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22 Feb 2017

Ask a Mexican: Why Don't Mexican Illegal Immigrants Simply Apply for Citizenship?

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Dear Mexican: I asked my dad why the Mexican illegals don’t just apply for citizenship instead of coming here illegally, and he told me that they are not able to apply for citizenship. Is this true?

Wondering in Wenatchee

Dear Gabacho: They ain’t “illegals,” son: They’re “immigrants.”

But even before Donald Trump became president, the citizenship path for any Mexican who came here without the prior approval of the American government, or overstayed a visa, was as rocky as the Republican Party’s hope of attracting any Mexican voters. Asylum and “temporary protected status” requests are impossible, since Americans think despotic governments and natural disasters only happen to whites, and the occasional Jew. Marriage to a citizen used to be easy, but Sept. 11 fucked that up forever. (Thanks, Osama!) The most surefire way to get legal was to join the military, because rich and middle-class gabachos always love poor morenos dying for the right for them to whine, but even that didn’t stop the Obama administration from deporting veterans who committed crimes but were not yet citizens.

Now, with Trump as president, the only hope for undocumented Mexicans to get amnesty is for some poblano to sneak into Trump Tower and slip some pápalo into his taco bowl; the resultant shock will allow the ghost of Zapata to take over Trump’s mind. A zacatecano can dream, ¿qué no?

Dear Mexican: Some time back, I watched a race on TV that took place in Long Beach. One of the interesting things in the race was a team of Mexican drivers (Adrian Fernández and Luís Diaz) driving an Acura race car. As a fan of worldwide racing like the American Le Mans Series, I think it’s badass when Mexicans are racing with the best of ’em. I know Mexico has a good history of racing against other drivers in America and the world, but I want readers to know, too.

How much can you tell about Mexico’s race car drivers and race tracks? Do you think this will inspire a Mexican American out here to start learning how to race?

Just Curious

Dear Gabacho: Mexicans have always had a need for speed, whether it’s quarter horse racing, the caballos of corridos and the Mexican Revolution, Grand Theft Auto V, the entire Fast and Furious franchise, or classic films like El Automovil Gris (The Grey Automobile) or La Camioneta Gris (The Gray Truck—sorry, why Mexicans love gray in their getaway cars might be the only pregunta about Mexican anything that I can’t answer).

Race car series are a trickier affair: , Mexicans like Fernández and Daniel Suárez (who won last year’s NASCAR Xfinity Series—the first foreigner to win a title in the official sport of good ol’ chicos) have competed and done well in racing worldwide—indeed, Suárez is scheduled to compete in this weekend’s Daytona 500. But the sport is only within the grasp of the wealthiest of Mexicans due to its exorbitant yet understandable costs.

Then again, Mexicans love a winner and love to spend money on their ranflas; if Suárez starts Reconquista-ing NASCAR, let’s hope he inspires Mexicans in the United States who like street racing to get their NOS-fueled Hondas off Interstate 5 and away from all the innocent people they kill.

Ask the Mexican at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; be his fan on Facebook; follow him on Twitter @gustavoarellano; or follow him on Instagram @gustavo_arellano!

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