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By education and experience - Accountant with a specialty in taxation. Formerly a CPA (license has lapsed). Masters degree in law of taxation from University of Denver. Now retired. Part time work during baseball season as receptionist & switchboard operator for the Colorado Rockies. This gig feeds my soul in ways I have trouble articulating. One daughter, and four grandchildren. I share the house with two cats; a big goof of a cat called Grinch (named as a joke for his easy going "whatever" disposition); and Lady, a shelter adoptee with a regal bearing and sweet little soprano voice. I would be very bereft if it ever becomes necessary to keep house without a cat.
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2012-07-03 6:28 PM
Just Like Us by Helen Thorpe
After Rhubarb's comment on the prior entry, I thought I would expand a little on why I thought this book to be of special quality.
Thorpe is the wife of Colorado's governor, (who was Denver's mayor before he ran for governor) and she plays straight with the reader that her relationship to an important politician gave her accesss to a vantage point on several events that a journalist without those connections wouldn't have. I admired her honesty about this fact, and also appreciate that she was able to present a more finely nuanced picture of several key events.
I briefly mentioned in my earlier short summary that she did a very good job of presenting the many sides of this especially troublesome issue. Colorado has a large Hispanic population; has been the scene of several raids and roundups of illegals by the immigration authorities; and even a business owned by Thorpe's husband was discovered to have at least one unskilled worker on the payroll who did not have a green card.
Colorado has also produced some of the most vocal hard liners on this issue. Thorpe interviewed several, and even accompanied one of them on a speaking tour out of state.
She had access to some of the college classrooms where her four young women were studying. Her summary of one of the discussions in a course studying the role of immigrants in contemporary society was very compelling, and made me look at all of the issues in a brand new way.
There is a lot of support for so-called "self deportation" - the concept that expanding the obstacles preventing illegals from finding a stable life in the United States will eventually send them back to where they came from.
One of the young women Thorpe follows was five years old when she crossed the border. She was with a large group of people, and in a confusing scene near the border, she was lifted off her feet and placed in the back of a truck while adults who were total strangers crowded in around her. She recalls that she had no idea where her parents were; if they were also on the truck; nor did she understand what was happening, nor why.
The concept of "self deportation" seems particularly ironic to me, when I think about her case. She is now an adult. She has a life here - she really knows no other life. For her to return to Mexico would not be returning "home." Denver is her home.
To be honest, I'm not sure what I think about all these problems. I can see that we have grave difficulties with things the way they are now. I don't have any easy answers. no answers at all, really.
But for a reader who would like a thoughtful analysis of all of this thorny thicket, Thorpe's book is a good place to start.
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