by John Clark –

Hi my name is John Clark. I am writing this story as I am about to leave what has 
been my home for 54 years. I am leaving because I feel that I have been betrayed by my 
government. It seems that Mexican people coming into this country illegally are saying that 
the White man took part of their country from them. They claim they are going to take 
Atzlan (occupied Mexico — Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California) back and all non- 
Chicanos must leave or be killed. So, I must go to Washington and work to inform my 
government how serious the situation has become.

I grew up in a neighborhood of San Francisco that in todays liberal terms was multi 
cultural, i.e., Irish, Italian, Mexican and Black. There were the usual problems with race 
relations, but nothing that couldn’t be overcome. Little did I know what lay in wait for our 
country many years down the line. I always enjoyed the many cultural adventures I could 
experience in San Francisco. I didn’t even think to ask why there were no Blacks or Whites 
working in Chinatown, I accepted their cultural identity and enjoyed going there to 
experience the exotic smells and the different lifestyles. T did not question why there were 
no Whites or any other races in the Black neighborhoods. I also enjoyed visiting these 
neighborhoods and didn’t understand why most people there didn’t care for White people 
coming into their neighborhood. The same was true for the Mexican neighborhoods.

I became fully aware of the seriousness of the problem of illegal immigration 
approximately three years ago. I heard about people breaking the law and being rewarded 
for it with social services, medical services and education and paying nothing. This I could 
not understand. I was very angry because I have worked all my life and a few years ago I lost my job. I had a wife and two children and I fell through the cracks and couldn’t get any 
help. I heard about a group of people in San Rafael who were upset that the City of San 
Rafael was going to build a hiring hall for illegal as well as legal day laborers. I joined 
these people daily picketing on the street where the day laborers congregated to be picked up 
for work. We videotaped the license plates of the people hiring them and turned the tapes 
over to the INS. When we started there were up to 800 day laborers standing on the street. 
Within a week the streets were almost deserted. Then one Saturday, a group of protesters 
from Berkeley and San Francisco showed up with bullhorns and banners. They claimed to 
represent the Communist Party,

Shining Path Guerrillas and other far left groups. They 
started calling us names such as racist pigs. The Mexican laborers began coming back.

They started to call the women that were picketing with us names and spitting on them. The 
police did nothing to stop them.

We thought because of the word “illegal” that we could inform the public and the 
problem would be solved — case closed. We started working on Prop. 187. We were right, 
the public voted for Prop. 187. Then a Federal Judge blocked the will of the people and we 
are right back where we started.

Over the past few years I have watched friends and acquaintances leave California. I 
am part of a mass exodus out of California, a refugee in my own country. Now I feel I must 
go to Washington and do what I can to convince my elected government officials that it is 
time for them sit up and take notice of what is happening to my country.

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