The Texas Proviso

Along with other farmers, [Joe Del Bosque] has been pleading with Congress for the past few years to legalize farmworkers… because “you need these workers today, tomorrow and for a long time.”

The boys from Mexico worked so hard, Texas ranchers argued during one of America’s cyclical anti-immigrant periods, that the hiring of Mexicans should not be considered a felony. Thus, the Texas Proviso was adopted in 1952, stating that employing unauthorized workers would not constitute “harboring or concealing” them. This helps explain why Americans call immigrants “illegal” but not the businesses that hire them.

(Alfredo Corchado, “If They’re ‘Essential,’ They Can’t Be ‘Illegal’,” NYTimes, 5-6-20)

Some operators are not cut from Mr. Del Bosque’s cloth. The Proviso dutifully coughed up by the Lone Star State on their behalf provides a parable of how morbidity harbored in circles of self-interest can infect government with virulent sophistry and, from there, sicken the language (and the populace) at large.

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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