DEAR MEXICAN: A very close friend of mine is supposed to become a U.S. citizen. He was brought here by his parents when he was 9 and has been illegal since then. When the laws changed, he went through a lot of hoops, and it really didn't look good—especially since he was 30 by then. Through petitions and an appeal, though, he has been told he will become a U.S. citizen. That being said, he is still waiting for the day, still working in a dodgy manner, still not driving—his American wife always does. There's a pallor of emasculation about not being a citizen. He feels second-rate—something I know not because he tells us, but because his wife and I are very close. He takes out his anger and resentment on his wife, and it's caused immense stress to their marriage. Are there counselors specifically for people who are dealing with the difficulty of becoming legal? Is that a strange question? I love this guy so much—he's such a close friend to our family. I've never met a harder worker, a more curious soul. While common, this scenario is so unfair it breaks my heart that he has to experience this and that it's gone on for years. Any advice would be so greatly appreciated.
Good Gabacha Friend
DEAR GABACHA: There are many support networks for undocumented folks, whether younger DREAMers or people who just missed the cutoff point for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama administration memorandum that effectively put millions of people like your friend in a waiting game. And now with Obummer stating there's no chance of any immigration reform until after the November elections, your friend and so many others will continue to wait in frustration—but tell your amigo he should feel no shame and keep the faith. Then again, who am I to say anything? The Mexican was born in this country—it was my papi who came in the trunk of a Chevy—so maybe my privilege makes me wear rose-colored mad-doggers. Have your friend check out dreamersadrift.com, where my former producer, renowned artist Julio Salgado, and others tackle the problem of what it means to grow up in this country without papers and a government de puros pendejos.
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DEAR MEXICAN: So I was in New York the other day, and we went to this neighborhood that was Dominican. I didn't know what that meant, as it just looked like a normal black neighborhood. Then I noticed they were all speaking Mexican. Is Dominican just a fancy word for black Mexican? Why are they so good at baseball?
Confused In Utah
DEAR GABACHO: This is ¡Ask a Mexican!, not ¡Ask a Tíguere!, so I really can't help you much here. The only facts I can offer are that a 2008 City University of New York study projected Mexicans to eclipse Dominicans as the largest immigrant group in the Big Manzana in the next decade, meaning there'll be a whole new group of Latinos to hate us soon. Oh, and that our mujeres LOVE bachata, the twangy Dominican music that's the only genre in the world certified by God as an automatic choni dropper.