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May 14, 2010

“It’s no fun being an Illegal Alien”

Joe Charlebois

The rock band Genesis released a single from their 1983 self-titled album that will not be heard on the radio these days as it is deemed to be too offensive. What is this song that can’t be played on the radio you may ask?


The single “Illegal Alien” was written as a satirical farce of the trials and tribulations of “south of the border” immigrants attempting to gain access in the United States. This song actually climbed the U.S. music charts reaching as high as #44. The video, which has stereotypical portrayals of Mexicans, has been panned as one of the worst music videos ever.


“…No don’t tell anybody what I wanna do

If they find out you know that they’ll never let me through, ‘cos

It’s no fun being an illegal alien, no

It’s no fun being an illegal alien…”


From “Illegal Alien by Genesis”


The release of this recording preceded the Simpson-Mazzolli Act by a little more than two years. The issue was at the forefront of the American conscience in the 1980’s leading to the eventual passage of the Simpson-Mazzolli Act.


The issue receded into the background as amnesty was granted.  Eventually the Immigration and Naturalization Service became ineffective in upholding their end of the Simpson-Mazzolli Act. As a result the illegal immigration population has grown over the past two decades with even more troubling issues surfacing.


The illegal immigration issue is not as simple as it once was. Even though the migrant farm worker programs were discontinued decades ago, the influx of those same immigrants did not (see “The Right Track on Illegals” December 5, 2008).


The reason amnesty was accepted in 1986 was the fact that the immigrant population was perceived as hardworking, lowly Mexican farm workers just out to support their family and make a living doing honest work.  For the most part that was true.


“…Consideration for your fellow man

Would not hurt anybody, it sure fits into my plan

Over the border, there lies the Promised Land

Where everything comes easy you just hold out your hand…”


From “Illegal Alien by Genesis”


Whether the band originally wrote the song to engender sympathy through satire or just capitalize on an issue of the day, the lyrics are telling of how the problem was perceived.


This can no longer be looked upon as just a workers’ issue; an ever larger percentage of crime – and violent crime – is coming from the illegal immigration population.


This is an issue that affects an ever increasing number of cities across the United States as Mexican drug cartels, human smugglers (coyotes), and kidnap-for-cash opportunists have turned our Southwest and Pacific Northwest into their own factories of cash. If fewer cities remain “sanctuaries,” there will be fewer places for illegal immigrants to call home, which would be a good thing. That is if the administration upholds any semblance of enforcement.


As stated in the past, a migrant worker visa should be allowed for those who would be seasonal employees. However penalties for those overstaying their visas, migrant or otherwise, should be great and the person would be subject to immediate deportation.


“It’s no fun being an illegal alien…” and it shouldn’t be.

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