In May, shortly after my VDARE.COM column "Patriotic Hispanics" appeared, I received an e-mail from California resident Melva Tapia.
Melva introduced herself as a second generation Mexican-American and a NumbersUSA activist fighting against illegal immigration.
Melva further described herself as someone who "loves this country and is dismayed to see it become an annexation of Mexico."
As she put it:
"The invasion of aliens from Mexico is overwhelming."
Over the course of several weeks, Melva and I exchanged e-mails and had two telephone conversations.
When she told me about her family, I quickly understood why Melva is so troubled.
Here, in Melva's own words, is Tapia saga:
"My grandparents legally immigrated from Mexico in 1915. They had all of their seven sons and two daughters here in the US. They were strict disciplinarians and as the patriarch and matriarch of a large family, they were significantly instrumental in ensuring that their family members both respected and supported the nation, its culture, its laws and mores.
"Without exception, the five generations of our family have lived by those expectations that our grandparents established as a firm rule. Of my grandparent's seven sons, six served in the U.S. military: three during World War II, one during the Korean War, and two during Vietnam.
"Uncle Ray, served in World War II in the Air Force and the Coast Guard; Uncle Manuel was also in the World War II as a Merchant Marine; Uncle Rudy was in the US Army assigned to Germany; Uncle Richard served in Korea with the US Army; Uncles Ruben and Bill were both US Army Paratroopers in Vietnam.
"Each of my uncles served with honor and pride. My grandparents are gone now but they left a wonderful legacy to this magnificent country."
I asked Melva to comment on how she views the current crisis in illegal immigration.
"I must admit that I harbor great resentment of the illegal immigrants and for Vicente Fox who is behind this disregard for our immigration laws. Fox is an ass. Historically, the governmental officials in Mexico have been crooks and the present administration is no different. I resent that instead of doing things to improve Mexico, he is actually encouraging the 'cream of the crap' of Mexico to invade the US with the promise that Mexico will eventually take over the Southwestern states. All too sadly, that seems to be coming to fruition."
Continuing, Melva said:
"The real truth and sadder yet is that Fox simply doesn't want the poor and uneducated people of Mexico to remain there. The US government is also a big part of the problem because by turning a blind eye to illegal immigration, they get the cheap labor they want so badly so they can fill their coffers regardless of the cost to American taxpayers."
I asked Melva how illegal immigration has affected her directly:
"Just across the street from me, there is a house that has 15 illegal aliens living in it. It is not unusual to see them urinating in public. I have called the police many times without any response."
When Melva and I talked about Independence Day and what it means to the Tapias, she told me that
"On July 2001, our family, all 5 generations got together for a family reunion and also to memorialize the passing of my Uncle Manuel who was with the Merchant Marine during WWII. He passed away in 2000 and was buried at the National Cemetery in Los Angeles. My Uncle often said that having served his country was a highlight of his life.
So another Uncle had his flag placed in a presentation case that he had specially made for the occasion. At the family reunion we presented it to my Aunt and her family. Then, we took a few moments to honor all who have served and to give thanks to God for His greatest blessing to our family...a wonderful life, in a wonderful country!"
Melva is finishing a book about the Tapia family beginning with a chapter on her grandfather who fought with Pancho Villa's irregular army during the Mexican Revolution.
In the meantime, she plans to "continue to fight for what is right for America and Americans" regarding immigration reform.
Joe Guzzardi [email him], an instructor in English at the Lodi Adult School, has been writing a weekly newspaper column since 1988. This column is exclusive to VDARE.COM.