Homeless, Undocumented Immigrants, Foreigners: The Worthless and Nonexistent

There is a new bumper sticker being sold alongside the varieties of pipes and bongs offered in an Ocean Beach store in California courtesy of Ken Anderson, an employee of The Black. The bumper stickers, “Please Don’t Feed Our Bums” have proven to be so profitable that The Black is now selling $16.00 t-shirts and hats with the same, sweet sentiment.

Soon to follow in devaluing the homeless was the city of Miami. Commissioner Marc Sarnoff successfully led the passage of an ordinance that prohibits feeding the homeless. Under the guise of food safety, people caught committing this crime of compassion will be slapped with a fine and jail time.

This Isn't Something New

In 2006, the city of Orlando passed an ordinance prohibiting feeding the homeless by limiting licenses to charitable organizations—maximum number of licenses allowed to be issued to organizations (maximum number of times homeless are allowed to eat): two times per year. It took two years for a Federal judge to overturn the ordinance.

In 2007, Escondido, a small city in California, arrested a homeless man living in his car. Accused of being a drug dealer, the man’s car and all worldly possessions were confiscated and sold despite all charges being dropped and his release 16 days later. The man filed an appeal to the city to obtain his belongings. It was denied.

And in the current year, a group of homeless men and women in the city of Escondido were victims of identity theft. While giving an interview to the local paper about the crime, one of the homeless women displayed confidence in the city’s police department stating that just because they were homeless didn’t mean the city would let the crime go without investigation. But would it?

It wasn’t until five days after the story appeared in the paper that another story followed indicating the city’s police department opened an investigation. No updates have been reported in the news.

Should this make us angry? Whole-heartedly, I think so, yes.

Let’s examine some comments that the above story generated on the newspaper’s website, noting that the lack of investigation was not the center of conversation. Residents speculated as to who would commit this sort of crime, because who in their right minds would want the identity of a homeless person?

there are probably around 2 dozen Jose's , Jesus's and Rose's using each number right now to defeat the e-verify checks...”

“NCT wrote: "Escondido police Detectives Lynn Feely and Tom Phelps said they still need to determine if they do have a fraud on their hands. "We're not sure if it is a scam or not," Phelps said." So why then is this a story? Besides, what can you get from the homeless except crabs???”

“So get what information that they can from those who feel they've been taken advantage of, go after and prosecute anyone fraudulently using the social secutiy numbers, prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law...ID theft is way too easy and since this is a government issued number the government should be tasked with helping to go after anyone but the one that the number is assigned to...given the demographics of Escondido, there are probably around 2 dozen Jose's , Jesus's and Rose's using each number right now to defeat the e-verify checks...”

“there's always going to be someone trying to get around e-verify!”

“Illegal immagration at it's best. Keep feeling sorry for them.”

“Hmmm...who among us would possible want the identity of a poor homeless person?
Oh wait I can think of who would. Nevermind.”

Due to the comments listed above, one could surmise that the worth our country’s homeless ranks only slightly above the worth of illegal immigrants—maybe it’s a tie—I’m not sure. 

How Much Does our Society Despise Undocumented Immigrants?

During recent debate for a bill that would have provided healthcare for 9/11 responders suffering illnesses due to dust inhalation, many members of congress expressed their desire to exclude illegal immigrants from receiving healthcare who may have been employed as a member of a first-response team. In order to avoid this exclusion being added by Republican leaders, the bill required passage by a majority--and failed. This makes one wonder if some members of congress realize that there are people fighting for our country who are not US citizens or if they conveniently forget about that fact.

Not only have of our nation’s heroes and their well-being been tossed to the side because of certain people (illegal immigrants) that may be among them, but the tax increase to pay for the healthcare was at the center of debate which, ultimately, caused the bill to die.

In order to prevent further outrage over deficit and spending issues, the bill provided for payment. Who would bear the burden of the cost? Large and profitable corporations that manage to avoid paying taxes by shipping jobs overseas. This aspect of the bill proved to be too unfair and unjust for these corporations for many of our country’s leaders (mostly, The Party of No leaders). So many of our ill, brave first-responders that risked their lives for strangers, without hesitation, will continue to face the decision of whether to buy food for their families or pay for their healthcare. My guess is, due to their occupations, they will always put themselves last.

(The bill passed the House last month by removing the majority requirement. Thank you, Congressman Anthony Weiner! We'll see what happens (or doesn't happen) in the Senate)

How Did We Allow This to Happen? Why Did We Tolerate This Decision?

In examining the recent ACORN fiasco, it took less than two weeks to defund the organization that had been in existence for 40 years due to video footage that has since been determined to be cut and edited like the recent Shirley Sherrod tape. ACORN had received an average of $1.3 million per year in funding, concentrating on issues low- and moderate- income citizens face like mortgage restructuring to avoid foreclosure due to unfair interest rates, assistance with obtaining healthcare and decent paying jobs, etc. The majority of our country was outraged that such an entity was awarded funding and demanded defunding--immediately.

While the defunding vote was taking place, Blackwater (now Xe, awarded more than $1 billion dollars in taxpayer funding since 2001) was being awarded federal contracts despite committing murder of Iraqi citizens, and DynCorp (also a $1 billion dollar recipient in taxpayer funds) had just been awarded $230 million in a new federal contract despite being involved in sex-slave and/or human trafficking activity in Bosnia.

This makes me wonder if people that live outside of the United States of America have any consideration whatsoever. It indicates that foreigners don’t even exist, because crimes committed against people living outside of the United States aren't given a voice.

At the same time all of this was occurring, Congressman Darrell Issa proudly announced to his constituents that he had been investigating ACORN for over a year on a hunch that it was corrupt. One would think that if corruption is high on this representatives list of priorities that he would have publicly opposed federal contracts to entities committing murder and human trafficking activity. But, he didn’t, and he never has.

I don’t know how to fix this problem. I don’t find it acceptable, or even tolerable, that people are so easily dismissed or considered non-existent based upon the color of their skin, where they were born, where they live or how they live.

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Comments 7 comments

Jillian Barclay profile image

Jillian Barclay 6 years ago from California, USA

Awesome hub, Deni! It is outrageous how we treat the homeless and the undocumented aliens! How shameful to pretend they are less than human! Actually, we probably do spend more on our pets per year than we spend to help people we deem less than worthwhile! I don't know what to do about it either. Be prepared for some rants about your hub, though! Those who are intolerant will probably comment and give you their 10 million reasons why illegal immigrants are so dangerous. When they do, find out if they are also Christian? Even though intolerance and Christianity don't seem to be compatible, today they are bed buddies!


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california Author

Thanks for reading and commenting.


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 6 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

Thanks for speaking out in behalf of the homeless, the hungry, "illegal aliens" and "foreigners," Deni Edwards. I always thought Americans had big hearts, but I'm not so sure anymore. It appears the Tea Party and conservative movements today are based on assaulting the homeless and "foreigners" -- or, more generally, the poor and downtrodden. It's very sad.


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california Author

Thanks for reading and commenting, William. I think it has always been a problem--but, I do agree with what you say--it seems its become acceptable to hate certain people and that its okay not to be ashamed about it.

There are still plenty of us who don't feel that way, we just aren't as loud as them.


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Wonderful Hub Deni. It needed to be said. Many towns seem to be more worried about the aesthetics of their towns than caring for their people (and yes this includes down on their luck citizens not just taxpayers). This country used to be more compassionate but now it seems like our politicians are more focused on retaining goodies for their voters. Cowards all. You are correct about the far Right which includes Issa. They went after ACORN and found a couple of video clips and excluded all the good they do. Thanks for exposing this disgrace!


Deni Edwards profile image

Deni Edwards 6 years ago from california Author

HSchneider, "this includes down on their luck citizens..." "Cowards all." I couldn't agree with you more.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting.


JetSen profile image

JetSen 5 years ago from California

Good post.. fatherless, widow, homeless, undocumented, poor, and needy.. It's sad that some people don't care for humanity no more, but our country does great only when our hearts are big.

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