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Reviews, Rants and All That Other Good Stuff

Immigration Uproar Over…Pizza? May 2, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — meganclose @ 8:44 am

    Antonio Swad has become yet another pawn in the Great Immigration Reform



    Swad owns Pizza Patron, a Texas-based pizza chain.  There are 65 stores in six

  states.  Things have gone well since the first Pizza Patron opened in 1986.  And then

  Swad had to go ahead and try to expand his consumer base.


    The controversy has to do with the decision to accept pesos as well as dollars.  Sales

  have increased steadily since this practice was implemented at Pizza Patrons

  countrywide.  But so have the angry phone calls, emails and death threats.


    Swad contends that his decision was simply to reach out more to the Hispanic

  community, the chain’s largest consumer base.  For the customers that travel back to

  Mexico, they can “dispose of their pesos that they didn’t change at the border.”


    As Swad says, “we’re talking about $5 or $10.  We’re not talking about enough

  money to buy a new car.”  I’m not saying that this is the most brilliant idea that I’ve

  ever heard, but it’s not as if anarchy will arise through this one store’s choice to accept

  alternate currency.  People aren’t going to try and pay their taxes in seashells.


    American visitors to border towns in Mexico are allowed to use American dollars. 

  And sure, it can be argued that if Pizza Patron accepts pesos, will it also

  accept Canadian dollars, or other non-American currency?


    Some believe that all of this will discourage Mexican immigrants from assimilating

  into American culture.  I’m really not concerned.  The chances that they will get all of

  their consumer needs met at places like Pizza Patron are slim.  Even if more stores

  follow in the footsteps of the pizza stores, no big chain will follow suit.  And plus, I’d be 

  more concerned about how item packaging, signs and the like are in multiple

  languages.  If you move to a foreign country, and are able to communicate in your

  native tongue, there is less of an incentive to assimilate than if you are able to use

  some pesos to buy a dinner.  I agree with Swad: “I don’t think that assimilation is

  necessarily tied to that 100 peso bill you have tucked away in your sock drawer.  I

  think assimilation is…a much bigger and broader subject than that.”  Because this is

  such a heated subject, people are making mountains out of mole hills.


    As far as monetary issues facing America today, I am much more concerned about

  the massive deductions Uncle Sam makes out of my paycheck.  Where does that

  money really go?  What about the hundreds of dollars that people are forced to spend

  monthly to get where they need to go?  Why are the majority of Americans in some

  sort of debt?  Why is there so much poverty and homelessness?  Why are incomes

  being siphoned for social programs that don’t seem to combat these issues 

  very well?  No matter where you stand on the immigration dispute, it’s ridiculous to

  get riled up about issues as small as this one.  I think it weakens the side of people 

  fighting for immigration reform.  The people who send death threats (or threats of

  any kind) are extremists and irrational.  And with people focusing on the outlying

  events, no resolution will ever be reached.


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