Desirée Jaimovich, Argentine journalist

emember a few months back, when I was visited by Zoe Rachel Usherwood, Foreign Affairs Producer for Sky News in the U.K.? Well, whether you remember or not, it was right after the primaries, when there had been a lot of international attention focused on South Carolina. Well, today the same international program brought Desirée Jaimovich by the office.

Desirée is a writer and editor for the Buenos Aires Herald, an English-language publication. Argentina is, as you probably know, one of the more cosmopolitan of South American countries, a lot of people having ethnic roots from across Europe.

We talked about a number of things. She asked in particular about a recent story that recently led our front page, "S.C. first in on-job deaths of Hispanics." I told her that illegal immigration was an extremely hot issue in this country, but that unfortunately, while our lawmakers will demagogue no end about illegality, there is little talk among our politicians about the dangerous conditions that illegals often work in — and there should be.

She of course asked WHY illegal immigration was such a hot issue, and I somewhat glibly told her that it was a matter of xenophobia. A little later, though, I told her not to go by me, that I don’t understand and never have understood the roots of passion over illegal immigration. (And don’t explain to me for the millionth time that it’s because it’s illegal; as I indicated back here, maybe I’ll believe that’s core of it when folks get as stirred up about speeding on the highway.)

Anyway, we had a nice visit. I never did practice my Spanish on her though, because it embarrasses me. When I was a kid living in Ecuador, I was more or less as fluent in Spanish as English. But I’ve been back in this country since 1965, which is a long time. Whenever I try to speak it now, it’s such a struggle that I find it distressing.

9 thoughts on “Desirée Jaimovich, Argentine journalist

  1. p.m.

    And here we were, all wondering why McClatchy has to lay off 10 percent of its newsroom work force.
    Well, maybe it’s because the four or five or six people it takes to do a measly two op-ed pages a day six days a week in The State spend their office hours interviewing foreign journalists, waxing all namby-pamby about telling them we’re all xenophobes down here.
    Here’s what really upsets us about illegal immigration, Warthen: It’s ILLEGAL.
    Like your pseudo-intellectual approach to mama’s boy journalism ought to be.

  2. Desiree

    Hi, I´m writing to say the girl in the video is very cute and smart 🙂 I´m just kidding, it´s me again!
    I also enjoyed talking to you, I think you are an interesting person and it´s always good to find people with your enthusiasm and commitment in the journalistic arena.
    When it comes to immigration I believe there might be a xenophobic component, definitely and also fear. Fear for whatever is perceived as alien, different and therefore considered a menace. Which is a pity, because I believe “the mixing” is what truly enriches a nation. To become a melting pot labels and categories should be left aside, otherwise I don´t see the melting of cultures happening at all.
    Also, I think immigrants are the perfect scapegoats when it comes to recession and inflation. Someone has to be blamed, right? I wonder, however, what would happen if illegal immigrants were to leave this country. How would be doing those jobs? And also, who would be spending so much money? Because immigrants also pump money into the system.
    I would really like to see a time when we all (and this wish goes for my country as well)melt into one single unit: humanity.

  3. Lee Muller

    Instead of an intelligent discussion about the invasion of America by 30,000,000 of some of the lowest-skilled, least literate people in the world, we have the dismissal that any critics are suffering from a political psycological malady known as “xenophobia”.
    How many more illegal illiterates does America “need”?
    Why should Latinos get all the breaks, just because they are so nearby? Should America send planes and ships to Africa and Malaysia to give their wannabe illegal aliens an equal opportunity to become criminal immigrants?

  4. p.m.

    Imagine all the people,
    living right under our noses…
    …on land that we once owned but, thanks to liberal judges and legislators, has become community property where aliens exercise their mysteriously “inalienable” rights to our tax dollars, our schools, our hospitals and our hospitality.
    The melting pot is melting, urged on by those who cannot distinguish an antipathy for socialism from xenophobia and others who imagine that illegal immigrants are “spending so much money” and “pump money into the system,” which implies they brought money here when they came, which isn’t true, and don’t send money back home, which also isn’t true.
    Looks like we have a revolving Ecuador policy emanating from the rarefies Aires of Shop Road.
    That considered, I’m moving into Mr. Warthen’s office when it suits me, and if I dot a few I’s and cross a few T’s for him, I’ll be expecting McClatchy to give me part of his paycheck.

  5. Lee Muller

    I’ll bet Brad Warthen doesn’t have the same tolerance for trespassers in his yard, or his office that he urges the rest of us to have for illegal alien invaders on our streets, our parks, our schools, hospitals and stores.

  6. Richie Collins

    “Operation Wetback, No!Operation Go Back, Yes!”
    I am a female who in 1973 joined the United States Army National Guards in my state of Louisiana. And I along with millions of Americans am appalled at what our elected-sell-out-officials are doing to this blessed nation. And as a citizen you wonder what can you do to help take our country back.
    I’ve created “Operation Go Back” At,, site. I got the idea from Pres. Eisenhower Operation Wetback program he carried out in 1954. And Go Back, is what Americans want all illegal aliens to do.
    This website will give Americans ideas on what they can do in their areas, sorta like a how to site. T-Shirts expressing how we feel as Americans are at , click the link and to see them, and I would like to know what you think of them.
    We’ll be giving ideas on how to get ALL illegal aliens to Go Back to their own countries. Presently ICE is promoting a voluntary self repatriation program that has little success. Maybe they just need a little help. I think these shirts silently but, specifically say GO BACK, in a respectful way.
    I would like to ask for your help in getting the word out about “Operation Go Back”? Two of our former presidents sent back millions of illegal aliens and so can we. Pres. Eisenhower took a page from Pres. Hoover playbook and did,
    “Operation Wetback” and we can do “Operation Go Back”!
    Telling all illegal aliens they must Go Back to their countries and do it right. Thank you for all you do for this country too!

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