Chiefland Citizen - January, 2011
ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION THE TOPIC OF KELLEY’S LATEST BOOK
Pierce Kelley, an attorney in Cedar Key, announces the release of his latest book, entitled Father, I Must Go, which is a work of non-fiction about a man from the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico who lived and worked in the United States for almost twenty (20) years without proper papers. In 2007, after being caught and when faced with being deported, he entered into an agreement whereby he was allowed to “voluntarily depart” rather than be formally deported. It is Kelley’s fifteenth published work.
“I wrote this book, in large part, to address the immigration issue which our country has yet to resolve. The politicians, and all of them, didn’t want to debate the issue during an election year and have yet to tackle it to date. When I happened to meet Jorge Frias while he was in Cedar Key, visiting a friend, shortly before he was allowed to voluntarily leave the United States, the idea for the story came to mind. Like most people I know, I have read about the problem and heard it debated on television and radio for years, but I had very little first-hand experience with the issue. When asked, Jorge agreed to share his story with me and I decided it was a story worth telling.
“The book is more of a biography than anything else, but I include a great deal of information about the history between the United States and Mexico, beginning in 1846-1848 when the United States went to war with Mexico and obtained not only Texas, but also all of the land west of the Mississippi River which eventually became California, Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado and other states, which land had previously been in the hands of the Spanish. I also discuss the long history of Mexicans coming to the U.S., at our invitation and with our blessings, to work, beginning in 1944 or so, when we were at war and in dire need of labor, and continuing to the present. Most observers believe there are currently between 10 and 12 million Mexicans living and working illegally in the United States at the present time.
“The part of the book I enjoyed learning about and writing about the most had nothing to do with legal issues and that was all about Jorge’s heritage and background. He is descended from the Mayans and has many of their features and physical characteristics. The Mayan civilization, which spanned from approximately 1500 BC until 950 AD, or thereabouts, rivals Rome as being the most dominant and influential in world history. Jorge now lives in Playa del Carmen and takes visitors on guided tours of ancient Mayan temples.
“I hope those who decide to read this book will come away from it with a better understanding of the immigration issue as well as about the Mayan civilization. Perhaps what surprised me the most in researching and writing this book is the fact that very few “green cards” are issued to Mexicans who want to do things the “right way” and live and work in America legally, possibly even becoming citizens. At present, less than 50,000 of the permits which are issued on an annual basis go to Mexicans. Millions upon millions of Mexicans who are unwilling to wait for years just to have a “chance” of getting a green card, decide instead to enter illegally and, apparently, are able to find jobs in our country with no problem whatsoever.
“As I see it, the problem is how to meet the obvious and undeniable demand for labor which our country seems to have with the need to properly register and document such people. If millions of people from Mexico who, for the most part, are not here to commit crimes and wreak havoc, are able to cross our borders and find jobs, then it seems painfully obvious that people who want to enter our country to do us harm can do so, too. There is no question that the immigration problem must be addressed, and now, the only question is how to solve the problem. The answers are not easy.”