Tuesday, August 29, 2006


My wife and I finally decided to go to the local Mexican restaurant to eat. We have been reluctant to go there because we heard that it wasn't that great. We also heard that it was good. So, rather than go and be dissatisfied, we decided to not go. The Mrs.. really had a desire for Mexican food, so we decided to give in and try it. The food wasn't bad. They took a little artistic license with the names of the dishes, making it a little difficult to determine what they are. You can never go wrong with an enchilada plate, so I ordered that.
One thing we miss about the RGV is fajitas. You can't find any fajitas in rural Wisconsin. Granted, they are chewy and tough sometimes; but they have a distinctive smell and taste when they are cooked. It was a great pleasure to learn that the restaurant sells fajitas. The restaurant is decorated with all kinds of Mexican artifacts. There are Barrilitos soft drinks by the front counter, which has the horns of a longhorn mounted to the wall. There is an assortment of hot sauces right in front of the cash register for use and for purchase. Just as is Mexican custom, some Christmas tinsel is still out. The tables have Mexican art sealed onto them. Ours had an Aztec warrior. The windows were the expected red, white, and green. Besides the staff, we were the only other Mexicans there. As the sun was setting, the light came through the windows and illuminated the haze that permeated the restaurant. In the corner, you could see the rising steam off the coffee pots with the reflected sunlight. The most beautiful part of our experience, after we ate, was walking to the van smelling like fajitas. I could cry.

Monday, August 28, 2006

I have my hands full

In the next couple weeks, I am looking at a packed schedule. Well, it's not just me, all the  staff at work will be busy. The Head Start will be under federal review this year, so we have to make sure everything is perfect. I spent my first week as a teacher with my own class outside redoing the playground. Consequently, I don't have a handle on the paperwork yet. I need to master the paper beast this week and get all the odd jobs at the center out of the way. I also need to start working on my courses for the CDA (Associates in Child Development). I am low on energy and ideas for writing. I expect that I'll have time to post any press releases sent to SpinRGV, but not enough to write my own posts. The review team arrives September 10th and will leave that same week. After that, I'll have more time to devote to blogging. If I do get any ideas, I will probably do audio entries to save time.

Way Back When

Way back when EdinburgPolitics.com allowed free discussion amongst their members, I made a comment that Joe Ochoa was a starter and Richard Garcia was a finisher. The evidence was clear that under the Ochoa administration, many projects were started. They did not always pay off for the city, but at least he had the entrepreneurieal spirit to try something. The Garcia administration, on the other hand, was able to take what was handed to them and run with it to make a profit.

I have reports from Edinburg insiders that tell me that Joe Ochoa has spent the time since his re-election looking for faults in the Garcia administration rather than working on his own ideas. This is no criticism of the previous administration. I would like, however, to point out to the current structure that they need to get a move on. They can only blame Richard Garcia for so much before the accusations start to smell.

I'm not telling the mayor that he's full of it. I'm simply letting him know that it's time to come up with new ideas again. Going back to the initial statement, Joe Ochoa is a starter. He has that spark that makes him gamble with city money. Sometimes it pays off, sometimes it doesn't. In any case, he should go back to what he does best. If it works, he'll get re-elected. If it doesn't work, he'll simply be replaced by somebody who can clean up his mess. With any luck, he'll actually move Edinburg forward. However, he can't do that by blaming Richard Garcia.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

New changes to SpinRGV

While trolling though other local blogs, I found some more local ones that I have added to SpinRGV. Just like RGV Life, they don't always write about politics, but occasionally do delve into the subject. More importantly, the bloggers write about things in the Rio Grande Valley. The blogs added are Being Sandy Feet, Edinburg Rocks, and Life As I See It. I also removed Octavio's feed as there were no updates.
Let's keep in mind that the RGV blogging and news landscape is ever evolving. I'll do my best to keep up with the changes. Another change I made was reduce the feeds from the last 4 posts to only the last 3. The last change is a background change on the server. Rather than re-feed blogs using the ATOM feed through Feedburner, I pulled feeds straight from blogs using their RSS feed. This should improve instances when Feedburner is running slow and fails to redirect.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Going out of town for the weekend

I'll be heading back to Oshkosh for training this weekend. We will be leaving Rice Lake on Friday night and returning Saturday evening. We will be meeting Dr. Georgianna Duarte, who is a professor at UTB-TSC. We've had training with her before. She is a funny and interesting lady. One of the things she does is go on federal reviews of Head Start programs to ensure that they meet federal guidelines. She is very knowledgable in the area. Given that she does consulting for UMOS, including training for us, she does not review any of our schools. We have the good fortune of having somebody to watch our son whilst we are in our training sessions. He will be travelling with us to Oshkosh.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

In the News

I just have to mention the article by Victoria Hirschberg about RGV Life. Thanks to Victoria. I wish her luck in her studies.
Thank you Rep. Peña and Mack Harrison for your mention on your blogs.
I hope that I don't run out of topics for writing. Keep visiting.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

We're Migrants!

Today, I had the good fortune of meeting Alfonso Zepeda-Capistran, Education Specialist/Recruiter for the Title I Education Program here in Wisconsin. He is roaming the state in search of migrant families who have school age children. His job is to interview families to find out if they fall within the federal guidelines that define a migrant. After the interview, he is able to let you know whether or not you are a migrant. If you recall, before heading out from the RGV to Wisconsin, I wrote a post that detailed my plans for the season. Well, according to UMOS, my family is not migrant. According to the Feds, we are. Understandably, different criteria are in play.
What does Title I mean for migrant children? It means that schools get additional funding to provide services to migrant children. This may include tutoring and other special services. More importantly, it's an automatic qualification for free lunch. Back home, in Mission, Texas, all children get free lunch. I don't think this is the case in Wisconsin, but I could be wrong. I'll ask somebody later. Overall, this is an attempt to help migrant children succeed against the odds. The fact is that some of the people I have met on this venture are second and third generation migrants. It's a cycle that traps many young people.
The challenges faced by migrants tend to lead migrant children to follow in the footsteps of their parents. Families that go north early or return to the RGV late have children that must change schools every year. The inconsistent educations of migrant children lend to the likelihood that they may drop out. This, in turn, results in poor job prospects, welfare, and continuation of the migrant lifestyle. After all, being migrant is more than just traveling north for agricultural and food processing jobs. It's a way of life. So, if the worst that a child can do is stay a migrant, which he or she may have known all of his or her life, then dropping out of school won't make a drastic change. After all, there is work up north every year.
Obviously, parents want better lives for their children. If they know how to help their child break the cycle, they often do what they can to help. However, many migrants don't know a better way and are not able to guide their children to it. Without education and special programs, migrant children face tough odds for success. It's not in their interest, nor the interest of society that they suffer economic hardship throughout their lives. I think that welfare, in general, is a bad idea. However, focused programs that address very specific needs like migrant education, as in this case, are very useful. Prevention is the best remedy.
In my family's case, we're migrant because I though I'd give it another go after so many years. We are fortunate in that we have options that many of the families who have traveled north like us do not. It has been both a reminder of old times from growing up migrant and a new experience as a migrant adult. It brings more understanding of the decisions that my family had to make when I was a child. Let's say that I am more forgiving of their shortcomings now that I am experiencing the same challenges. So, here I am, with a fourth generation of migrants. I think this is the end of the legacy. I remember now why I quit.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Latest good fortune

I spent the last couple days working at the school. We are taking out the wood chips that covered the surface of the playground to redo the entire surface. I've been shoveling wood chips and wheel barreling them onto a U-Haul, only to unload the truck again. Fortunately, my body is still in decent shape after having worked at Seneca. The shoveling is tiresome, but I am not sore. The only thing that hurts is my clavicle; I ran into the handle of the wheel barrel when it got caught prematurely. The greatest thing is that I will be raking in a ton of overtime as a result. This is good.
My wife and I also had more good fortune today, we saved a ton of money at Wal-Mart. Having lived in the RGV for so long, we have grown accustomed to buying sandals, shorts, t-shirts, and other cool clothing all year. Up in Wisconsin, these are seasonal clothes that are put on clearance. We found shirts for $1 and $3. I bought shoes for $3 and $5. Suffice it to say, we made killing on savings. The beauty is that we can use these clothes when we go home. I also saw a sign at the local JC Penney that advertised a 75% off sale. We didn't grab stuff that was close to the retail price; we looked for stuff that was deeply discounted. I think I like having seasons.

Some people heading home

As a result of the dry conditions up in Wisconsin and northern Illinois, where local canneries grow their crops for processing, many of the migrants who came up north to work this summer are heading back. The crop yields are low, which results in fewer production hours. For many migrants, they have mitigated losses because they have a guaranteed 40 hours per week by contract. However, they are here to work 80 hours a week. 40 hours are insufficient to meet their needs while they are here and to save much. Some of the night shift folks have decided to pack up and leave this weekend. Also leaving this weekend are college and high school students who plan on attending classes this week. The migrant community is about to get smaller this season.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Migrant worries

The weather up in Wisconsin has been dryer than normal this year. Consequently, crops aren't yielding as much as usual. This generally concerns migrants because small yields mean less work and, by extension, less money. This does not only affect migrants who work out in the fields, it also affects migrants working in canning plants. Locally, the canneries have been giving a lot of off time to their workers. The night shifts are hardly getting any hours. The good and the bad of it all is that many of the people working have contracts. So, the canneries have tough choices to make. If they cancel the season, they would basically be throwing away money on contract buyouts to the workers and farmers. If they run at full speed, they would only run a few days a week until they got more product shipped in to run another shift. Or, what they are doing is running slow to stretch out the work hours. This way, they are getting production out of workers who would otherwise be paid to sit around. This also allows them to stay in sync with the incoming shipments of raw product. There are a few migrants who are here without contracts. There is some concern amongst all migrants that the season won't last until October. This also affects the organization where I work because, without migrants, there is no need for a Head Start. There is a possibility that if the local canneries pull up stakes for the season, that our season will be cut short as well.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

A Job Lead

There is a possibility that I could end up staying in Wisconsin for longer than intended. There is a job opening, for which I have applied, that is year round. The organization has had the posting up for months without anybody showing interest in it. There is some travel involved, mostly in-state. When I first saw the job posting, I skipped over it because one of the first things it states is that a Bachelor's degree plus 2 years experience or Associates with 4 years experience is required. I've got the experience, but not the degree. I've had two people from the organization urge me to apply for the job, given my technical skills. So, today, I applied for the job. We'll see how it goes.

I talked it over with my wife. If I do get hired, she does not want to spend a snowy winter in Wisconsin, "no matter how beautiful it is." She would head back home to spend the Fall and Winter Holidays. Eventually, she would make arrangements to move out of the RGV and rejoin me up here. I'd keep myself busy working, I suppose. The job is salaried, so I can expect long hours. Well, I won't jump ahead of myself. Let's see how things go at the interview. Given how long the job has been unfilled, I think I can ask to finish out the season where I am.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I finally got my break

If you recall, I returned to work at UMOS Head Start about 3 weeks ago. I was rehired as a teacher. I have not officially worked as a teacher since then. I've been what is called a "floater". Please, no potty jokes. My job has been going from class to class and help out the teachers by giving them breaks. That's what I've been doing all of this time, filling in while teachers take breaks. It's alright; I still get paid at the teacher rate without the paperwork. I've had the opportunity to work with infants, toddlers, and preschool children. I am surprised that I actually enjoy being with infants more than being with toddlers and preschool. I thought it would be the other way around. Toddlers and preschool have their good points as well.
This is going to change now. Everything we need is now nearly in order for my classroom to open up. I have a few days to prepare my classroom. I'll be with the older toddlers. These will already be able to speak, somewhat. Potty training is still in progress, but not complete. I foresee diapers in my future. I'll be doing this for roughly a month and a half. There will probably be another teacher with me, although it has not been determined who it will be. What is probably most daunting is the amount of paperwork that the job requires. There is a form for everything. In addition, I will have to carry out things like home visits and writing lesson plans. One thing that I am currently doing is labeling my classroom with cutouts of the toys. This way, the children will know where everything goes by matching the toy to the shape. Another teacher who does this tells me that he doesn't have to clean the classroom this way. The children do it themselves. This, in turn, gave him the leisure to get all his paperwork done on time.
As in other ventures, I don't look forward to it, but I'll take it on. You don't grow if you don't go beyond your level of comfort. Obviously, when taking on something new, there is the awareness that it is by choice. I'm sure things will be fine.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Slow Sunday

Today is a slow Sunday. It's actually been a slow, uninteresting week in Rice Lake, WI. The tornado threats have passed. The temperature has been in the low 80s all week. Everybody in my circle is coasting through the days so that we can return to our homes back in Texas and Mexico. On weekends, some of us will travel to the "big cities" for some entertainment. These are generally the Twin Cities in Minnesota, Eau Claire, here in Wisconsin, or maybe somewhere farther. There isn't very much to do.

There is a big cultural difference between here and back home. It's usually a pain to travel from the North side of McAllen to the South side with all the traffic involved. In Wisconsin, we are forced to travel many miles to find things that we can easily get in the RGV. Migrants and locals think nothing about traveling 15 miles to visit Wal-Mart or to go out to eat.

I was telling a local co-worker that it seemed (past tense) that the RGV was the middle of nowhere. Growing up in the Rio Grande Valley, I guess I still have that mental schema of the past. Isn't this the reason why our middle class will go to San Antonio or Austin for the weekend?

In any case, I'm happy to report that I actually miss home and all the great things there. One example is Barnes and Noble. My wife, kids, and I are the nerdy sort; we love going to the bookstore to shop and have a coffee. We can't do that here without going to the big cities. For a pretty good restaurant, we only have Applebee's to choose up here. Back home there is greater variety of places to go and things to do. So, the good news is that the RGV has grown under our noses. It is not the uncultured backwater that I hear critics call it. The Magic Valley is an outright metropilitan area. I can't wait to once again enjoy what the RGV has to offer.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

She thought, I thought

This weekend, my wife and I straightened each other out. She wanted to do something, and I want to do something. We thought we both understood the situation, but it turns out we both misunderstood. Let me give you some more detailed generalities. She was planning on returning to the RGV at the end of August. I was planning on staying here in Wisconsin until October. I thought she decided to go home on her own, with the boy and that I would stay here. She thought that I would be joining her to go home. We sorted that out.
I had mentally accepted that I would be up here alone through September. After we got on the same page, my wife decided to stick it out through the entire season. She has good reasons for wanting to leave. I understand her point of view. In my case, I want to stay for several reasons, but two very good ones.
First, the center manager stuck her neck out for me to get me back into he program with UMOS after I quit to go to Seneca. It would be lousy of me to walk off again. I don't want to burn the same damn bridge.
Second, I'm earning good money here in Wisconsin; and, I have the prospect of paid training for a CDL to drive school buses. I may also get a paid Associate's in Child Development (CDA). I'm not too hot on that one; but, it counts towards earning more money. In short, my work is valued and rewarded here. If I tough it out, I could end up working at the Head Start at home. I'd only earn $16K, but it's better than minimum wage or being jobless.
It sounds like a criticism of the RGV when I write that I have nothing waiting for me back home. It's not a criticism of the RGV, simply my personal prospects. My wife has a good chance of getting rehired at her old job. She has other options available too. I have few to none.
In my case, I have no job to which to return. I plan on finishing my degree, so a decent job is out of the question because of scheduling issues. So, between October and January, when classes start, I can only look forward to a temporary job, which means minimum wage or not much better. I'd rather delay and minimize my exposure to that situation. I guess we'll be home in October.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Off the record

Survival is often a matter of gaming the system. Migrants have tough work seasons and give up a lot of family time to earn money. They travel over one thousand miles every year to make a better living than they can earn back home. So long as migrants keep their needs modest, they can often game the system to maximize their work season. They can often get additional money from public programs like unemployment insurance, food stamps, Medicaid, and other public entitlements.
In the case of two-income, or more, migrants, one of the couple will cash his or her checks for living expenses and the other will save their checks until just before leaving. Although many migrants, of the legal kind, have checking accounts, they are better off with their earnings in cash. This is because they will often be asked, when applying for services, how much money they have in their bank accounts. You can't very well qualify for food stamps or Medicaid with a few grand in your account. So, these liquid assets are often off the record and considered spent. By receiving these services, migrants can stretch their earnings quite a ways unless they tend to splurge. So, this covers food and healthcare.
Other costs can be covered by collecting unemployment checks. In Wisconsin, you need to work 4 months straight to qualify for unemployment. This is perfect for seasonal workers because they don't quit, they get laid off. This, then, forms the basis for receiving income to pay for monthly expenses. Thus, migrants are able to preserve their capital a little more.
Once back home in the RGV, migrants have another trick up their sleeve for making money without losing their benefits. They make all cash deals. They either sell off stuff that they took home or work for cash. This is ideal because there is no paper trail for their income. The migrants are able to eat their cake and have it too.
You may be thinking that this is fraud. Perhaps you're right, technically. Migrants, however, see it as survival. We are talking about people who don't earn very much when compared to a college graduate with an entry-level job. They have to make money somehow. Furthermore, it's up to the agencies to prove that these people have cash. Obviously, cash could just as easily not be there and the family could be in real need.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Los Fresnos Tribune is Now Syndicated

For those of you who visit the Los Fresnos Tribune for news from around that area, Kerry James, the site admin, has installed an RSS feed for the site. I have added the feed to the front page of SpinRGV. The LFT is a great niche website with original stories from the Los Fresnos area. I wish the admin good luck.

They keep coming back

I was talking to a friend from Seneca the other day. One thing you can't do too well at a factory is have good conversation. Not only do you have to stay busy, but you also have to shout to overcome the noise of all the machinery and to get through the earplugs. So I asked my friend Jaime how long he has been coming to Cumberland, WI. I was surprised to learn that he has been coming for 7 years. He further explained that he gets bored with it and sometimes wants to go elsewhere to work, but there are benefits to returning to the same place year after year. For one, he gets a raise every year that he returns. By going elsewhere, there is a good chance that he would have to start from the bottom of the pay scale again.

Another issue affecting a migrant's decision to go back to one location is housing. When migrants first move to an area, it is difficult to find a place to stay. Keep in mind that many migrants have not mastered the English language, making the challenge even more daunting. Therefore, whatever housing they acquire their first year will likely be the same housing they acquire every subsequent year.

Those are two major issues that influence a migrant's decision to return to the same job year after year. There is another, social issue that goes into the decision as well, friends. After working for so long at the same place, migrants think twice about going to where they don't know anybody. In some cases, they know and trust other migrant families. In other cases it's better the devil you know...

Of course, I always try to influence my migrant friends to seek some kind of education or certification. I encourage them to develop an inventory of skills so that they don't feel so trapped. More than anything, I think that education is mostly what many migrants need to get out of the annual cycle.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Some training

Tomorrow, as a requirement for continued employment, I will be going to CPR and First Aid training. I'll be out during business hours. My wife is already certified from her work back in the RGV, so she will stay home with the boy. I am also studying the manual to get a CDL for bus driving. Once I acquire the license, I will get reimbursed for the cost. In addition, it means more hours for me and a pay raise. There is a good chance that I could start training for an associate's in child development (CDA). I don't want to press the issue on the CDA because it requires a 3 year commitment to the program. I hope it slips through the cracks. I don't really look forward to coming up north again. It's nice and all, but I'd rather come on vacation than to work.
Besides, with the recent heartache from separating from my daughter, I have a renewed sense of urgency to finish my degree and move on with life. I don't expect to get a job in my field of study, Finance. Whether it be a banker, stock broker, or financial advisor, they're all sales jobs. They have very little to do with finance. If you go to any of these for advice, watch out. Commissions are their motivation, not your best interest. In any case, I am renewing my focus on getting out of UTPA.

They are home

My daughter and mother arrived in the RGV around 10 am. Mom got some needed rest and the girl got some needed spoiling from my mother-in-law. My wife and I are relieved that they are safe. We can't wait for the next few weeks to end so that we can reunite with our daughter.
Just as a practical matter, I changed my Virgin Mobile rate plan to something that includes unlimited nights and weekends to three phone numbers of my choice. The numbers I chose include the two grandmas' homes and my wife's phone so that we can stay in touch without racking up my monthly cost.
I have some other news with a latent effect. My wife has decided to finish out this month and then head to the RGV. This effectively means that I shall be here by myself until October. This is partially due to getting back with our first child and as a result of some other issues. I would like to leave too, but I asked some people to stick up for me to get me back into the school. I don't want to leave them holding the bag, so I'll tough it out.
In any case, the new plan will be handy when my wife returns to the RGV. I put the plan to use earlier this evening with a couple of long phone calls.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Bummed Out

Tonight, my family is bummed out. We had to do something sudden and sad. We have split up our children with our daughter going back to the RGV with my mother and our son staying here.

My mom got a job offer back in the RGV that pays close to what she needs to earn. With her leaving, it would mean that our daughter would be alone with a 13 year old family member. Earlier, this was no problem. However, with the recent surge in severe thunderstorms and the tornado warnings, we are not comfortable leaving them alone. Our son, who is enrolled in the school where we work, will always be with us. If he went back home to the RGV, he could go to pre-Kinder, but it's only half a day. There would be problems for the grandma's arranging for somebody to pick him up or drop him off.

So, we have lost my mom and our daughter on this venture. It's just my wife, my son, and I in Rice Lake until October. There was a lot of crying and hugging going on. It was sad to have to separate from our daughter and heartbreaking to see our son cry to see his sister go. It's a really lousy feeling. We had an inkling that this would happen, but it was just in theory. We expected that if it were to happen, it would be this weekend. We weren't expecting this to happen today. We weren't emotionally prepared to part.

There is a silver lining, if you think positive. We will miss our daughter, and she will miss us. She complains about her brother all the time, so she'll have a chance to see what life is without her brother, boring and empty. My wife and I have also had our daughter to ourselves when she was younger. We will have the same pleasure with our son for a few weeks. Still, it's tough to see a child go. We will miss her a great deal. I swear that this is the last time it happens. I have to finish my degree for better employment options. Things like this make one really angry about not earning enough money.

Grill and accordion audio

I added the audio to the last post, but don't like the way the player loads on another page. I'm reposting here.

Note: these are 5 recordings on a playlist. After one mp3 ends, another has to download and play, so there will be pauses. The first recording has conversation at the beginning and music at the end. The other four are mostly music. The MP3 link only downloads the first audio.

MP3 File

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

A grill and an accordion

Last night, we had a little get together outside the apartment. A friend was able to get fajitas and some Modelo beers. Another friend from the RGV plays an accordion, which he brought with him. We can't buy fajitas in Rice Lake, WI, so this was a great occasion. They fired up the grill and put the fajitas on. The accordion came out and the singing began. The songs included favorites from Ramon Ayala, Los Tucanes, and other Norteño bands. In other towns, like Wautoma, where Mexicans are well entrenched, there are frequent dances and local bands that play music in Spanish. In fact, my mom was going to a dance the night I was born. In other areas, like where we are now, migrants are not as well established as a community. We are still outsiders, to some extent. Consequently, there is no Mexican entertainment around. A while later, we had some of the local girls join our mexley crew. They danced to the songs, even if they had no clue how to dance to the music. It didn't take long for the fajitas to cook. We wrapped it up and had a fajita taco fresh off the grill before going to bed.

This weekend, we are planning a UMOS employee get together at a local lake that is good for swimming. I don't know why anybody has illusions about swimming. I know from experience that the lakes up here are damn cold, regardless of the heat wave. Just a point of comparison, when you turn the shower on to COLD in the RGV, it's tolerable. Within the initial cool sensation, you grow accustomed to the temperature. On a hot day, it's welcome relief. Up here in Wisconsin, if you turn the cold water on and dare to get in, the water is so cold you stop breathing. Once you resume breathing, it's shallow breaths all the way. If you can utter any words, it will probably start with, "son of a...!"

I suppose that it's natural for people to take some of their culture with them and to adapt to their new environment, somewhat.

I managed to record some of our hanging out. I made a playlist for you to hear. One MP3 will play, followed by a pause, and then the next. There will be 5 recordings, so there are 4 pauses in between while the new mp3 reloads.

New Court Date

I called the Mission Municipal Court this morning to find out the status of my court date reset. I missed the first date because I did not receive the notice until after the date had passed. I called to find out when my court date would be and the clerk told me that it was the previous week on Friday. When I got home and checked the day's mail, my letter was there. Before leaving Texas, I requested a court date reset. My next court date will be in September. I think I should be back by then. Chalk this up to one of the things that are incompatible with migrant life, courts. It seems that a migrant would be better off paying the fine, even if unjust, rather than travel back to the RGV to appear in court and then go back north to work. Given that the public has no say on a court date, a migrant cannot "pencil in" a date as it appears. Keep in mind that migrants are generally low-income. Keeping a good record, therefore, would involve losing a significant portion of income. In my case, we are earning more than a typical migrant would; but, fighting a ticket long-distance is still a formidable challenge.
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