immigrants mainly from El Salvador with a few Ethiopians. Two-BR apartments that had housed a single person or couple soon held 4 (legally) or 6 or more (illegally) people who moved in and out at will. Crime, litter, overflowing trash cans, inability to find parking and laundry facilities all followed. As more of the low density tenants moved out, largely as a result of the above conditions, more high density tenants moved in. It basically turned into high density slum as the old community, some of whom had lived there for decades, disappeared and was destroyed. This destruction finally was more or less halted. How? The "extra" people living in the apartment complex began parking in the nearby single-family neighborhoods where houses started at half a million dollars or more. These guys got angry and something was done. Now it seems that the complex - one of the few affordable housing sites in this NoVA community - is being turned into "luxury" apartments, meaning that neither the old tenants nor the new ones can afford to live there. This is called progress. Ha!

"They're probably living two or three families to a house..."

Which, of course, makes for lovely neighborhoods with quite a nice ambience. Suburban tenements. And property values? Not to worry.

For the record, I think Navarrette is syndicated -- he's an official 'Hispanic voice' now.

If you bother to send him an email detailing nonsense in his writing, you'll get nothing or something like 'Glad you found the piece interesting' in return.