Anguiano was one of more than 50 people who showed up at the consulate office on various errands and found themselves a captive audience for Santa Ana police officials' first presentation aimed at Mexican nationals who may not be familiar with U.S. and local laws.
The morning presentations, scheduled to take place almost every Wednesday, tackle safety issues -- from the importance of crime reporting to risks associated with driving without a license, said Santa Ana police Deputy Chief Carlos Rojas.
Mexican Consul Alejandra Garcia Williams, who pitched the initiative with Santa Ana Chief Paul Walters, said she thinks the consulate office is the perfect venue for educating Mexicans, putting them at ease.
"The consul is the home of Mexicans here," she said. "This is so they can better participate in civic matters and to avoid infractions that may later become bigger problems."
For some people who carry on about illegal immigration, yes, it is true that there are illegals who come here and commit crimes. There used to be a blogger whose diatribes against illegals struck me as bordering on racist rants and I used to laugh at them as I do many similar types because they are often writing from the safe enclave of a "white" neighborhood and know nothing about the Latino culture.
I don't have that luxury. I live in Santa Ana - or SanTana, as some people call it - where I am distinctly in a minority. Yes, there are things that "bother" me about Mexicans. God forbid they should ever use a crosswalk and I always have to keep my eyes pealed while driving for the mamacita with the stroller, three children, and a load of laundry to coming skittering across the middle of a busy street. They don't watch their kids, who run rampant through Target while parents casually stroll at a snail's pace through the aisles. While many are fanatical about keeping their homes clean - bleach is a best seller at the local Northgate Gonzalez Market - trash in public is accepted. And one of the complaints at my church is that the Hispanic community does not make an attempt to invite the Anglo community into their activities but get sulky if an Anglo event is not somewhat "bilingual."
That being said, I have a lot of respect for Latinos (I say Latino, but the vast majority of locals here are Mexican). Contrary to popular belief, they are hard-working individuals. They are very family-oriented and it is a pleasure to see entire families out on a Sunday, the one day Papi has off, to enjoy each other's company. The Mexican culture has a sense of hospitality that is pronounced and you quickly learn that it is everyday and common little gestures that demonstrate that.
I know families that are decent and are here legally. Yes, not every Mexican is a wetback, imagine that. And whatever their business at the consulate on Broadway (pass it everyday) or their status, my hat is off to Santa Ana PD for a program like the one above.
But then, I'm biased. Because I live here. I know there are problems in Mexcian neighborhoods. I am hopeful that they can be solved, and programs like this help.
Love ya, SAPD!