The Secret Success of the Swiss

Although Silicone Valley in the United States gets worldwide accolades as the primary source for innovation, Switzerland may actually have left the gringa’s country in its dust.  In fact, it may have been running circles around every technologically advanced nation since 2008 and no one has been aware of it. The gringa supposes that Switzerland simply prefers a low profile and is loathe to toot its own horn.

To discover just how amazing Swiss minds are, you have to dig into the reports generated by Cornell University, the graduate school INSEAD that has campuses in France, Singapore & Abu Dhabi, as well as reports generated by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO).  Their collaborative efforts can be seen in an annual report called the Global Innovation Index. There is more to making the list than simply coming up with cool gizmos and devices. To be a winner a country must also lead in areas of: business sophistication, creativity, commitment to knowledge and creativity, infrastructure, and research.  The latest top 10 winners:

  1. Switzerland
  2. Sweden
  3. United Kingdom
  4. United States
  5. Finland
  6. Singapore
  7. Ireland
  8. Denmark
  9. Netherlands
  10. Germany

But why does Switzerland keep winning? It seems that Switzerland consistently delivers with regard to patents, technological inventions and programs that recruit and develop new talent.

Patents:  The European Patent Office  recorded, on average, 873 patent applications for every one million Swiss inhabitants. The Netherlands and Sweden came in second and third. It seems that the current generation of Nords are incredibly creative.

Inventions:  What might some of these patents be for with regard to the latest developments in technology?  The Nords put their money where their reputation is, investing heavily in Swiss entrepreneurs and aspiring inventors who have made their country proud with products like: Mouse Scanner by CES; Doodle -digital scheduling platform serving 20 million people (for a culture linked with precision timekeeping this comes as no surprise to the gringa); CleanSpace One, a robot waste collector for use in ridding the galaxy of space junk developed by Swiss Space Center at Lausanne’s Federal Institute of Technology.

Recruitment & Development: Switzerland aggressively seed funds entrepreneurs. For example, a student at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich, Johannes Reck, became CEO of his own start-up while still living in the dorms of Switzerland’s premier technical school of higher learning. He launched GetYourGuide, an online service to help people plan holiday and destination activities. Soon after launch, rather than Reck pitching his idea to investors, a local bank actually approached him and made an offer for seed funding. Within four years Reck’s idea has brought in more than $10 million in revenue to a country that invested $2 million in a Swiss citizen with an idea.

Entrepreneur hopefuls or geeks who have dreams of hitting it big with the next trendy gizmo or gadget, you may want to set your eyes on immigrating to Switzerland. But don’t expect it to be a short, easy road to travel. To become a naturalized Swiss citizen you must:

  • Live in Switzerland for at least 12 years before applying for citizenship.
  • Any years spent living in Switzerland between the ages of 10-20 count as double.
  • In 2017 a new law may come into effect reducing the required number of years to 10.
  • Obey Swiss law and customs.
  • Pose no danger to national security.
  • Meet the additional citizenship requirements of your local municipality.
  • Submit citizenship application & schedule an interview.
  • Pass citizenship test that is either written or verbal.

In addition to the basic requirements, living in Switzerland is not cheap. However, one aspect to a high standard of living is the corresponding quality of life enjoyed. To maintain a competitive edge in a society of high achievers, being multi-lingual is almost a necessity. There are four languages commonly spoken within Switzerland and to succeed in business, entrepreneurs would do well to master all four: English, French, German, and Italian.

One great thing for up and coming innovators in Switzerland is that this tiny country boasts a marvelous business practice. The Swiss regard mentorship very highly. There are frequent events that pair entrepreneurs with mentors as well as investors. These are two key relationships that virtually guarantee success for a bright, ambitious young adult. So, young students and aspiring CEOs, rather than look westward toward the sunken landscape of Silicone Valley, the gringa says lift your eyes upwards toward the heights of the Swiss Alps. That is where success secretly abides.


Image Credit:


The Modern Day U.S. Slave

While most Americans spent this past weekend focused on memorials of the tragedy of 9/11, the gringa found herself getting educated at a prison protest Saturday on the anniversary of the Attica Uprising 45 years ago.  I’ll give you a rundown of a bit of history and then share some details of today’s U.S. prisons that shocked the gringa when she came to a fuller understanding.

Attica Maximum Security Correctional Facility, New York, September 9, 1975

  • 1,281 prisoners take over D yard, an exercise field.
  • 39 prison employees & guards are held hostage.
  • 13 state police & prison officers launch a raid.
  • During the raid 10 hostages & 29 prisoners are killed, 89 seriously injured

Why did this happen? Frustration over deplorable living conditions:

  • Overcrowding
  • Censorship of mail
  • 1 weekly shower
  • 1 single roll of toilet paper for an entire month (the gringa goes through a single roll PER DAY)

Personal perspective of the prisoners began to change in the radicalized climate of the late 60’s and early 70’s. They began to see themselves as political prisoners rather than just convicted criminals. After all, isn’t our nation’s law enforcement, judicial and prison systems highly politicized? Aren’t convicted criminals often used as political pawns? Of course they are. And Attica’s inmates decided it was time to participate in the political system the only way a disenfranchised citizen can, through radical, attention getting protest.

Once the more than 2,000 inmates mobilized, a riot quickly ensued that included beating guards, acquiring weapons of any sort, and torching the chapel. One guard was thrown out a second-story window after a beating and died from his injuries days later. As state police struggled to regain control of the prison, D yard became the final scene of the showdown with a hostage situation that lasted four long days.

The prisoners requested U.S. Representative Herman Badillo to lead negotiations and offered their list of demands:

  • Improved living conditions.
  • Religious freedom.
  • No more censorship of personal mail.
  • More phone privileges.
  • Amnesty for prisoners in D Yard.
  • Safe passage to a non-imperialist country for any who desired to go.

Although negotiations were on-going and none of the hostages were being harmed, Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller mobilized hundreds of state troopers and the National Guard which all soon descended upon the prison. Civilian observers who were present were dismayed by the Governor’s overt show of force and asked for him to personally appear as a sign of good faith. Rockefeller refused. Instead he gave the order for an act of force that resulted in a massive and tragic loss of life. The gringa thinks this was totally unnecessary and quite typical of the cowboy mentality that seems to take hold of the wrong kind of people who come into positions of power over other people.

Many would argue that strong leadership means being forceful and making a powerful display of strength and authority when challenged. The gringa disagrees. When in a role of managing the care of fellow human beings, even if they are convicted criminals, a strong leader must be a wise and humble benefactor. Human beings are complicated creatures with complex needs. Rockefeller was wrong to do what he did. Going in with guns blazing is absolutely the wrong approach to solve any crisis where human lives are at stake.

Rather than continue negotiations Rockefeller demanded the inmates’ surrender. They responded to his challenge by holding knives to the throats of their hostages. In short order 3,000 rounds of bullets tore through clouds of tear gas and killed not only inmates, but one fourth of the hostages. Emergency medical responders testified that some of the prisoners were shot and killed as they lie on the ground after surrendering or being wounded.

In light of this disastrous plan implemented by New York’s governor, Rockefeller tried to deflect blame with false stories fed to the press that the inmates had slit the throats of the hostages and even castrated one. Rockefeller was either extremely ignorant or extremely arrogant if he thought autopsy reports would not expose his lies. There was an eventual Congressional investigation into this cover-up and frame job of the inmates as brutal executioners.

The final aftermath of the Attica riot has reserved its place in history as the worst prison riot the United States has ever seen:

  • 43 people killed.
  • Weeks of reprisals against prisoners with torturous treatment involving nightsticks, broken glass and other measures.
  • Substandard medical treatment if it was administered at all.
  • $2.8 billion class-action lawsuit filed by 1,281 prisoners against Attica & state officials.
  • $8 million awarded to prisoners in 2000 & divided among 500 inmates.
  • By accepting death benefit checks or paychecks, prison officers & their survivors unknowingly forfeited their right to sue the state for its debacle of a rescue plan.

Today’s Prisons

The gringa can’t speak on behalf of prisons in every state, but will share two distinct and troubling characteristics of prisons in her home state of Texas:

  • Prisoners are expected to work for zero pay & can expect retribution if they refuse, often being placed in solitary confinement.
  • Prisoners must pay a $100 co-pay in order to receive medical treatment.

The gringa is struck by many shocking conclusions upon becoming aware of these facts:

  • A for-profit prison system benefitting from productivity from enslaved Americans creates a society where there are incentives in place for the justice system to generate as many arrests and convictions as possible.
  • The common thread among prisoners is financial status. Whereas the slaves of America’s past were defined by race, today’s slaves are defined by lacking the funds to launch an aggressive legal defense, which still results in minorities being over-represented in U.S. prison populations.
  • By targeting the poor as easy to imprison & profit from, a capitalist society is further growing the impoverished slave class by fracturing families and extracting breadwinners. The fractured family is further burdened by creating a single parent who needs to provide for herself, her children and her imprisoned loved one who, because enslaved and performing prison labor without pay, cannot provide for his commissary needs. The loved one on the outside must also pay for their imprisoned loved one’s toothpaste, socks, toilet paper, medical care, etc.
  • The ugly laws of the 1920s, designed by America’s elite class to rid public streets of the unsightliness of undesirables by criminalizing behaviors typical to impoverished people, have simply been reinstated through various other laws that target the poor American.

The gringa has no solutions. I have only just now had my eyes opened to the complexity of this disturbing issue. Like a good, little patriot I have been conditioned by my society to believe it is acceptable that prisoners should have, at the very least, an uncomfortable time of it. I have also been conditioned to believe that complaints by prisoners are always a con job, they are simply not to be trusted. However, by conditioning Americans to ignore the plight of prisoners, capitalists have been empowered to pursue policies that have targeted the weakest among us in order to create a slave class they can profit from.

The gringa heard the story of one mother who was visiting her 19 year-old son on the one day weekly he is able to see his loved ones. I listened in horror as she told me a tale that could have happened to my own son. A tale of a teenager arranging to purchase some expensive sneakers he had seen online. However, when he met the individuals to exchange his money for the shoes, they took his money and basically ran. It was a scam. Incensed, he tracked down the individuals and gave them a beat down to get the shoes he had paid for. He was charged not just with assault, but also with robbery. Being high end sneakers, the sale price constituted a felony. This young man was facing 8-25 years of hard time and having to place his trust in a court appointed attorney. Unlike many others like her son, this mother was very fortunate to work out a deal with a youth program yet he will still serve 6 months in prison that will certainly be a harrowing experience that will change him forever. Because he beat up a con artist and took back his shoes.

Might an affluent teenager with a hotshot lawyer have gotten off with a fine and probation or perhaps even an aquittal? It’s highly likely. However,  a low-income, minority teen is advised by a court appointed attorney to work out a plea deal, securing, at the very least, 6 months of free labor for a capitalist prison system model to profit from. And the young and strong are who the for-profit systems want for slave labor. Even a minimal sentence is a good thing for prison profiteers. It increases the chances that a 6 month slave will return for a longer stint of labor in the future. The system is ensuring that as much of the poverty rabble as possible is kept off of America’s streets and enslaved for the profit of corporations. This is outrageous.

What is the interest of a court appointed attorney who takes on a case for free? His interest is to get the case over with as soon as possible so he can get back to jobs that pay. This is not justice. Consider just a few very telling statistics and see if the gringa is right when she says that the United States should be very ashamed:

  • U.S. population of nearly 320 million.
  • In 2014 more than 2 million Americans were in prison & nearly 5 million were on probation or parole.
  • 1 in 5 prisoners are convicted of a drug related offense.
  • The underprivileged are disproportionately imprisoned, marked by the following factors: income status, race, & level of education.

The gringa does not believe any of this is an accident. Re-designing prisons as modern day plantations is purposeful. In 1964 the Civil Rights Act was passed. This had an incredible economic impact for bad or good depending on where a person stood. For minorities it was an economic boon, finally having their right to equal job opportunity and equal pay protected. For businesses that had enjoyed the freedom to pay as little as they pleased to minorities, they suffered. Imbittered, it did not take long for American businesses to devise a work around.

Within 7 years President Nixon announced the U.S. War on Drugs. Within another 7 years America’s prison systems were privatized to deal with exploding prison populations as a result of the War on Drugs. A war that has been effectively proven to disproportionately incarcerate poor, non-violent, drug offenders that are more of a threat to themselves than society, and most are capable of complete rehabilitation. American business preserved their slave class despite the Emancipation Proclamation and the Civil Rights Act. And it continues today.

Although the average citizen is conditioned to point the finger at inmates for their less than humane living conditions, what of the creators and enforcers who have the power and resources to implement change that would be decidedly better? What about other first world countries who are successful with humane, rehabilitative prison systems that are minimally populated and experience extremely low rates of returning inmates?

The gringa believes this is all by design as well. By creating and enforcing conditions that dehumanize even a non-violent drug offender who originally was no real threat to the public at large, for-profit prisons can damage a human so badly that person is incapable of living successfully and independently as a free man or woman. They ensure their slave workforce by intentionally designing living conditions that psychologically ruin a human being’s ability to ever have healthy emotional and working relationships. In the gringa’s opinion, this places every prison official in the category of guilt of crimes against humanity. And it seems that the United Nations agrees with the gringa, making it very clear that the United States is not living up to UN standards of humane treatment of incarcerated peoples.

I urge my dear readers who are as alarmed and as concerned as the gringa to use whatever is your gift or talent to help bring about awareness and change. The U.S. model of how criminals are dealt with is barbaric. No other civilized, first world nation operates in such a way. Human beings that are poor, or of the wrong ethnicity, are considered disposable in the United States. You only get one chance and if you make a mistake and end up in the prison system, there is no rehabilitation, only living conditions that reduce human beings to their basest instincts for survival. U.S. imprisonment is modern day slavery that creates a social stigma that prevents any success once free, only recidivism just to survive, where a person is then guaranteed a return to the plantation.

The gringa has provided below some video and photos from the rally.

Chants of the protestors:

Judy Kotun who told me the story of her 19 year-old son:




Incarceration on Wikipedia

Image Credit:




Who Are The Real Entitlement Whinebags?

The gringa has been distracted with concerns about current war migrations and the possibility of future climate change migrants that I haven’t even noticed that my own countrymen are migrating as well. It seems to have been going on rather significantly for about three years now. A little over 4,000 did so in 2015. When I look back to the year 2006 the gringa discovers only 300 people bailed on the country. Why are so many more Americans renouncing their citizenship now?

Apparently, it all comes down to taxes. Now, the gringa hasn’t been on a political crusade and ranted and raged for a cause in some time so, perhaps now is the time. Especially since it’s an election cycle and the you-know-what is getting thick. So, be prepared for a clarifying earful about subjects such as “entitlement whinebags” and “propaganda hounds” aka, the GOP, aka, “compassionate” conservatives, aka, the Republican party. And get comfy because, clocking in at over 3,000 words, you, dear reader, are in for a long read of a long rant.

So, back to the original question… what kind of Americans are giving up their American citizenship and why… Many Americans expatriate to live in other countries. Many of these are Americans who are still working and earning. It is not just retired folk who expatriate. However, even though they live in another country, in the past, they retained their American citizenship because of all the benefits and security the nationality afforded them. Now, it’s just one big tax hassle to be an American in another country. So, they renounce their citizenship. Rather than work to change what’s wrong with their country, they take their ball and go home. Boo hoo.

You see, it doesn’t matter where an American lives. They still have to pay their income tax so that money can be used by the nation to maintain the country’s infrastructure, protect its citizens, and care for its less fortunate at home as well as vulnerable populations around the world. Apparently, these turncoats don’t want to contribute to the well-being of the nation, they only want to reap the benefits. I think that’s the description of an “entitlement whinebag”, someone who expects that they deserve something for nothing.

I mean, the gringa pays her taxes. The caveman pays his taxes. We don’t complain. For our contribution we enjoy lots of good stuff.

I can drive across the highway to the grocery store without the freeway bridge collapsing and killing me because the highway funds keep that bridge in good operating condition.

I can sleep peacefully in my bed at night, without a loaded pistol within reach, because taxes pay for an adequate police presence of law enforcement in my neighborhood.

I enjoy the luxury and safety of clean water running right out of my tap at a dirt cheap price (and so should the people of Michigan).

I don’t have to worry about airplanes falling out of the sky and squishing me flat because my country can afford to have proper safety management controls where air travel is concerned.

And the gringa can go on and on but I’m sure the dear reader has sufficiently gotten my point.

So, what about these renouncers. Who are they? Who are the most likely people to move to another country for work or retirement? Um, they are the people who can afford to. They are not the poor, working class, or even the middle class, American. They are the very people who live a life of comfort and luxury and point their fingers at the indigent and poor and berate them for having an “entitlement” attitude because they are asking their nation to provide such things as living wage protection, affordable healthcare, and affordable housing. Hmmm.

So, the privileged of the country want to enjoy more bang for their abundant bucks by living in another country where their dollar stretches farther. Bully for them but the poor, working folk are stuck back here in the States still eating beans. And, since the corporatists and wealthy are not pitching in their fair share to the household budget, the middle and working classes are the only ones supporting the household.

That is why our economy is suffering. That is why there is not enough money in the budget to do what should be done. If the corporatists and wealthy actually paid their legitimate taxes rather than hide their money in offshore accounts and enjoy the tax loopholes they are rewarded with for big dollar campaign contributions, there would be much more money in America’s household fund. We could easily afford to adequately fund our schools, care for our veterans, provide affordable healthcare for everyone, etc., etc., etc.

But the corporatists and wealthy continue to rob their country of what it is due. And, they use their “propaganda hounds” to convince others that expecting them to pay their fair share of taxes is something very evil called “socialism”. Um, that’s a lie. It’s actually called “obeying a taxation law that is fair, just and undiscriminatory”. You earn, you pay your fair share of taxes, EVERYONE, no matter how much you earn, even if you are a corporation. Period. That is not socialism. That is taxation is a capitalist democracy.

These privileged people are fully aware that they will still be taxed by their homeland even if they live outside its borders. But, they make the decision to do it anyway. Then they complain about the consequences when tax payment time rolls around. They bewail their condition of being double taxed, by the land of their birth as well as their new host country. The gringa doesn’t want to hear their crybabiness. They knew it going into it and made their bed. Now they need to lie in it and suck it up like big kids. Nobody made them move to another country.

So, for all the big money “entitlement whinebags” in and outside of my country, this rant is for you:

With regard to a nation as great as the United States providing healthcare for all of its citizens, let me ‘splain something to the selfish critics who have “got theirs” and don’t care about the working class people who have, for years, been employed by companies that did not offer health insurance and did not make enough money to afford their own health insurance but made too much money to receive Medicaid:

For the first time in over forty years, thanks to Obama’s Affordable Care Act, the gringa has coverage for my pre-existing condition that usually lands me in the emergency room 2-3 times a year. This epileptic also doesn’t qualify for disability because I WORK. Which means I had a revolving door of uninsured healthcare debt averaging about $10-20 grand every year except for now. Because of convulsions and recovery periods, my work cycle was usually work about three months, recover for a month, so I RARELY even made $10,000 annually. I was often out of a job after a health crisis. How in the heck could I possibly afford my medical bills?

In 2015 my medical bills were less than $2000. Thank you Obama and kiss my patootie those who have never walked a mile in those shoes yet want to deny those who have and offer no alternative. That is the GOP’s solution – no solution, simply ignore the need of Americans like me.

So, the real “entitlement whinebags” are those people who are simply too stingy to let a tax dollar be spent for a neighbor in need. “Entitlement whinebags” who resist any effort of the government to create a public benefit attempt to use “propaganda hounds” to protect their dollars by telling lies in an effort to convince everyone else that the benefits are only for undeserving people who don’t want to work and want something for free. That is a big fat lie.

The greed of the wealthy and corporatists, and their arrogant belief that the working poor are undeserving of any public benefit, are the biggest “entitlement whinebags” the United States supports. They live a life of indulgence that has divorced them from empathy and compassion.

Their selfishness leads them also to an argument of erroneous ignorance. All those past years of outrageously high medical bills, the gringa, being conscientious and responsible, always desired to be able to pay them. When you have people who are unable to pay for the medical services they receive, the doctors and clinics and hospitals have to absorb that loss. They do it by spreading the money owed them around, which basically means the cost of services go up. So, one way or another, the bill is paid whether it comes out of a tax funded benefit or an individual’s pocket paying for something at an inflated price to cover a loss. And, the Affordable Care Act is not perfect, but at least it’s a step in the right direction which is something that the Republican party has never done or even offered to do.

Many corporatists and wealthy Americans commit another error of ignorance. They believe that all the poor receive free healthcare. And, I might add, they resent that fact. They actually resent that they have to pay taxes that provide any benefit for the poor. They would rather keep their money and let every single poor American never have medical access. But, I digress, their error in believing that all the poor receives free healthcare is proof of how divorced from reality they are. Most of the poor in the U.S. are the working poor. The working poor make too much to qualify for Medicaid.

If they would take the time to educate themselves, rather than believe the “propaganda hounds”, they would learn that during the Clinton Administration the threshold for qualifying for government benefits was lowered. That created a situation where many poor people who were receiving public benefits were thrust off the dole and into the working arena.

You see, there was a big business boom during the Clinton years and he was scratching the backs of the corporatists who helped him get into office by creating a huge pool of low paid workers available. The ranks of the working poor swelled with an on-slought of unskilled, untrained labor which meant wages stayed low. Most of these were single mothers and the elderly.

We now have people that are pushing eighty-years-old in America working low wage jobs, barely able to feed themselves because corporatists and the wealthy do not believe a nation has any obligation to care for those unable to care for themselves. That is not “compassionate” Conservatism. Whether Conservatives want to admit it or not there are certain people who simply should not and cannot work and they are the Americans the other Americans should be caring for. That would be our old folks and medically disabled (however, I will share a dirty little secret – most Republicans do not believe that anyone is really medically disabled. They believe that every chronically ill person should be doing some sort of job and accepting their lot in life even if that means they can barely afford to feed themselves. Better they live a miserable quality of life than receive a taxpayer provided benefit).

As for single mom’s, don’t even get me started. Not only are they needing to feed, clothe, house and provide medical care for their children, if they work they also have to pay for childcare. How in the world can a mom do it on a forty-hour work week even if she makes $10 hourly much less the average $8 hourly that many actually work at? Huh? Please, answer me that?

Where are they going to find the money and time to manage the needs of their household and get a college education in order to better their conditions? Is it possible? Sure, anything is possible. Is it likely? We all know that many of the mom’s are absolutely exhausted simply by caring for their children. A full-time job on top of that often takes what little bit they’ve got left to give. So, the reality is that most of these moms devote themselves to their children, placing all their hopes and dreams in their future, determined that their children will become college educated and they lay their own dreams aside.

Does that thinking really work for single moms? Take a look at the statistics. It doesn’t. The high school drop out rate in the United States is shameful. The majority of these children are being raised by single parents. The college enrollment rate for children of single parent households is equally shameful. Every single mental health professional tells the truth. Children of single parent households are simply not getting the attention they need. It’s not necessarily the divorce factor that is the problem. The problem is that when only one parent is bearing the burden of financial and time responsibility, they simply can’t provide enough of either.

If we want to preserve the greatness of our country’s future, it begins with securing a future for all of our nation’s children. Giving them the best opportunity to receive the nurture and attention they need to thrive and meet their potential. Children of single parent households need a country who recognizes that need and is willing to invest in assisting that household so that parent is not robbed of critical time with their child because they have to work a 50-60 hour workweek just to put food on the table.

And, you know what, if we would spend more money on our kids here at home rather than spending money to prepare them to go overseas with weapons, our country might just become a better nation. If this political party that is so resistant to caring for its own citizens in need would consider their hypocrisy of calling themselves “pro-life” when, in actuality, they are really only “pro-birth” because they don’t actually give a hoot about that “life” until it becomes old enough to join the military. Then, once that “life” has been exploited by the war for profit greed hounds of the Republican party and comes home damaged and in need of care and unable to work and care for itself, the party that exploited them is no longer so “pro” about their “life”. It makes me sick. But, I digress. Back to Clinton and his changing of the poverty qualification dynamics.

So, after Clinton’s revamping of welfare, many working class people became underemployed, thus underpaid, unable to even get a full 40 hour work week at times because the working class job market was swarmed with more people looking for jobs than jobs were to be had. Bad news for the working class, good news for the pro-Clinton companies who were getting paid back for their support with an opportunity to exploit the working class for their labor at dirt cheap wages.

And, because there were more working class people than their were jobs, the fierce competition created a desperation where anyone was just glad to have a job no matter how crummy the pay, few the hours and absolute lack of benefits. And, because the poverty line had been lowered, people who would once receive medical, housing and food benefits, now received nothing, despite the fact their earnings had not increased and may have very well decreased. And, poof, like magic, with the stroke of a pen, overnight, the poverty class in America seemed to almost disappear. It was only an illusion. In fact, the quality of life of these people was worse than it was before.

It didn’t matter what numbers a government official scratched on an official document, claiming that’s the minimum income to qualify as poverty class and entitled to a benefit. The reality was that the actual poverty level of real life stayed the same. So, more and more Americans showed up and work and toiled 40, 50, even 60 hours a week but still lived with a poverty income and absolutely no help from the government who had betrayed them and lied about their wage and living conditions. And many working class people couldn’t even find a 40 hour work week job. They settled for whatever they could find. Sometimes that meant two or three part-time jobs. And this problem has never even been admitted openly much less addressed and solved.

There have been a few years when I was unable to work at all. The caveman was the sole supporter of our family. He is a truck driver. Our income tax returns for those years was, well, I won’t say the number but most of you probably know that a truck driver does not make much money. For a family of four, he made too much to qualify for any benefit the government had to offer to “the poor”. We had to pay for housing, food, utilities, keep cars on the road, and, because the company he worked for did not provide health insurance, we also had to pay every single dime of medical expenses we incurred. And the epileptic gringa is expensive.

Now, a corporatist or wealthy person would be arrogant enough to feel entitled to criticize and say, “Why didn’t the caveman get another job with a different company that offered insurance?” Well, actually, he did get laid off once and got a job with a company with full benefits. But, my pre-existing condition wasn’t covered. So, alas, it really did us absolutely no good.

So, “entitlement whinebag” corporatists and wealthy who want to enjoy all of your wealth and not contribute to the upkeep of this great nation and be a good steward with your overabundance by helping those less fortunate, here’s some food for thought for your hateful, selfish, arrogant minds:

I am the working poor. And we are legion. Let me introduce you to us. We’re the people who press your suit and shirts at the dry cleaners. We are the ones who scrub the floor of the salon where you get your nails done. We wipe snotty noses in daycare centers and nursing homes. We pick the veggies and truck them to your supermarkets. We’re the folks who trim your lawn and give your dog a haircut. We change the trash bin liners in the hospital where you were born and dig the grave where you will be buried.

We live in barrio apartments surrounded by other working poor families who are all doing their best to feed their families. There are usually two parents here, working together to raise their children and find a way to take unpaid leave from work to see their programs and games while still managing to pay the bills.

We usually have only one very old car that is paid for. We can barely afford the liability insurance. Forget about a warranty and full coverage. If the alternator goes out or there is a minor accident, the repair cost comes out of our pocket. It may be way too much that a working class Joe can afford. Looking under the hood, a working class Joe scratches his head wondering how he is going to pay for the parts to get the car back on the road because he has to be at work at 6am in the morning.

Fortunately for working class Joe, his neighbors know exactly what’s up. We’ve all been there. Soon, all working class Joe’s neighbors have pooled some money together, driven him to the auto parts store, and several are working by his side with flashlights well after midnight until the car is finally fixed.

You see, “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy”, the poor working class enjoy something you don’t understand. We enjoy freedom. We are not slaves to the latest fashion trends. We have learned to live without them because we cannot afford them. We have learned to live without the manis and pedis. We have learned to live without the brand name can of green beans. We have learned to live without the vacations at the resorts. We have learned to live without the mall and high-end supermarket. We have learned to live without beef or chicken or any kind of real meat on our dinner tables every night. That is how we are able to pull out the last twenty bucks from our pockets and give it to our neighbor in need without complaining and resign ourselves to beans and rice for a week.

You see, the working poor understand and accept that we are our brother’s keeper. We don’t feel entitled to that last $20 even though we earned it. We see our neighbor’s need and understand it and can meet it so we do, even if it means personal sacrifice.

The working poor have a humble dignity the “entitlement whinebag corporatist and wealthy” will never understand. We do not have an “entitlement” attitude. We only ask that our opportunity to send our kids to college not be ruined by a broken arm, appendectomy or serious bout with the flu (or recurrent episodes of seizures).

And if the “entitlement whinebag corporatists and wealthy” want to continue to turn their backs on this nation so they can keep all their wealth rather than contribute their fair share to the nation’s needs, easing their consciences with the delusion that the poor are not worthy of help, the gringa’s okay with that. Because, we don’t need them. We’ll do just fine without them. In fact, we’re better off without that kind of attitude. So, please do say “Bye, bye” to America and let the true, hardworking patriots have their damn country back, because we can fix it.





POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget” Part IV, H-J

In continuation of my blog post of Friday, August, 8, 2015, I will continue to list the names of the servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The gringa will kindly remind dear readers that clicking on incident date, name, branch of service or side note will take the reader directly to a page regarding that serviceman that is linked with the website So, in honor of those POWs and MIAs considered with the November 9, 2000, immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”, the following men are not forgotten:

17-Jul-72   HAAS LEON F.    USN

24-Jul-68    HACKETT HARLEY B.    USAF    (Photo)


10-Jun-65   HAGEN CRAIG L.   ARMY   Last seen on ground, under fire



08-Mar-71   HALE JOHN D.   ARMY

06-Feb-67   HALL DONALD J.   USAF


15-May-75   HALL GARY L.   USMC   Mayaguez Incident loss 05/15/75

10-Jun-65   HALL WALTER L.   ARMY   Last seen on ground, under fire

22-Mar-71   HALL WALTER R.   ARMY



28-Sep-68   HALPIN DAVID P.   USN


14-Mar-68   HAMM JAMES E.   USAF

10-Oct-68   HANDRAHAN EUGENE A.   ARMY   Photo








12-Oct-67   HARDY JOHN K.   USAF

15-May-75   HARGROVE JOSEPH N.   USMC   Mayaguez Incident loss


18-May-66   HARLEY LEE D.   USAF







25-Feb-67   HART JOSEPH L.   USAF

21-Dec-72   HART THOMAS T. III   USAF   Remains Returned 02/21/85 – Id Rescinded

28-Nov-72   HARVEY JACK R.   USAF




05-FEB-68   HATTON WILTON N.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list


05-Sep-70   HAUER ROBERT D.   USAF









17-Apr-68   HELD JOHN W.   USAF


11-Sep-69   HELWIG ROGER D.   USAF

21-Oct-67   HEMMEL CLARENCE J.   USAF   (Photo)

24-May-72   HENN JOHN R. JR.   ARMY





03-NOV-70   HERBERT MICHAEL P.   RAAF   Australian Air Force – remains located 07/2009






01-Jan-68   HERRIN HENRY H. JR.   USN

31-May-66   HERROLD NED R.   USAF

21-Mar-68   HESFORD PETER D.   USAF   (Photo)

29-Mar-69   HESS FREDERICK W.   USAF   (Photo)

17-Jun-66   HESS GENE K.   USAF


29-Apr-75   HEUBECK ELMER K.   CIV




15-Aug-68   HICKS TERRIN D.   USAF

17-Nov-65   HIEMER JERRY A.   ARMY


29-Dec-65   HILL ARTHUR S. JR.   USN

21-Jan-68   HILL BILLY D.   ARMY



27-Apr-70  HILL JOHN R.   ARMY

28-May-68   HILL JOSEPH A.  USMC

02-Oct-69   HILL RAYFORD J.   USN

06-Dec-63   HILL RICHARD D.   USAF

18-Oct-66  HILL ROBERT L.   USAF

14-Feb-66   HILLS JOHN R.   USAF


08-Nov-67   HINES VAUGHN M.   ARMY

26-Apr-72   HIRONS ALAN   CIV   Not on Official DIA list

25-Mar-67   HISE JAMES H.   USN



07-Jan-70   HOFF MICHAEL G.   USN


03-Jan-71   HOLGUIN LUIS G.   ARMY

11-Mar-68   HOLLAND MELVIN A.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list – TDY CIV/LOCKHEED




14-Dec-66   HOLMAN GERALD A.   USN

15-Mar-66   HOLMES DAVID H.   USAF








29-Apr-75   HORTON PAUL L.   CIV   Left Saigon

24-Mar-70   HOSKEN JOHN C.   ARMY   Group I.D. 06/2001

16-Feb-71   HOSKINS CHARLES L.   USAF   (Photo)

30-Mar-75   HOSKINS THOMAS B.   CIV   Left Saigon 10/75


30-Jun-67   HOUSE JOHN A. II   USMC


07-Jul-70   HOWARD LEWIS J.   ARMY



18-May-65   HRDLICKA DAVID L.   USAF   Photo Published by Communists 07/66

17-Mar-68   HUBBS DONALD R.   USN

13-May-70   HUBERTH ERIC J.   USAF



10-Feb-71   HUET HENRI   Civ


29-Apr-75   HUGHES JOSEPH   CIV   Left Saigon 08/75

29-Apr-75   HUGHES RICHARD   CIV   Left Saigon 08/75


29-Mar-65   HUME KENNETH E.   USN

06-Mar-71   HUMMEL JOHN F.   ARMY

01-Feb-66   HUMPHREY GALEN F.   USMC   (Photo)

04-Nov-70   HUMPHREY LARRY D.   ARMY   Escaped custody to join VC – USA Today 20 Feb 86


05-Feb-70   HUNSUCKER JAMES   USN   Released 02/28/70

13-Oct-68   HUNT JAMES D.   ARMY

28-Feb-68   HUNT ROBERT W.   ARMY

04-Nov-66   HUNT WILLIAM B.   ARMY

29-Oct-68   HUNTER JAMES D.   USA


29-Apr-75   HUNTLEY CHAD   CIV   Expelled from Saigon 06/75

27-Sep-69   HUNTLEY JOHN N.   ARMY


06-Feb-68   HUSS ROY A.   USN 


05-Dec-65   HYDE JIMMY DON   USN



05-Jun-67    IBANEZ DI REYES    USMC

09-Jan-68   IRSCH WAYNE C.   USAF

31-May-70   ISHI TOMOHARA   CIV   Not on Official DIA list


27-Jun-65    JACKSON CARL E.    USAF



24-Dec-72   JACKSON PAUL V. III   USAF   (Photo)



18-Apr-73   JAMES SAMUEL L.   USAF   Charred bodies found at crash site (Photo) 
Remains Returned 02 Jan 99    ID Disputed



12-Mar-71   JEFFS CLIVE G.   USAF

08-May-68   JENNE ROBERT E.   ARMY



11-May-68   JIMENEZ JUAN M.   ARMY   Ground Attack, Possibly KIA


03-Feb-67   JOHNSON AUGUST D.   USN   Reported blown up by grenade in boat


27-Oct-66   JOHNSON DALE A.   USAF









28-Nov-72   JONES BOBBY M.   USAF


03-Oct-66   JONES JAMES E.   ARMY


24-Apr-72   JONES JOHNNY M.   ARMY

29-Nov-67   JONES LOUIS F.   USAF   Remains Returned 11/20/2000 ID’d 11/26/2001
Family has NOT accepted ID as of 10/2002

16-Apr-72   JONES ORVIN C. JR.   USAF

06-Feb-68   JONES THOMAS P.   USN

12-Apr-66   JORDAN LARRY M.   USN


30-Mar-75   JUDSON LORENZO D.   CIV   Left Saigon 05/76


Photo courtesy:

POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget” Part III, D-G

In continuation of my blog post of Friday, August, 8, 2015, I will continue to list the names of the servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The gringa will kindly remind dear readers that clicking on incident date, name, branch of service or side note will take the reader directly to a page regarding that serviceman that is linked with the website So, in honor of those POWs and MIAs considered with the November 9, 2000, immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”, the following men are not forgotten:


09-Jun-65  DALE CHARLES A.       ARMY   Disappeared over Vinh Binh


29-Apr-75   DANIEL LEON                CIV      Expelled from Saigon 08/75


19-May-68   DAVIES JOSEPH E.      USAF

25-Jul-67     DAVIS DONALD V.       USN

17-Sep-68   DAVIS EDGAR F.           USAF

14-Jun-72   DAVIS FRANCIS J.         USN

13-Mar-66   DAVIS GENE E.             USAF

11-Mar-68   DAVIS JAMES WOODROW    USAF   Not on Official DIA list – TDY CIV/LOCKHEED

20-Mar-69   DAVIS RICARDO G.     ARMY

05-May-66   DAWES JOHN J.     ARMY

29-Apr-75   DAWSON ALAN   CIV   Expelled from Saigon 09/75


11-Apr-65   DAWSON DONALD   CIV   Released 08/21/65 – Captured searching for brother

16-Jul-69   DAWSON JAMES V.   USAF

03-Nov-70   DAY DENNIS I.   ARMY

02-Oct-69   DAYAO ROLANDO C.   USN

08-May-68   DAYTON JAMES L.   ARMY


05-Sep-63   DE BRUIN EUGENE H.   CIV   

03-Nov-71   DE CAIRE JACK L.   ARMY


12-Apr-69   DE SOTO ERNEST L.   USAF

02-Oct-69   DEAN DONALD C.   USN

17-May-66   DEERE DONALD T.   ARMY



14-Oct-77   DELLENBAUGH CORNELIA   CIV   Released from Saigon 01/12/78

18-May-67   DELONG JOE L.   ARMY

09-Jun-65   DEMMON DAVID S.   ARMY   Disappeared over Vinh Binh

17-Jun-66   DEMPSEY JACK I.   USN

23-Apr-70    EADS DENNIS K.   ARMY   

 22-Jun-70    EARLE JOHN S.    USN

 21-Oct-66    EARLL DAVID J.    USAF


21-Aug-67   EBY ROBERT G.   CIV



05-Feb-68   EDGAR ROBERT J.   USAF

29-Apr-75   EDIGER MAX   CIV   Left Saigon 05/76


21-Jan-66   EGAN JAMES T. JR.   USMC



05-Jul-65   EISENBRAUN WILLIAM F.   ARMY   On PRG DIC List 08/07/65

24-Apr-72   ELLEN WADE L.   ARMY

02-Oct-69   ELLERD CARL J.   USN



03-Jan-68   ELLIS BILLY J.   ARMY



24-Mar-67   ELLISON JOHN C.   USN




13-Nov-68   ERSKINE JACK D.   CIV   VC Sketches of Erskine found


29-Apr-75   ESPER GEORGE   CIV   Expelled from Saigon 06/75



05-Dec-68   EVANS BILLY K. JR.   ARMY




10-Mar-67   EVERSON DAVID   USAF   Captured by Pathet Lao, help 29 days

29-Apr-75   FAIGAN LARRY   CIV   Left Saigon 12/75


31-Oct-67   FANNING HUGH M.    USMC   Remains Recovered 07/17/84    Id’d Rescinded


16-May-71   FARLOW CRAIG L.   ARMY



09-Apr-65   FEGAN RONALD J.   USN



21-Dec-72   FENTER CHARLES F.   USAF   Remains Returned 02/21/85 – Family refused Id



29-Apr-75   FILLER FONG DUONG   CIV   Left Saigon 08/76



24-Dec-71   FINN WILLIAM R.   USAF






11-Jun-67   FOLEY JOHN J. III   USMC

19-Dec-71   FORAME PETER C.   ARMY

09-Dec-68   FORD EDWARD   ARMY



22-Dec-67   FORS GARY H.   USMC

29-Apr-75   FORSYTHE JULIA   CIV   Left Saigon 10/75



06-Jun-72   FOWLER JAMES A.   USAF

02-Oct-69   FOWLER JAMES J.   USN

02-Oct-69   FOWLER ROY G.   USN


29-Apr-75   FRANJOLA MATT   CIV   Expelled Saigon 05/75

23-Mar-68   FRANKS IAN J.   ARMY 



03-Sep-68   FRAZIER PAUL R.   ARMY

17-Jun-66   FRENG STANLEY J.   USN



02-Jan-70   FRYAR BRUCE C.   USN




03-Jul-66   GAGE ROBERT H.    USMC



13-Jul-65   GALLANT HENRY J.   ARMY 

08-Mar-67   GALVIN RONALD E.   USN

02-Oct-69   GAN LEONARDO M.   USN




29-May-67   GARNER JOHN H.   USN


05-Oct-70   GASSMAN FRED A.   ARMY

07-Mar-70   GATES ALBERT H. JR.   USMC

06-Apr-66   GATES JAMES W.   ARMY




10-Jan-67   GAULEY JAMES P.   USAF


30-Apr-75   GAY ARLO N.   CIV   Known to have been captured in the Mekong delta in early 1975 – Left Saigon 09/76


18-Jun-65   GEHRIG JAMES M. JR.   USAF



08-Feb-68   GEORGE JAMES E.   ARMY

30-May-62   GERBER DANIEL A.   CIV   Taken from Leprosarium






07-Oct-66   GILCHRIST ROBERT M.   USAF   (Photo)


03-Nov-70   GINN DAVID L.   ARMY

11-Mar-68   GISH HENRY G.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list – TDY CIV/LOCKHED

18-May-68   GIST TOMMY EMERSON   USAF   Egress reported Uyeyama saw ID card

26-May-66   GLANDON GARY A.   USAF




05-Feb-68   GODWIN SOLOMON H.   USMC   Egress states died 02/24/68 (Photo)



24-Aug-67   GOFF KENNETH B. JR.   ARMY

22-Apr-70   GOLZ JOHN B.   USN

23-Apr-70   GOMEZ ROBERT A.   USAF





02-Oct-69   GORE PAUL EDWIN   USN   Not on Official DIA list




05-FEB-68   GOTT RODNEY H.   USAF   Not on Official DIA list

21-Dec-72   GOULD FRANK A.   USAF

01-Apr-67   GOVAN ROBERT A.   USAF   Remains Id’d 06/14/2002 – ID RESCINDED BY USG 03/2003

14-Jun-69   GRACE JAMES W.   USAF


03-Oct-69   GRAFFE PAUL L.   ARMY





03-Nov-67   GRAUERT HANS H.   USN






10-Jul-72   GREEN FRANK C. JR.   USN

04-Dec-70   GREEN GEORGE C. JR.   ARMY

12-Sep-65   GREEN GERALD   USN

18-Jun-70   GREEN JAMES A.   ARMY

26-Mar-68   GREEN LARRY E.   USMC

09-Jan-68   GREEN NORMAN M.   USAF

25-Oct-66   GREEN ROBERT B.   USAF

26-Oct-71   GREEN THOMAS F.   ARMY




29-Mar-75   GREGORY MARIE   CIV   Left Saigon with fake passport 08/75


29-Mar-75   GREGORY PHILIPPE   CIV   Left Saigon with fake passport 08/75






12-Feb-68   GROTH WADE L.   ARMY

17-Sep-67   GRUBB PETER A.   USAF





25-Apr-68   GUILLORY HUBIA J.   ARMY   Reported KIA in ambush, remains left behind

29-Apr-75   GULDEN FREDERICK   CIV   Left Saigon 08/76


12-Feb-68   GUNN ALAN W.   ARMY

Photo courtesy:

POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget” Part II, B-C

In continuation of my blog post of Friday, August, 8, 2015, I will continue to list the names of the servicemen still unaccounted for from the Vietnam and Korean conflicts. The gringa will kindly remind dear readers that clicking on incident date, name, branch of service or side note will take the reader directly to a page regarding that serviceman that is linked with the website So, in honor of those POWs and MIAs considered with the November 9, 2000, immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”, the following men are not forgotten:

Date               Name                                                 Branch

27-Feb-71     BABCOCK RONALD L.                   ARMY

31-Jan-68     BABCOCK, WILLIAM H. JR.          ARMY   Listed 2009 in PMSEA as Escaped captivity during the Vietnam War

28-Aug-66    BABULA ROBERT L.                       USMC

27-Aug-67    BACIK VLADIMIR HENRY             USMC

22-May-67    BACKUS KENNETH F.                     USAF

27-Mar-68    BADLEY JAMES LINDSAY             USAF

29-Jan-66      BADOLATI FRANK N.                    ARMY

01-Nov-69    BAILEY DANIEL T.                          ARMY

01-May-67   BAILEY JOHN HOWARD                 USMC

29-Apr-75    BAILEY MICHAEL                            CIV

25-Dec-65    BAILON RUBEN                                CIV

29-Apr-75    BAKER JACKY D.                              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

15-May-66   BALCOM RALPH C.                        USAF


13-Nov-70   BANCROFT WILLIAM W.               USAF

29-Apr-75   BANHAM MAURICE J.                      CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

23-Mar-61   BANKOWSKI ALFONS A.               USAF

12-Jul-69    BANNON PAUL W.                            USAF


17-Mar-68  BARBER THOMAS D.                      USN

31-Jan-67   BARDEN HOWARD L.                    USAF

27-Jul-67   BARE WILLIAM ORLAN                 USAF


31-Aug-68   BARTOCCI JOHN E.                     USN

10-Aug-71  BATES PAUL J. JR.                       ARMY

21-Sep-66    BAUDER JAMES R.                      USN

17-Mar-71   BAUMAN RICHARD L.                 ARMY

08-Nov-67   BAXTER BRUCE R.                       ARMY

20-Mar-66   BEACH ARTHUR J.                       USMC

07-Jul-70     BEALS CHARLES E.                    ARMY


02-Oct-69    BECK TERRY L.                           USN

15-Aug-70   BECKER JAMES C.                      ARMY

24-Mar-71   BECKWITH HARRY M.               ARMY

11-Jun-67    BEECHER QUENTIN R.                ARMY

05-Oct-66    BEENE JAMES A.                         USN


28-Mar-69   BELCHER ROBERT A.                 USAF

23-Jun-66    BELKNAP HARRY JOHN            USN

02-Oct-69    BELL RICHARD W.                      USN

08-APR-70   BELLENDORF DIETER                CIV

9-Jul-67       BENNEFELD STEVEN H.            USMC

13-Dec-67   BENNETT ROBERT E. III             USAF

29-Apr-75   BENNETT SHERMAN H.              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

22-Dec-72    BENNETT THOMAS W. JR.       USAF

02-Sep-67    BENNETT WILLIAM G.              USAF

17-Mar-68   BENSON LEE D.                          USN

23-May-69   BENTON GREGORY R.              USMC

27-Apr-67    BENTON JAMES AUSTIN          USMC

20-Jan-72     BERDAHL DAVID D.                 ARMY

31-May-68   BERESIK EUGENE PAUL          USAF

07-Aug-71    BERG BRUCE A.                        ARMY

23-Aug-68    BERGEVIN CHARLES L.          USAF

29-Apr-75    BERARD ARAM J.                     CIV        Left Saigon 08/75

05-Dec-68    BERRY JOHN A.                       ARMY


13-May-69   BESSOR BRUCE C.                   ARMY

26-Nov-71    BEUTEL ROBERT D.                USAF

29-Oct-68     BEZOLD STEVEN                     ARMY

22-Apr-61     BIBER GERALD MACK            ARMY

18-Jun-71     BIDWELL BARRY A.                USN

06-May-69   BILLIPP NORMAN K.                USMC

15-Nov-68    BIRCHIM JAMES D.                 ARMY

15-Jul-68      BIRD LEONARD ADRIAN        USMC


29-Apr-70     BISHOP EDWARD J. JR.         ARMY

07-Jul-67      BITTENBENDER DAVID F.      USAF


14-Jul-62      BLEWETT ALAN L.                  CIV

19-Apr-68     BLODGETT DOUGLAS R.       ARMY

13-Nov-64    BLOOM DARL R.                     USMC


12-Nov-69    BODAHL JON KEITH                     USAF

28-Aug-66    BODENSCHATZ JOHN E.              USMC

12-May-72   BOGARD LONNIE P.                       USAF

27-Aug-67    BOGGS PASCHAL GLENN            USMC

02-Mar-69    BOGIAGES CHRISTO C. JR.          USAF

19-Aug-69    BOHLIG JAMES RICHARD            USMC

11-Jun-67     BOHLSCHEID CURTIS R.              USMC

25-Aug-67     BoisClaire RONALD A                  USN        Name is French/USG shows Clair as 1st name

18-Jan-68     BOLES WARREN W.                      USN

02-Apr-72     BOLTE WAYNE L.                          USAF

06-Oct-72     BOLTZE BRUCE E.                        USMC

11-Mar-68    BOND RONALD DALE                    USAF

30-Sep-71     BOND RONALD L.                         USAF     (Photo)

04-Jul-70      BOOKOUT CHARLES F.                ARMY

23-Dec-70     BOOTH GARY P.                            USN

23-Jun-68     BOOTH JAMES E.                          USAF

16-Oct-69     BOOTH LAWRENCE R.                  ARMY

24-Jan-66     BOOZE DELMAR G.                       USMC

29-Apr-75     BORDEN HOWARD A.                    CIV

13-Oct-66     BORDEN MURRAY L.                     USAF

21-Feb-67     BORJA DOMINGO R.                     ARMY

28-Apr-68     BORS JOSEPH C.                           USAF

28-Aug-66    BORTON ROBERT C. JR.              USMC    DoD Remains Returned list 12/96 – Family rejects ID

29-Jul-66      BOSSIO GALILEO F.                     USAF

25-Sep-66     BOSSMAN PETER R.                    USN

02-Dec-66     BOTT RUSSELL P.                       ARMY

20-Dec-68     BOUCHARD MICHAEL L.             USN

03-Aug-65    BOWER JOSEPH E.                      USAF

24-Mar-69    BOWERS RICHARD L.                  ARMY


16-Jun-68     BOWMAN FRANK                        USN

02-Oct-69     BOWMAN MICHAEL L.                USN

14-Dec-71     BOYANOWSKI JOHN G.             ARMY

28-Mar-68    BOYER ALAN LEE                       ARMY

28-Feb-70     BOYLE WILLIAM                        ARMY

09-Feb-73     BOYLES HOWARD                     CIV        Remains Recovered 04/73 – ID Refuted by family

12-Feb-70     BRADSHAW ROBERT S. III        USMC

08-Jul-65      BRAM RICHARD C.                     USMC

08-May-69   BRASHEAR WILLIAM J.              USAF

28-Sep-66     BRASHER JIMMY M.                  ARMY

06-Apr-70    BRASSFIELD ANDREW T.           ARMY

26-Jul-67      BRAZIK RICHARD                      USAF


24-Sep-68     BREINER STEPHEN E.              USMC

25-Feb-68     BRELLENTHIN MICHAEL         USMC    Not on Official DIA List

14-Dec-71     BREMMER DWIGHT A.             ARMY

26-Nov-67    BRENNAN HERBERT O.            USAF

26-Jul-69      BRENNING RICHARD D.           USN

20-Nov-72    BREUER DONALD C.                USMC    (Photo)

04-Jun-68     BRICE ERIC PARKER               USN

29-Apr-75     BRICKMAN JOSEPH                 CIV        Left Saigon 04/76

30-Jun-71     BRIDGES PHILIP W.                 ARMY

14-Dec-66     BRIGHAM ALBERT                  USMC

13-May-69   BROOKS JOHN H.                     ARMY

09-Nov-67    BROWER RALPH W.                 USAF

 30-Jul-70   BROWN DONALD A.                  USAF


12-Feb-68     BROWN HARRY W.                  ARMY

12-Aug-70    BROWN JAMES A.                   ARMY

05-Apr-66     BROWN JAMES WILLIAM       USMC

29-Apr-66     BROWN THOMAS E.                USN

17-Jul-72      BROWN WAYNE G. II               USAF

24-Dec-68     BROWNLEE CHARLES R.       USAF

25-Apr-72     BROWNLEE ROBERT W.         ARMY

29-Apr-66     BRUCH DONALD W. JR.          USAF

18-Feb-69     BRUCHER JOHN M.                 USAF     (Photo)

21-May-66   BUCKLEY LOUIS                       ARMY

16-Dec-69     BUCKLEY VICTOR P.               USN

21-Aug-67    BUDD LEONARD R. JR.           USMC    Released by DRV 03/05/73

17-Sep-72     BUELL KENNETH R.                USN

11-Apr-71     BUERK WILLIAM CARL           USAF

25-Aug-66    BULLARD WILLIAM H.            USN

31-Jan-67     BULLOCK LARRY A.               ARMY

06-Sep-66     BUNDY NORMAN L.                USN

30-Dec-70     BUNKER PARK G.                   USAF     (Photo)

01-Aug-69    BURD DOUGLAS G.                USAF

13-Jun-66     BURKART CHARLES W.        USAF

19-Oct-66     BURKE MICHAEL J.               USMC

05-FEB-69   BURKE WALTER F.                 USAF     Not on Official DIA list


06-Feb-68     BURNETT DONALD F.           USN

02-Feb-68     BURNHAM DONALD D.         ARMY

25-Dec-67     BURNS FREDERICK J.          USMC    On PRG DIC list 01/02/69 – Remains Returned 1994 Id’d 04/95

04-Oct-66     BURNS JOHN D.                    USN        Released by DRV 03/04/73

31-Jul-69      BURNS MICHAEL P.              ARMY

22-Dec-69     BURRIS DONALD D. JR.       ARMY

02-Feb-71     BURROWS LARRY                CIV

24-Jul-68      BUSH JOHN R.                      USAF     (Photo)

09-Jun-66     BUSH ROBERT IRA              USAF

09-Apr-70     BUSHNELL BRIAN L.            USN

14-Jul-69      BUTLER DEWEY R.               ARMY

26-Oct-69     BYNUM NEIL S.                     USAF

09-Jan-69     BYRD HUGH M. JR.              ARMY

13-Mar-68    BYRNE JOSEPH HENRY       USAF

02-Oct-68     BYTHEWAY FRANK L.         CIV

 17-Oct-67    CADWELL ANTHONY B.      ARMY


17-Jun-66     CAIRNS ROBERT A.               USAF

14-Dec-71     CALDWELL FLOYD D.         ARMY

11-Mar-68    CALFEE HAMES HENRY     USAF     Not on Official DIA List – TDY Civ/Lockheed

27-Mar-68    CALHOUN JOHNNY C.        ARMY

23-Sep-68     CALLAHAN DAVID F. JR.   USN


01-Aug-69    CALLIES TOMMY L.                      USAF     (Photo)

11-Mar-68    CALLOWAY PORTER E.                ARMY

29-Jul-66      CAMERON VIRGIL KING               USN

29-Jan-69     CAMPBELL WILLIAM E.               USAF

29-Apr-75     CANTON SUZAN                           CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

14-Jan-67     CANUP FRANKLIN H. JR.            USN

07-Dec-66     CARLSON JOHN WERNER          USAF

13-Feb-67     CARLSON PAUL V.                      USN

17-Apr-67     CARLTON JAMES E.                    USMC

05-APR-70   CARON GILLES                             CIV

06-Mar-67    CARPENTER HOWARD B.            ARMY

06-Jul-71      CARR DONALD G.                       ARMY

02-Nov-69    CARROLL PATRICK H.                USAF

28-Aug-66    CARTER DENNIS R.                     USMC

24-Apr-72     CARTER GEORGE W.                  ARMY

26-Jan-71     CARTER GERALD LYNN             USN

10-Nov-66     CARTER WILLIAM T.                  USN

31-Jan-71     CARTWRIGHT PATRICK G.        USN

10-Apr-68      CARVER HARRY F.                    ARMY

23-Jun-68     CASEY DONALD F.                    USAF

15-Jul-67      CASSELL ROBIN B.                   USN


25-Feb-66     CAUSEY JOHN BERNAND        USAF


04-Nov-69    CAVENDER JAMES R.               ARMY   Remains of other crew recovered

12-Nov-67    CAYCE JOHN D.                        USN

21-Sep-69     CECIL ALAN B.                         ARMY


24-Apr-71     CHAMPION JAMES A.               ARMY

25-Sep-72     CHAN PETER                                USN        Fell Overboard/Oriskany

06-Feb-68     CHAPA ARMANDO JR.            USN

18-Feb-69     CHAPMAN RODNEY M.           USN

21-Mar-67    CHARVET PAUL CLAUDE        USN

30-Jul-70      CHAVEZ GARY A.                    USAF

28-May-71   CHAVIRA STEPHEN                  ARMY

27-Dec-72     CHIPMAN RALPH J.                USMC

11-Jun-67     CHOMEL CHARLES D.            USMC

22-Apr-68     CHOMYK WILLIAM                  USAF

03-Apr-72     CHRISTENSEN ALLEN D.        ARMY


01-Mar-66    CHRISTENSEN WILLIAM M.        USN

02-Jun-65     CHRISTIAN DAVID M.                 USN        Remains Returned 04/10/86 – Id Questioned

18-Mar-75     CHRISTIAN GEORGE A.             CIV        Left Saigon 08/75

11-Jun-67     CHRISTIE DENNIS R.                  USMC


29-Apr-75     CHUNG YEN BINH                       CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

03-May-70   CHURCHILL CARL R.                  USAF

30-Mar-68    CICHON WALTER A.                   ARMY

01-Jan-69     CLACK CECIL J.                        ARMY

26-Jul-67      CLAFLIN RICHARD AMES        USAF

21-Apr-78     CLARK JAMES W.                     CIV        Phnom Phenh Jail until 11/78

15-Dec-65     CLARK JERRY P.                      ARMY

18-Oct-66     CLARK LAWRENCE                  USAF

24-Oct-67     CLARK RICHARD C.                 USN

14-Feb-69     CLARK STANLEY S.                USAF

03-May-68    CLARK STEPHEN W.               USMC

13-Dec-68     CLARKE FRED L.                    USAF

16-Oct-67     CLARKE GEORGE W.              USAF     (Photo)

09-Nov-67    CLAY EUGENE L.                     USAF

03-May-68   CLEM THOMAS D.                    USMC

22-Mar-71    CLEVE REGINALD D.               ARMY

05-FEB-68   CLEVER LOUIS J.                     USAF     Not on Official DIA list

18-Sep-69     CLINE CURTIS R.                    ARMY

11-Jun-67     CLINTON DEAN E.                  ARMY


18-Jan-69     COADY ROBERT F.                USAF

21-Jan-68     COALSTON ECHOL W. JR.    ARMY

01-Feb-66     COATES DONALD L.              USMC

17-Jun-66     COBBS RALPH B.                   USN

31-Jan-68     COCHEO RICHARD N.            CIV        Taken from house in Yinh Long


17-Jun-70     COCHRANE DEVERTON C.       ARMY

24-Nov-63    CODY HOWARD RUDOLPH       USAF     Crew remains recovered, no sign subj

12-May-68   COEN HARRY B.                         ARMY

12-Jan-68     COHRON JAMES D.                  ARMY

06-Mar-69    COLEMAN JIMMY L.                  ARMY

17-Jun-66     COLLETTE CURTIS D.              USN

04-Dec-67     COLLINS ARNOLD                    USMC

13-Mar-68    COLLINS GUY FLETCHER         USAF

22-Nov-69    COLLINS RICHARD F.               USN

19-Aug-68    COLLINS THEOTHIS                 USMC

09-Mar-66    COLLINS WILLARD M.              USAF

31-May-70   COLNE ROGER                          CIV        Not on Official DIA list

06-Mar-68    COLOMBO GARY LEWIS          USMC

10-Jun-65     COMPA JOSEPH J. JR.            ARMY   Last seen on ground

21-Mar-66     COMPTON FRANK R.               USN

03-May-70   CONAWAY LAWRENCE Y.        USAF

08-May-68   CONDREY GEORGE T. III          ARMY


27-Jan-69     CONGER JOHN E.                    ARMY

16-May-70   CONNER EDWIN RAY                USN

28-Oct-68     CONNOR CHARLES R.             USMC

07-May-72   CONSOLVO JOHN W.                USMC    (Photo)

12-Apr-66     CONWAY JAMES B.                  ARMY

06-Apr-66     COOK DENNIS P.                      USN

31-Dec-64     COOK DONALD G.                   USMC    On PRG DIC list 12/01/67

21-Oct-69     COOK GLENN R.                      USAF

10-Nov-67    COOK KELLY F.                       USAF

28-Apr-68     COOK WILLIAM R.                   USAF

22-Apr-68     COOLEY DAVID L.                   USN

16-Jan-68     COOLEY ORVILLE D.              USN

28-Feb-68     COONS HENRY A.                   USN

04-Feb-72     COOPER DANIEL D.                USN

29-Apr-75     COOPER WILLIAM G.              CIV        Left Saigon 08/76

16-Nov-68    COPLEY WILLIAM M.               ARMY

27-Jul-67      CORBITT GILLAND W.            USAF

27-Jan-68     CORDOVA ROBERT J.            USN        (Photo)

01-May-67   COREFIELD STAN L.                USMC

08-Dec-65     CORLE JOHN T.                      USMC

16-Jun-73     CORNELIUS SAMUEL B.        USAF


08-Nov-70    CORONA JOEL                       ARMY

14-May-68   COTA ERNEST K.                    USN

09-Mar-70    COTTEN LARRY W.                USAF

29-Apr-75     COWAN KENNETH                 CIV

08-Mar-67    CRAIN CARROLL O.               USN

05-Jan-71     CRAMER DONALD M.            ARMY

12-May-68   CRAVEN ANDREW J.              ARMY

21-Apr-68     CREAMER JAMES E.             ARMY

13-Mar-71    CREED BARTON S.                USN        (Photo)

10-Nov-67    CREW JAMES A.                    USAF     (Photo)

22-May-68   CREWS JOHN H. III                 USAF


22-Aug-72    CROCKETT WILLIAM J.        USAF

16-May-71   CROOK ELLIOTT                    ARMY

05-Apr-70    CROPPER CURTIS H.             USN

30-Mar-72    CROSBY BRUCE A. JR.         ARMY

01-Jun-65     CROSBY FREDERICK P.      USN

17-Jul-68      CROSS ARIEL L.                  USMC

24-Apr-70     CROSS JAMES E.                 USAF


16-May-68   CROSSON GERALD J.          USAF

27-Mar-72    CROW RAYMOND J. JR.      USAF

19-Nov-67    CROXDALE JACK L. II         ARMY

07-Jul-67      CRUMM WILLIAM J.            USAF

18-May-69   CUDLIKE CHARLES J.          ARMY



10-Jun-65     CURLEE ROBERT L. JR.     ARMY

08-Jan-71     CURRY KEITH R.                  USN

25-Sep-66     CUSHMAN CLIFTON E.       USAF


Photo courtesy:

POWs, MIAs, “We Will Never Forget”

November 9, 2000, the United States Congress enacted a new immigration policy known as the “Bring Them Home Alive Act”. This legislation was aimed at individuals who were  Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, North Korea and Chinese nationals, as well as anyone from a former independent Soviet state. The bill granted asylum and refugee status for any of these people who returned to the United States any U.S. prisoner of war or serviceman who was missing in action. Refugee and asylum status would also be given to their spouse and any children.

This bill also authorized an international radio and television broadcast designed to inform people in foreign countries of this program. Worldwide coverage would transmit the message to Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China, North Korea and Russia. This program would receive twenty hours of airtime over a thirty day period. A website was designed with international access with information readily available.

Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee was so moved by the sentiment of this bill, she said this when she placed her “yea” vote: “This bill creates an extraordinary opportunity for nationals of Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, China and the independent states of the former Soviet Union to do a wonderful thing and be richly rewarded for it… I am deeply moved when I think of the grief that is being endured by so many Americans, the Americans who are living with the uncertainty of having family members who were missing in action or prisoners… I feel very strongly that the bill is worthwhile even if it only brings one solder home to his family after all of these years.”

Although there is still debate over just how many are still unaccounted for, as far as the gringa’s concerned, a human being is a human being, not a number. The gringa stands with Representative Sheila Jackson-Lee, if even one, single, solitary soldier is still unaccounted for, he matters. Whether alive or dead, he belongs in his homeland.

The folks at the POW Network,, will never forget. They maintain a database regarding all American POW’s and MIA’s during the Vietnam and Korean War eras. The ones who returned alive or whose remains were returned to the United States are updated. Disputed identity claims are noted. But still, considering the ones who have returned or been identified, the list of the ones who remain lost to us is daunting.

As late as January, 2015, remains were still being identified. Some claims of servicemen who are considered killed in action are disputed because their remains were never actually found. The determination was found because the remains of the rest of the crew were discovered and identified. There are also those that were lost at sea. Some POWs and MIAs are even civilians. Some POWs that are considered deceased have only been identified by photographs which has also caused some disagreement over whether family members actually believe it to be their loved one.

As the gringa explored the website, clicked on random names and discovered the information connected with that name, these names came alive for me. I cannot write about “never forgetting” and yet not mention their names. The names are too numerous to list in one blog post. Even by selecting only the ones who are still unaccounted for, the gringa is still left with an enormous task too big for one post. I don’t know at this time how many posts it will take, but consecutive posts will continue the list of names until I reach the very last name on the list. To the gringa, this seems the only respectful thing to do.

As the dear reader explores the list, if you click on an item, whether name, date, military branch or side notes, it is a link that will take you directly to a data page for that particular POW. The gringa thanks you in advance for your patience as I continue to list these names for the next week or so, maybe longer, however long it takes.

Incident          Name                                             Branch        Notes

07-Mar-73     ACKLEY JAMES W.                          CIV


08-Nov-67     ADAMS JOHN R.                               ARMY

17-Jun-66      ADAMS OLEY N.                              USAF

31-Oct-65      ADAMS SAMUEL                             USAF    On PRG Died in Capitivy 

18-Oct-66      ADAMS STEVEN H.                         USAF

02-Feb-68     ADKINS CHARLES L.                      ARMY

12-Mar-67    ADRIAN JOSEPH D.                         USAF

01-Nov-69    ADVENTIO RUDOLPHO A.              USN

12-May-67   AGOSTO SANTOS JOSE                 USMC

31-May-66   ALBERTSON BOBBY J.                  USAF

13-Dec-68    ALBRIGHT JOHN S. II                    USAF    (Photo)

29-Jun-70     ALDERN DONALD D.                    USN

04-Nov-69   ALFORD TERRY L.                        ARMY   Remains of crew recovered

11-Dec-66   ALFRED GERALD O. JR.               USAF     (Photo)

04-Mar-71   ALGAARD HAROLD L.                  ARMY

24-Aug-67   ALLARD RICHARD M.                   ARMY

26-Mar-70   ALLEN HENRY L.                           USAF

26-Mar-68   ALLGOOD FRANKIE E.                  USMC

12-Aug-66   ALLINSON DAVID J.                      USAF


01-Feb-66   ALM RICHARD A.                           USMC

12-Jul-67    ALMENDARIZ SAMUEL                ARMY

08-Oct-69   ALTIZER ALBERT H.                      ARMY

23-Nov-71   ALTUS ROBERT W.                       USAF

27-Feb-67    ALWAN HAROLD J.                      USMC

28-Jan-70    ANDERSON GREGORY L.             USAF


26-Apr-66  ANDERSON WARREN L.                 USAF

04-Mar-66  ANDREWS STUART M                    USAF   Buried without remains in 1978. Military ID found 2006.

12-Dec-63 ANGELL MARSHALL J.                   ARMY


11-Sep-67  ANSPACH ROBERT A.                    ARMY

24-Jul-71   ANTUNANO GREGORY A.               ARMY

08-Jun-67  APODACA VICTOR J.                      USAF  (Photo) I.D. DISPUTED 06/2001

16-Oct-67   APPELHANS RICHARD D.               USAF

17-Mar-69   ARMISTEAD STEVEN R.                  USMC

18-Jun-65   ARMOND ROBERT L.                      USAF

06-Oct-67   ARMSTRONG FRANK A. III            USAF

09-Nov-67   ARMSTRONG JOHN W.                   USAF

18-Nov-66   ARNOLD WILLIAM T.                       USN

06-APR-70   ARPIN CLAUDE                                CIV     Not on Official DIA Lists

29-Aug-68    ASHALL ALAN F.                            USN

19-Jan-67     ASHBY DONALD R. SR.                  USN

12-May-67    ASHLOCK CARLOS                         USMC

05-Feb-66    ASMUSSEN GLENN EDWARD         USN

18-Jul-71     ASTON JAY S.                                   ARMY

02-Dec-65    AUSTIN CARL BENJAMIN                USN

26-Apr-67    AUSTIN CHARLES D.                        USAF

21-Apr-66    AUSTIN ELLIS E.                               USN

19-Mar-67    AUSTIN JOSEPH C.                          USAF

29-Jul-68     AUXIER JERRY E.                             ARMY

03-May-68   AVERY ROBERT DOUGLAS           USMC

07-Jul-67     AVOLESE PAUL A.                           USAF

18-Jul-65     AVORE MALCOLM A.                      USN

19-Mar-70    AYERS DARRELL EUGENE           USMC

16-Apr-70    AYERS RICHARD L.                         USAF

Photo credit:

2000 Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act

The 2000 Hmong Veterans’ Naturalization Act was passed in order to expedite the naturalization process of persons who were part of guerilla forces or irregular units in Laos during February 28, 1961 and September 18, 1978. Specifically, the naturalization requirement to speak English was waived, along with some other requirements. Spouses were also included in this legislation. The war veteran and family would be granted refugee status. Even if the war veteran had passed away, his family was still eligible for refugee status and expedited naturalization as long as they applied with the time window prescribed. Numbers accepted were limited to 45,000 Hmong Laotians.

Although most Americans are familiar with the Vietnam War, they may be less familiar with what Laos had to do with it. From 1953 until 1975 Laos was embroiled in a civil war between the Pathet Lao and Royal Lao who controlled the government. This was during the time of the Cold War between Russia and the United States. This conflict, like many others around the globe during the Cold Wars, was actually a proxy war between the U.S. and Russia. The Pathet Lao were backed by Russia and the United States threw in with the Royal Lao. For the people in the know during that era this conflict was called the “Secret War” as both sides fought viciously for control over the Laotian Panhandle.

This was a dense jungle region. Ethnic groups in the area felt threatened by the Pathet rebels. They simply wanted to be left alone within their own territory. The tribal territory of the Hmong was a little piece of real estate that was strategic because, if controlled, the U.S. could cut off supply routes to the North Vietnamese. That is why the U.S. decided to support the Hmong with money and war materials.

The legislation describes the Hmong as mountain people from the southern part of China and northern Burma, Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. The bill describes their assistance to U.S. forces during the Vietnam War. When this war ended, the opposing force of Pathet Lao had gained control and many Hmong who had allied themselves with the U.S. were imprisoned and suffered persecution. It is estimated that up to 150,000 Hmong immigrated to the U.S. as refugees as a result of the Vietnam War’s outcome.

The United States recognized that the Hmong’s choice to support the Americans was at great personal risk of danger and possible loss of life. They participated in critical and dangerous missions. They were an important source of military intelligence that was used in combat operations as well as rescue operations for downed pilots.

Once the refugees arrived in the U.S. they found the naturalization process difficult because of the difficulty of learning the English language. The Hmong society did not have a written language until recently so many of the guerillas had never attended a school in the sense of what American society considers education. Because of this difficulty, the nation decided to ease the language requirement in order for these families to become U.S. citizens.

When President Clinton signed this bill into law, this is what he had to say, “This legislation is a tribute to the service, courage, and sacrifice of the Hmong people who were our allies in Laos during the Vietnam War. After the Vietnam War, many Hmong soldiers and their families came to the United States and have become part of the social fabric of American society. They work, pay taxes, and have raised families and made America their home… This law is a small step but an important one in honoring the immense sacrifices that the Hmong people made in supporting our efforts in Southeast Asia.”  It  may have taken America twenty years, but, the gringa is proud to say that finally, the country made things right.


Photo credit:

Deportation: Easy to Say, Impossible to Do

1996 Illegal Immigration Reform & Immigrant Responsibility Act

In addition to welfare reform regulations that affected immigrants, President Bill Clinton also enacted sweeping immigration reform, signing the 1996 Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act into law September 30, 1996. The scope of the bill was broad with a goal to strengthen current immigration laws and simplify immigration procedures. The lengthy document had five critical areas:

  • Border Control enhancement with more personnel, equipment and technology
  • Stronger penalties for convictions of smuggling, human trafficking, and document fraud
  • Reformed deportation procedures
  • Stricter enforcement of employers
  • Benefits restrictions for immigrants

The focus of this blog post will be on the deportation details. It is very common to hear anti-immigrant supporters scream for mass deportation. Usually, they haven’t a clue what that entails. It is a lengthy and costly process, paid for by the taxpayers, and, in the end, even if ruled deportable, almost impossible to actually accomplish.

With an estimated eleven million undocumented people within U.S. borders, I think it is time for the nation to simply wipe the slate clean, grant working or student resident status for the non-criminal immigrants that are here and start over. After you read the basic legal details for the deportation process, you will understand why the gringa feels this way. You may even agree.

So, what about decent people who have managed to enter the country undocumented, are minding their own business, working and contributing to society in a meaningful way? How will the government treat them? According to the 1996 legislation they are to be treated according to their status, illegally present, except for minors, battered women, refugees seeking asylum and certain situations with regard to keeping family unity intact.

For the average undocumented immigrant, after 1996, if discovered, they could look forward to apprehension and detention. It would then be up to the Attorney General to decide whether or not to begin deportation proceedings and keep the person in detention or release them on bond or conditional parole. Such decisions were weighed according to whether or not the immigrant posed a danger to the safety of people and property and could be relied upon to appear for judicial proceedings.

So, an undocumented person gets discovered, is detained, has a hearing and is either released (without work authorization) or continues in detention until receiving a “Notice To Appear”. If they are released they would either have to rely on the charity of others or work off the books. If they remain in detention, it is all on the taxpayer dime.

Their second court appearances is to hear the charges. A period of time is then given for the immigrant to retain counsel. Typically about ninety days. Mind you, then, by the time the actual “Removal Proceeding” is conducted by the court, anywhere from three months to six months has transpired.

At the third appearance, the actual trial of the “Removal Proceeding”, the immigrant’s counsel could also ask for a postponement. Such a strategy occurs quite often in many types of court cases. Six months could drag on into seven or eight months. When the postponed trial date rolls around, if the immigrant fails to appear, which is also not uncommon, counsel can then request a 180 day delay if the reason for the failure to appear is legitimate, such as illness. Now, the deportation process is stretching into about a one year scenario.

After a year of legal wrangling and delays, the “Removal Proceeding” actually takes place. The greater burden of proof is on the nation to provide clear and convincing evidence that the immigrant is deportable. The legislation clearly states that deportation is only valid if reasonable, substantial, and probative evidence is produced. Suppose the judge decides the immigrant is deportable. What then? Well, the immigrant has the right to appeal the case within thirty days. Now we’re up to a year and a month for the deportation process.

What happens with an appeal? The process then starts all over again. So, two years later, from the time the immigrant was first discovered, the final ruling is still for deportation. Now what?

If it is finally concluded that the immigrant is indeed deportable, the Attorney General may still grant the immigrant the right of voluntary departure, at their own expense, within sixty days if the immigrant meets certain criteria. Sounds crazy, right? How many of these “voluntary departure” cases actually departed? Mm hmm. Can you say, “Loophole! Duck and take cover! Lay low and hunker down!”.

If the Attorney General decides the nation will handle the departure, there is a ninety day window in which to accomplish removing the immigrant from the country. Now the deportation process has developed into a two year and three month time period for accomplishment. Will deportation be accomplished?

In a case where the nation handles the actual removal of the immigrant, the immigrant is detained. Again, detention is paid for by the taxpayer. The immigrant will remain in detention until he makes arrangements for departure. There is no law that requires the immigrant actually do this. Even if the country makes the arrangements, the immigrant has to declare where he wants to go. No one can force the immigrant to do this either.

The dear reader asks, “Why doesn’t the nation just return the immigrant to his country of origin?” Well, because that is a sticky process as well. Read on and you’ll find out why. For travel scheduling reasons or because of lack of cooperation from the immigrant, another ninety day time extension can be made. Deportation process now clocking in at two and a half years (and all that time either working off the books, living off the charity of others, or in detention getting room and board on the taxpayer dime).

So, the ninety day extension passes and the immigrant still refuses to leave. Guess what? We can’t force him to. So, the Attorney General now has the “option” to declare a suspension of deportation. This is determined by the immigrant’s length of continuous physical presence in the country, good moral character, and to what degree of hardship deportation would cause. Basically, the Attorney General thinks to himself, “This person has been in the country X number of years, has been a pretty good guy and done well for himself here and if we send him back where he came from his life will return to the living hell he was trying to escape in the first place. Okay. Suspension of deportation granted.” And now the immigrant will be subject to periodic meetings with immigration officers, medical and psychiatric exams at the country’s expense, have no authorization to legally work and live by certain restrictions as outlined by the Attorney General.

Is the dear reader now getting a clearer picture of this mess now? Is the dear reader now no longer surprised and totally understands why so many undocumented people are here and why they will probably continue to stay here? So, if an undocumented person is a law abiding, decent person other than their unlawful entry into the nation, even if ordered by the court to be deported, the country can still not forcibly remove them. They can remain in this country without authorization to work, therefore forced to work off the books and unable to contribute to the very nation that is tolerating their presence. Sounds absolutely crazy to the gringa to go to all this trouble only to end up right back where we started!

Why is forcible removal not possible? Number one, you have a person with no legal identity. You first have to prove who they are in order to know where they come from so you can send them back! Since they have the right to remain silent, they cannot even be forced to tell law enforcement who they are. So, a true individual identity linked to a birth country of origin is what the Attorney General’s office requires before it can make arrangements for deportation. Then some other country must be willing to accept them. They once again have to cross a border into another nation. Who is going to accept them? What if their country of origin is not a neighboring country? What if their country of origin requires travel through multiple other countries? These other countries also have to allow them entry.

If, then, an undocumented individual has been delivered a deport ruling and refuses to reveal his or her true identity, what next? Then the taxpayers have to pay for a full scale investigation to figure out who they are and where they came from if that immigrant decides to exercise this right and not tell immigration officials a damn thing. How do investigators do that?Umm, talk to friends, family and co-workers? Say they do. Say they find out he calls himself Ricardo Montalban from Nicaragua. How does the investigator prove it? Does he call someone in Nicaragua and say, “Hey, we’ve got this guy says he’s Ricardo Montalban from your country. Anybody born about thirty years ago by that name in your neck of the woods?” Honestly, you think it’s that easy? Say the investigators get lucky and they get something like a fingerprint ID to prove Ricardo really is from Nicaragua. Say the judge says, “Deport ol’ Ricardo.” Then, the Attorney General calls up Nicaragua and says, “We’d like to send him back.” Nicaragua can say, “Nope. We don’t want him. We were glad to see the back of ‘im. We won’t let him enter the country. He’s your problem now. You keep him.”  But, then again, maybe Nicaragua says, “Sure, we’ll take him back.” Then the Attorney General has to call Mexico and say, “Hey, we’re deporting this guy to Nicaragua but there is a six hour layover in Mexico City. Is that okay with you guys?” What if Mexico says, “Hell no! Ol’ Ricardo caused nothing but trouble last time he passed through here. He’s banned. We won’t let him enter.” Then the U.S. is still stuck with Ricardo. Can you imagine the process of passing through multiple countries and border entries if we deported someone to China or Russia? Now you see just how impossible deportation can really be.

Complicated re-entry and multiple border crossings aside, America also has laws that prevent removal of an immigrant into a country of origin that is at war or where the immigrant’s life or freedom may be threatened. In that case as well as scenarios like the one depicted in the previous paragraph, the only alternative is for the Attorney General’s office to grant an immigrant a “stay”. The immigrant can be released from detention on bond and certain conditions outlined by the Attorney General’s office BUT, yes, the big but, still not authorized to work! IT’S INSANE! I suppose they expect these people to work the rest of their lives off the books and be ghosts in society.

And that, in a nutshell, is the crazy process of deportation. You see, even if they have an illegal status, they still enjoy equal protection under American law. Once they are here the burden is on the United States to prove they don’t belong, prove who they are, and prove where they came from. And, no matter who they turn out to be, the judiciary’s role is to safeguard the rights of ALL individuals. The burden of proof is on the nation to prove a case against the undocumented immigrant.

As a result of this legislation, we can all thank President Clinton for the fact that ever since its passage immigration detention beds have been filled to capacity at taxpayers expense, ruined lives and no real gain in trimming down the numbers of undocumented people within U.S. borders. That is why mandatory detention and deportation needs to stop because it doesn’t actually end with a deportation, only a deportation order that is unenforceable. Every penny of taxpayer money to get from point A to point B only to be told you must return to point A and stay there is wasted. The future of the immigrant is wasted as well. In 2013 there were over 300,000 cases lined up, waiting their turn, for removal proceedings. How much do you think just one of those cases costs the taxpayers? Let’s just guess at $10,000 per case (although the cost is probably much higher). Multiply that times 300,000. Now take all that $3 billion and flush it down the toilet. See what the gringa means?

So, two years and six months of time and expense in detention and the court system, all paid for by the taxpayers, and what was accomplished. Nothing, other than keeping a person within the nation’s borders who is forced to work off the books and therefore unable to contribute their fair share of taxes and Social Security into the system. Now do you see what the gringa means when she said legalize the workers and students, wipe the slate clean and start over?

Once they are legalized, they have an identification that can legally be tracked down to their country of origin. Just like a resident alien, if they commit a felony in five years’ time, they forfeit their chance at citizenship and are deportable because now the country knows who they are, where their country of origin is and the evidence of a deportable crime. During their five year probation, they have been legally working and contributing their fair share of taxes and Social Security. If they keep their nose clean during their five year probation, letting them stay in the country was the right thing to do. So, again, the gringa says, “Just legalize ‘em. It’s the only thing, at this time, that actually makes sense.”

But, if it makes sense, why doesn’t the U.S. government do it? Because the nation has a history of importing cheap labor for big business to exploit; a labor class that has no legal status to make demands for civil rights and protection. Until big business stops running our country’s government through the politicians they own, the nation will never get meaningful immigration reform because it is not in the interest of big business.

Photo credit:

Immigration and Welfare: What’s a Civilized Nation To Do?

The 1996 Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act

August 22, 1996, President Bill Clinton signed into law a welfare reform plan that not only changed things for the nation’s citizens, but also for the nation’s immigrants. Title IV of the bill contained the details on the provisions that affected “aliens”.

Title IV opens with the explanation that the basic principle of United States immigration law is self-sufficiency. With that in mind, it declares that aliens living in the U.S are to depend on their own capabilities, sponsors and private organizations to provide the resources for the needs of their families rather than depend on public resources. Despite these premises, the Act acknowledges the fact that aliens have been receiving public benefits at increasing rates. The legislation explains that this is due to inadequate eligibility standards that do not prevent aliens from enrollment in the public benefits system. One of the purposes of this legislation was to reform eligibility rules so that aliens comply with national immigration policy.

For their first five years in America “aliens” are prohibited from receiving any federal benefit. Exceptions to this are immigrants who: need emergency medical care; need short-term disaster relief; qualify for school lunch programs; qualify for Head Start programs; who need immunizations or treatment of a communicable disease; are granted asylum and refugee status; are permanent residents who have worked 40 qualifying quarters contributing to Social Security; are military veterans discharged honorably or are active duty military. Aliens who were receiving federal housing assistance up to the date the new law was enacted are exempt and can maintain their housing benefit.

So, what about immigrants who were currently receiving benefits and now were in a “disqualified” class? Is the government going to suddenly turn off the spigot and immigrant families scramble to adjust their lifestyle to accommodate a sudden loss of income support? Legislators laid out a plan for a transition period for these people. They would have a year to determine what benefit denial they qualified for and prepare for what this would mean for their home budget. Many of these programs required recipients to reapply for benefits on a yearly basis. At such time, disqualified “aliens” would simply be denied their benefit based on the parameters of this welfare reform bill.

Just what were the primary welfare programs this bill was concerned with? They were food stamps, Medicaid, and Social Security temporary assistance for the needy (SSI). The exempt programs, such as school lunch programs, were considered benefits that were “means” based. In order to qualify, not only was the immigrant’s income to be considered, but also the income of the immigrant’s sponsor. This was also required for an immigrant who attempted to qualify for State funded, rather than federally funded, benefits. If it was found that an immigrant had received a Federal or State benefit they would have actually been disqualified from receiving because of a sponsor’s financial means, the Federal and State government can now demand reimbursement from the sponsor.

The overall goal of this welfare reform was to move recipients from a welfare lifestyle to a working lifestyle over a five year period and permanently keep them self-sufficient. It also sought to remove from recipient status those who were on the dole and shouldn’t be, one such category being the immigrant. Was this goal achieved? Was this goal good for America? In 1994 the U.S. welfare system logged 14.4 million caseloads. Five years later, these caseloads had dropped to 5.3 million. The gringa thinks it’s safe to say, “Mission accomplished! Way to go President Bill Clinton! Umm, maybe.”

Why maybe? You see, many of these families were not actually completely self-sufficient. They simply moved from government generated income to the status of low-income. Single mothers especially were affected by this, becoming even poorer than when they were receiving benefits. As these families lost their Medicaid benefit by entering the workforce, they were often faced with employers who did not offer affordable health benefits. A worker supporting three people would not qualify for Medicaid if they earned more than $11,920 (for a family of three) annually. Now, the gringa would like to know who in their right minds thinks a family can afford health insurance and medical bills for three people if they make less than, say, about $70,000? Washington D.C. was way off base deciding this number was the qualifying poverty line.

Families that were accustomed to a housing benefit that kept their rent very low, were suddenly faced with paying full market rate for the roof over their head. That could mean, for a family that was earning $11,920.01, a penny above the qualifying poverty line, their rent could go from $200 to $700. You tell the gringa if you honestly think these poor, working class people could afford such a thing? Many could not. Remember, they also still had to pay their electricity bill. Sheesh. What was Congress thinking? The problem was not in the legislation itself. The problem was with what Congress thought the economic threshold of “poverty” should be. This presented the nation with a demographic that still was in dire need of public assistance.

So, although welfare was definitely reformed and got a lot of people off the government dole, a whole other problem was created. More families and disabled people simply became impoverished. Many of these people worked but did not earn a living wage. So, for the many anti-immigrant xenophobes out there who thought it was the immigrants who poured across the border and stole American jobs, the gringa will tell you to look at the numbers. From 1996 until 2001 it was not the immigrants filling these low paying positions. It was former welfare recipients, about 9 million to be exact.

So, if you want to measure success by the caseload numbers, yeah, Clinton achieved his goal. However, if you want to measure success by comparing quality of life before and after, it’s a different story altogether. Consider that most of these transitioned welfare recipients could not work full-time or year round, especially single moms. Many earned minimum wage or just a bit more. Either way, it was not enough to provide a decent standard of living for their families. Once you consider achieving a decent standard of living to be the measure for success, you can see the Clinton administration failed miserably. Although welfare enrollment declined, the numbers of the poverty class increased dramatically.

Consider that the poverty line as established by the government was $11,920 for a family of three. Consider the working single mom that may be making about $8 per hour and working only when her kids are in school because she can’t afford child care. Working eight hours daily, five days weekly, ten months annually (two months off for her kids school summer break), with no days off, she then brings home, on average, $12,000 annually. So, she makes too much to be considered in “poverty” in order to qualify for government benefits, but, you tell me, does she make anywhere near the $30,000 needed to afford the basic necessities for an adult and two children in 1996?

Out of 126 New York City “welfare to work” cases, the average person was earning $7.50 hourly and 58% were supporting their families with their work income. The gringa asks, “How in the hell did they manage?” Nationwide studies reported that most welfare recipients that entered the workplace earned well below poverty level. This was actually good news because they would qualify for means- based Federal and State benefit programs. However, there were plenty more that earned over the poverty level but nowhere near the $30,000 threshold that was the bare minimum for a small family’s basic necessities. Thus, this legislation created a large poverty class in America.

When you check the specific budget cuts, it is easy to see that most of the people affected were immigrants, elderly, disabled and single mothers. These are the nation’s most vulnerable classes of people. What this legislation meant is that poor people who were dependent on government programs to feed and house them and provide medical care actually became poorer, and possibly un-housed, underfed and without health care (unless they showed up at a hospital emergency room; which is exactly what happened, starting a new trend of packed ER’s, but that is fodder for another gringa story).

Social workers who are the ground zero, in the trenches workers and see the direct effect of these programs, criticized this reform. They claimed that by replacing the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program with the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, even if a family met all eligibility requirements, there was no assurance that children or parents would receive assistance. This was because oversight of the block grants was performed by individual states. States had their own requirements for eligibility. This meant that some states could deny aid to families with teenage parents or to families where both parents were present in the home, even if they met every Federal qualifier and regardless of their income level, if they had any income at all. Also, once the grant money ran out, states would place applicants on a waiting list for the next Federal funding period.

The U.S. Commission on Civil Rights had its own criticisms of the reform. They considered that within the welfare system was institutional racism and discrimination. They felt the legislation did not take into consideration the gender gap in wages. Rather than help women on welfare gain meaningful employment, the nation simply cracked down on eligibility requirements.  The government focus was on “work first” without doing anything to level the workforce playing field.

Many welfare recipients whose job and below poverty line wages qualified them for benefits would tolerate discriminatory practices in the workplace out of fear of dismissal and loss of benefits if they filed a complaint. Many immigrants were discriminated against with regard to case management and receiving benefits they qualified for because of language barriers.

To remedy these discriminatory practices, the USCCR recommended that Federal funds should be allocated for enforcement of civil rights among recipients, investigations of allegations of violations and to train caseworkers in how to better adhere to civil rights statutes. They further recommended better data collection on the people registering to qualify for benefits as well as the recipients and that all welfare agencies be subjected to audits with regard to civil rights grievances and compliance. The gringa understands this need but can’t help but think, “Dear God. It cost money to save money simply because some people can’t treat other people right.”

Specifically where immigrants were concerned, the USCCR was concerned with the law prohibiting immigrants from receiving any aid until they had been in the country for at least five years. The living conditions of many of these poor families continued to just get worse. Although, among some groups of people, the immigrant was a favorite target to accuse of entering the country just to live off the backs of taxpayers, this was actually a myth. Prior to 1996, statistics show that immigrant families were greatly outnumbered by citizen families in receiving benefits. This is because most immigrants come to the United States looking for jobs and opportunity, not handouts. As for immigrants that did qualify for aid, many would not accept it for fear of retribution.

The USCCR’s final recommendation regarding immigrants and the 1996 welfare reform was to immediately restore full benefits to immigrants regardless of when they entered the country and regardless of the financial resources of their sponsors. They further recommended that undocumented immigrants, for humanitarian reasons, should at least have access to health care, education and food stamps. To protect their civil rights, it was recommended that language assistance be provided for them throughout every step of the public assistance process.

Although these families may still struggle to feed, house and clothe their families, all is not doom and gloom. As mothers moved into the workforce, many children left in-home care and entered organized formal care. Studies resulted in surprising findings. Many of these children benefited from these environments with increased cognitive development, learning gains, and school readiness. These studies further suggested that the adolescents of these families were more likely to become employed later on when compared to adolescents in welfare dependent homes.

Now that the nuts and bolts of the legislation as well as its aftermath has been covered, the gringa asks, “Who REALLY benefited from this legislation?” The answer? Well, number one, the politician who was pandering to: a. voters with money and influence; and, b. corporations who contributed lots of money to campaigns. How so? Well, think about it. When the labor market is flooded with people looking for jobs, guess what, wages stay low! And that’s EXACTLY what happened, So, this piece of “social” reform was really a cheap labor package for the benefit of big corporations. Remember the economy boom during the Clinton years? Yeah, well, those growing businesses needed workers, and they wanted them as cheap as they could get ’em.

The reality is, if the government wants people to be self-sufficient, they must simply accept the fact that now, as in 1996, wages are too low for many families to escape poverty whether they work forty hours a week or even 60 hours a week. The gringa believes so much more could have been accomplished by simply raising minimum wage standards across the board to a living income level. Anyone who works forty hours weekly should make enough money to keep a roof over their head, feed and clothe themselves and afford healthcare.

For critics who argue that minimum wage jobs are simply entry level jobs for people to use temporarily and then move on to a better paying career level job, the gringa has got news for you. Welcome to the “New America” where 61% of young Americans have a college education, 44% of those college educated people are stuck in low income level jobs earning less than $25,000 annually and half of those have student debt of around $30,000 a year. Raising the minimum wage to a living standard level will not make these people rich, it will make them self-sufficient. Self-sufficiency was, after all, the true goal of this legislation. So, critics, the gringa says, “Quit pointing the finger and start lifting a hand to help these hard working Americans become self-sufficient. Join the cause to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour.”


Photo credit: