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Halloween and Javier: Illegal immigrants are celebrated in Hollywood

By Nancy Salvato
web posted November 7, 2005

I don't regularly watch the ABC network. I do follow Lost, but I'm more inclined to seek out reruns of politically incorrect cartoons like South Park, Family Guy, King of the Hill, or The Simpsons when I'm not listening to FOX news in the background. I love to laugh and I appreciate there are writers who understand just how ridiculous "the establishment" has become. The characters in these shows are deliciously obnoxious and I am drawn to the Griffins like a jalapeno to a plate of Nachos.

It is unusual for me to sit down with my 13 year old son and watch the prime time lineup. But last evening he had no homework and was feeling like a beached whale from eating too much Halloween candy. And he loves the show, The World According to Jim. If we're going to bond over a show I have found that I can laugh at Jim Belushi so we both gave in and became couch potatoes on a night when homework usually takes priority and we relaxed as much as two high strung people are capable of doing. After watching "The Chick Whisperer" in which Jim Belushi teaches his brother-in-law how to pick up women , there followed a new program with which I wasn't familiar; Rodney.

Had I known what I was in for, we would have channel surfed to women's soccer (MI v MI State) much sooner. But we were lazy and neither of us felt compelled to pick up the remote so we watched what turned out to be the most amazing piece of propaganda against cracking down on illegal immigration that I have ever seen.

The show begins with Rodney, who plays the father in a conveniently nuclear family of four, talking with his wife about some Halloween bargains which he took advantage of while on the road. He bought some decorations and some candy that turned out to be chocolate covered jalapenos (a running joke), from an illegal immigrant who without his knowledge stowed away in his truck bed. After Javier is discovered, he bonds with the family and goes trick or treating with them in a "gated community" into which he helps them scale a fence to gain entrance.

The father keeps referring to the closed neighborhood as the "land of big candy" and builds it up as the only place worth knocking on doors. In a sentimental moment, the dad explains how one day he will live in one of these homes. Javier says he is just happy to be in America. He has achieved his dream. But the schmaltz quickly comes to an end.

A security guard drives up in a golf cart and questions them about whether they belong there. He asks them where they live. There are jokes about whether they have their green card which would prove they are not "illegals" and it is finally discovered that they are not from the community. The "killjoy" security guard explains that if outsiders come and collect the big candy that there won't be enough for those who live there. One would assume this is a reference to the jobs that are filled by "illegals". Javier saves the day by sneaking away and getting the truck. They pile in and drive away, each extremely satisfied with the evening.

When they get home Rodney finds his wife on hold, waiting to speak with Immigration. Apparently she has been on hold the whole time they were gone. I guess this is to let us know how unimportant a problem ‘illegals' are in this country. The camera pans to Javier who says he understands that they must do what they must do. Rodney says they'll wait until tomorrow to turn him in. Javier leaves during the night while the family peacefully sleeps, each dreaming about how Javier could add to their family.

At a time when our government is finally considering the issue of border security, Hollywood creates a one dimensional character designed to illicit sympathy for "illegals" and conveniently disregards the seriousness of the issues our country faces; the result of turning the cheek for so long. Our schools are overtaxed, many criminals have been allowed to cross over our borders, and there is evidence that terrorists are making their way into this country through our neighbor to the south.

Is it politically incorrect to expect that all that reside in this country and take advantage of all that we have to offer be held to the same laws as the rest of us? Apparently the folks at ABC believe that those who bother with issues of national security are killjoys. At any rate, it makes for another mediocre sitcom and that is not Lost on me.

Nancy Salvato is the President of The Basics Project, a non-profit, non-partisan research and educational project whose mission is to promote the education of the American public on the basic elements of relevant political, legal and social issues important to our country. Copyright © Nancy Salvato 2005

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