• Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

With all of the arguments over immigration I am sometimes afraid to tell people that I work in the Mission Park area in Escondido, home to one of the largest concentrations of immigrants in San Diego County. Yes, I work with both legal and illegal immigrants, yes it sometimes bothers me when I see laws being broken and resources being wasted, but there is a certain charm and uniqueness that comes to neighborhood that is not "Americanized".

Driving home last week I was amazed to see families outside of their apartments and houses, almost lining the streets. "Is there a parade or something?" I asked a child riding his bike on the street. "No, we just like to hang out talking and playing at night."

I was a little dumbfounded -- women were outside sharing stories and news from home, kids were playing tag and riding skateboards with each other, men were sharing work information and discussing other events -- an actual neighborhood in the sense that people were interacting with each other and enjoying it. The ice-cream truck drove by with a line of kids chasing it, new puppies on leashes were running around with their owners, it was a scene out of Pleasantville, only in shades of brown instead of black and white, and in Spanish with no English subtitles.

I got back to my apartment in a "good" neighborhood, with no one to be seen. I waved hello at a neighbor that arrived home shortly after I did, but I merely received a smile and half wave -- no conversation there. I sat out on my porch for about an hour, waiting to see if a neighbor would step outside with me, or if a resident passing by to get their mail would stop to discuss the weather, but I was lucky to make eye contact. I suddenly felt lonely.

There's something to be said about the benefits a person brings when moving into a different place, and instead of abandoning their homeland, they bring it with them. The sense of community and belonging are very apparent in the Mission Park community, and it should be glorified instead of vilified. Neighborhood watches are beginning to flourish in that community, and the kids I work with are beginning to trust again.

Of course I am not saying I support illegal immigration, but immigration itself is good and aids in progress in many ways if a community opens itself up to it. If you want to find out for yourself, come by the Mission Park area at about 4 p.m. on a weekday and seek out the "Corn Man" who sells corn with cheese, chili and a bit of mayonnaise and tell me that this man is not a benefit to this community!

Written by: Escondido

  • Story alerts
  • Letter to Editor
  • Pin it

More from SDReader

Comments

RogueMP May 19, 2008 @ 7:57 a.m.

The immigrants are only outside, because they can not afford air conditioning. You can afford it. Stay inside. Your neighbors probably have nothing of note to say if they are of the same intelligence level as you.

0

Reader_reader May 19, 2008 @ 9:04 a.m.

It's not so much about immigration as it is about people being disconnected from each other and spending too much time isolated inside their air-conditioned homes. Seems people today would rather make "friends" on MySpace than they would with the people living right next door.

0

trm May 19, 2008 @ 9:05 a.m.

Are you kidding?? Did you happen to notice how much dog poop that never get picked up or the amount of trash laying around left by both adults and kids? Or how about the mariachi music blaring at 7am on a saturday or sunday morning??

0

Gregor May 19, 2008 @ 1:12 a.m.

Notice the duplicity. The question posed is "Do Immigrants Make Better Neighbors?" Setting aside the racial/ethnic hatred that is buried in the question, which might seem to suggest that the natural-born non immigrants are somehow not as desirable, who cares? Seriously, who cares if your neighbor is an immigrant or not? What matters is being a good neighbor, not whether you're an immigrant or not. Furthermore, the question sneaks up on being a lousy plug for illegal immigration so I'll answer it in that context. No, illegal immigrants, who've already shown how much they care about obeying our laws by NOT doing so, do NOT make better neighbors - because they are criminals by choice. Now that I've had my say, let me ask my neighbor, Mark, what he thinks. Stand by for a second. OK he says he's tired of the illegal immigrants who live next door to him mistreating his dog, who is near the end of her life and probably will wind up in the animal hospital or worse due to one of the many things (ranging from barbecue utensils to fruit off trees) the illegal immigrants and their guests regularly throw over the tall fence at her. In other words, things that don't find their way over the fence by accident. My other neighbor - she's tired of the chicken bones that the illegal immigrants throw over HER fence which HER dogs may ingest - you may know chicken bones are potential pet killers too if eaten by said pets. So I don't know, do YOU think ILLEGAL immigrants make good neighbors, or what?

0

Blogger May 19, 2008 @ 10:58 a.m.

The reason the illegal neighbors are getting along so well is because they more than likely are related. When the illegals come over the border illegally and have their anchor kid they rent an apartment or house and the rest of their family comes over the border to live with them. The apartment building next to mine in Normal Heights has 2 bedroom apartments and in several of them there is at least 20 people living in one apartment.

Every Friday or Saturday especially after the 1st of the month (when the AFDC check comes) they do come out on the patio of the apartment building and blare their music, drink themselves stupid and fight until 3 or 4 in the morning.

I would much rather live in a neighborhood where the neighbors are quiet and keep to themselves and have respect for the other neighbors.

0

smileforonce May 19, 2008 @ 2:21 p.m.

5 & #6

You are the reason that I've lost all faith in humanity. Fight, get angry, I'm better than you, this is how you're supposed to live, we will be the majority?

What's wrong with you?

It's difficult to live in this town and hear you whine! You should both be shipped off to "Negative Island" so you can show eachother that big bag of hate that you carry around with you......

Congratulations!

0

rebelprince May 20, 2008 @ 10:10 a.m.

"...it was a scene out of Pleasantville, only in shades of brown instead of black and white" This article is so stupid! Think twice before you start writing something about a culture you're afraid of... First, Immigrants are not only brown. Immigrants are everywhere and in many colors, yellow, orange and white! Are you sure you saw a parade? Did you see ballons, a high school band and cheerleaders? Mmmm...I doubt it.

I'm tired of reading articles like this...with no creativity.

Who needs air conditioning when we have our beautiful beaches? Some people like things so artificial, so plastic, a material world, so trashy! isn't it? I can't believe there's still people like ROGUEmp, blah blah no comments. SHHHHHHHHHHHH...

have a nice day!

0

CINN May 20, 2008 @ 2:22 p.m.

IN THE LINGO NOW DAYS! THEY AINT GOING NO WERE!

THIS IS REALITY THIS IS THE PRESENT THIS IN NOW! THERE NOT GOING ANYWERE! YOU CAN BUIL, FENCES YOU CAN BUIL WALLS YOU CAN DO WHAT EVER YOU WANT! BUT THERE NOT GOING ANYWERE!

THERES A REASON FOR THEM BEING HERE! IS SOME ARE CRIMINALS YOU WOULD'NT HAVE PROTECTION! OR ANYTHING LIKE THAT!

PEOPLE NEED TO FACE REALITY WE ARE NOW LIVING IN A TIME OF CHANGE AND ACCEPTANCE! SO WHAT DO YOU DO ! (KEY WORD) ACCEPT! IF YOU CANT …THERE ISNT NOTHING YOU CAN DO, WHY?? ITS REALITY!

0

Sign in to comment

Join our
newsletter list

Enter to win $25 at Broken Yolk Cafe

Each newsletter subscription
means another chance to win!

Close