Me: Uncle Eddy, I got your phone call. You sounded ticked off. What’s the deal?
Eddy: Of course I’m ticked off. Big time. Them ICE guys just pulled off a bunch of raids in this part of Ohio and grabbed up 54 dudes who were working in Mexican restaurants. Why are they wasting time like that?
Me: I think they’re just doing their jobs, Ed, and rounding up illegals.
Eddy: That’s bullcrap, Charlie. How does that help me? I ain’t looking to work in no Mexican restaurant, so it ain’t like I’m gonna run down and apply for one of them jobs. I make steel, not tacos. So it don’t help none. You hear what I’m saying?
Me: I hear you, Ed, but I think it’s all part of border security.
Eddy: Charlie! You grew up here, kid. The border is 1600 miles away. I’m closer to Canada than that. How’s that make me safer?
Me: You got a point, Ed. Maybe Texas is safer.
Eddy: This is Youngstown! We need work, not raids!
Me: I understand, Ed. What should they be doing?
Eddy: Instead of wasting time rounding up restaurant guys, how about rounding up some jobs? Seems to me the government is doing everything else BUT making jobs. They fight about who’s talking to Russians, screaming about emails and wire taps, and my grandkids are still getting hungry. They’re all fighting about who’s going to be on some cabinet and I don’t see anyone who’s like the “secretary of jobs”. Charlie, I don’t understand all that tax crap, I don’t know all that tariff talk, I don’t know all the embargo crap – whatever that is. But you name me one person – just one – who is standing up and saying “I’m making some jobs in the Mahoning Valley.”
Me: So bottom line with you, the anti-immigration move is going way too far?
Eddy: Damn right it is. Listen, kid, I didn’t finish high school, but I ain’t stupid. There’s only so much money. If they spend big time on all this raid bull, checking everyone who’s got the wrong color skin, what happens to all the stuff we need? Tell me that? What about insurance, social security increases, the fact that I-80 and I-90 are full of potholes, and some of them bridges is falling apart? But we got the cash to chase down illegal guys working in Mexican restaurants? Bull crap.
Me: And you don’t worry about people from Muslim countries coming in?
Eddy: I don’t know how much you remember back in the 40’s and 50’s We was fighting with Germany and Italy. And then we fussed about Russia, Poland, Yugoslavia, Slovakia, and Hungary. Now if they had this “detaining” bull crap back then, you’d have most of Cleveland, Youngstown, Pittsburgh, and Detroit in some kind of camps. That’s where we all came from, kid. If I remember, your Grandma spoke mostly Hungarian. Nobody tried to round her up. We all come from somewhere.
Me: Listen, calm down, Uncle Eddy. We’ll talk some more in a couple of days.