In the Heartland, there is one topic of conversation that dwarfs any other current event or news: the weather. Those who live in bigger cities across the country often deride communications with Midwesterners because a true Middle American will always ask about your weather. It’s that important to farmers and ranchers, who run their businesses around Mother Nature’s mood swings.
This week is no different, and chatter at the local internet provider in Fountain County, Indiana started with the phrase, “Well, we skipped Spring and went to just plain hot.” But as Hoosiers are wont to chat, customers and staffers alike joined me in my rant about illegal immigration and the ending of a certain Clinton-era relief program known as Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 57,000 Hondurans.
Recently, President Trump issued a deadline to 57,000 Hondurans that have been in America on the TPS program since 1999, after Hurricane Mitch decimated their country. Almost two decades later, no one seems to be in much of a hurry to become an American citizen or go home—although that’s where half of their income goes to assist relatives still in the home country.
In fact, refugees worldwide send more through Western Union than all nations combined spent in relief aid. That’s a whopper of a sum to get your head around. And the good, hard working folks, on a busy weekday aren’t usually ones to do a deep internet search before conversing, but they are quick studies. And the looks of astonishment on faces was worth that tidbit of imparted information.
Dianna, 61, mused, “There are a lot of people in this country that temporary status has long ago run out. I just get annoyed with all this whining about letting them stay when they do nothing to contribute to America. If this country is good enough to hang out in for 20 years, it’s certainly good enough to become a citizen.”
The same question was batted about at the local watering hole Robie’s, where it was build your own burger day. The waitress on duty, a pretty 20-something who was shy about her name in print, was none too bashful when it came to offering her opinion.
“Good for Trump. We have people flooding into our country in droves looking for a handout when some of us work two and three jobs, with a smile, to make ends meet. You won’t see me or my friends standing in the handout line. No way, no how. Send them all packing.”
Another customer at the bar, an out of towner from the neighboring state of Illinois in town on business, offered his sage opinion over a bowl of popcorn and a Bud Light. Rick, 40, a construction manager for one of the largest Midwest agribusinesses, opined “Trump is kind of a badass. He is going to try and do right for America before any other country’s refugees or asylum seekers—which is why even this blue state boy voted for him.”
It was noted that Hump day was upon us and another round of drinks was ordered by Rick, as the patrons toasted President BadAss, cresting the edge of the weekend, great weather, and beer.