Tami Litvak

Tami Litvak

Lake Forest, IL

I am an American mother and homeowner in a Chicago suburb. I have hired maids and landscapers with and without documentation through “legal” agencies. Many workers have “fake” ID or social security numbers ,so there isn’t anyway to know for sure who is who, without running background checks.

The most heartbreaking stories for me, are those involving Moms. Consider the plight of mothers and children isolated on both sides of the border. Tina, a hard working single Mom, who worked for us for 8 years, left Mexico 10 years earlier, when her 3 children were under age 10.

We contacted attorneys and gov’t agencies to try and get a green card for her after we learned that she was here “illegally”. Even as she celebrated our children’s milestones, she was scrimping on her essentials to send her paycheck home to her kids. Her own children’s celebrations went by without their loving mother’s participation. Her children had birthdays, went to college got married, had grandchildren.

The sad times tugged at her heart as well. Her mother died, her son was nearly killed in a rollover bus accident that fractured his pelvis, her daughter had appendicitis. She snuck back and forth to Mexico on occasion. We finally said goodbye to Tina.

Our other “employees” tell similar stories. Mothers dream their children born in “our” country or brought to the USA as children, will go to college and become doctors or accountants, own businesses and live richer, safer lives. My family and I have witnessed their “American” children get stuck after finishing community college and still be unable to get documentation to use their hard earned degrees. Some worker’s children have joined the US military and faced the same peril as our sons and daughters. Every immigrant I have ever met, closely follows US politics hoping to hear a solution to undocumented workers has been found.

They buy houses and pay US. taxes with fake IDs hoping for leniency when the US. government finally decides who can stay here and who will remain in hiding. One of our local tax-paying business owners of Mexican decent, has explained to me, ” the USA and Mexico is all ,”American”. He carefully ennunciated numerous American states and cities with the proper Spanish pronounciation , San Francisco, California, St. Augustine, Florida, Pueblo,Colorado…..” Their stories have shaped my opinion that a guest worker program, with a “forgiveness” clause” and a path toward citizenship, is a humane solution to recognize the hard working Americans who have helped create our “American” cities.

These women (and men) are teaching their children the same values the Tea Party espouses, love of God and the land, sacrifice and hard work, respect your elders. Yet amazingly enough the GOP/Tea Party, cannot find a solution in their bible to forgive and include their cousins from across the border. Our undocumented laborers are some of the “bravest” Americans I know.

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