Immigrants Posts

Immigrants Get the Jobs Done


I stopped at the concierge desk. It was nearly 8 p.m. and we had not yet had dinner. “Where’s a good place to get pizza?” I asked.

“Giordano’s,” he replied.

“Is it far?”

“No, easy. Three blocks up to Michigan and then three blocks up to Randolph.”

“Where are you from?” I asked, responding to his thick accent.

I ask everyone in Chicago where they are from because almost everyone has an accent. The Uber driver who picked me up from the airport was from Kakistan. He’s earned his Bachelor’s degree in Moscow and is currently working on his Masters degree at DePaul.  The Lyft driver who took us from the library presentation to our hotel grew up in Mexico. “I was homeless as a child,” he said, explaining that he had a troubled mother. It is for those reasons, he has never smoked, never drank. His Muslim faith enables him to heal from all that childhood trauma. read more

On Writing: Cry in the Night

The following interview is with Lance Jay, author of A Cry in the Night. Jay has written numerous books under different names. This work is available in eBook and paperback. This recent work is a romantic suspense story.  Click here to order your copy.

Q: Where did the idea of this work originate?

A: I live in a tourist town where undocumented workers can be quite vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous business owners. I heard about a practice in which student workers are invited for “internship opportunities.” Before they come, they sign away their rights to fair wages, etc. for “free” room and board.  Originally, this was intended as a way of giving students internship/study possibilities. However, it can be abused and used as a way of getting cheap work and providing really hazardous living conditions. One of our local churches is working to put a stop to this practice. read more

What Donald Trump and Terry Jones have in common


Terry Jones, remember him? He was the so-called pastor/prophet  of the Florida-based Dove Outreach Center who had a hankering for burning stuff. The Koran. Effigies of Obama. His own character. My students at Central Washington University used to get so fired up when I would lecture about Jones. Students who had brothers or sisters serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. They felt correctly that Jones’s inflammatory rhetoric would endanger American soldiers.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Jones took to the Internet and issued a call for an International Day of Burning the Koran. He ended up hosting the book burning himself at his Florida fraud church. That then led to a retaliatory action by Afghan extremists, who stormed the UN and killed a dozen people, including American soldiers.The Defense Department and Homeland Security and everyone else tried to warn Terry Jones that his stupidity could and most likely would put American military in harm’s way. Secretary Robert M. Gates and Gen. David H. Petraeus warned him his actions were endangering the lives of U.S. military personnel. read more

About that Palin Endorsement


If I wasn’t sick enough already, then there was the moment I spent watching Sarah Palin’s endorsement of Donald Trump. I couldn’t bear to watch the whole thing, given my weakened condition. I find Palin nauseating even when I don’t have the flu bug.

What, pray tell, do Americans see in this woman?

Isn’t having a Palin endorsement the same as having Putin invite you in for some of his special home-brewed tea?

I couldn’t watch Palin, given my already queasy state, so I read the transcript of her endorsement instead. read more