America has a hero culture. From SEAL Team 6 to Chuck Norris to Steve Jobs, larger-than-life figures of great heroism and/or incredible achievement continue to be an integral part of our culture. Two strangely opposite forces keep on contributing to the hero mythos. The first is a high standard of living that produces pampered citizens yearning to be truly challenged as human beings. The second is the fact that people of great drive, vision, and accomplishment have contributed so much to America’s past, as historically this has been one of the few places on earth where personal achievement has been virtually unchecked. And so, I feel it is my civic duty to add another real-life legend to this country’s mythology. I’m going to tell you about an elite group so resourceful, so legendary, so secretive, that they don’t even officially exist. A-Team and James Bond, move over: this is the real deal.
Our incredible journey starts in the remote jungles of South and Central America, where Phase 1 of basic training begins. Future commandos start their training when they are barely able to walk. Like the Spartan warriors of yore, they are taught from a very young age to survive in a hostile environment. This includes, but is not limited to, poverty, high crime rates, drug war violence, and child labor. Only those with the smarts, toughness, and tenacity to survive and thrive in this environment are selected to move on to the next phase of their training. Now on to Phase 2: a harrowing three-part journey to northward, a journey that many do not survive.
Phase 2, Part 1. Commando recruits, having survived at least to young adulthood (though many are much older and have wives and children), now proceed northward towards their final destination. They must journey thousands of miles across deserts, through jungles, over mountains, across rivers. No directions. No assistance. No budget. They must scavenge for whatever resources they can before their journey, and complete it entirely through their own means. Any combination of boat, bus, car, animal, and good old-fashioned foot travel is used to complete the voyage. It is not uncommon for operatives to become stranded or robbed, forcing them to struggle to regain their momentum. Many die along the way. But for those who survive, it’s on to the second, and most deadly, part of Phase 2: the infiltration. Be forewarned, this is not for the feint of heart: this part of the operation has already claimed thousands of lives.
Part 2 takes agent recruits off the map completely as they attempt to infiltrate a massive nation with the most deadly and awe-inspiring military this planet has ever known. In order to complete their mission, they’ll have to face an armed and elite special unit of over 20,000 members, whose sole purpose is to thwart the completion of the operatives’ secret quest. The commandos must avoid detection and cross a fortified border to proceed northward and complete their mission. Again, no assistance. No direction. No equipment, save the clothes on their backs. They are completely left to their own devices to penetrate the border and cross hundreds of miles of desert, with no rest or amenities along the way. Nothing but what they brought with them to save them from the harsh desert sun, from starvation and dehydration, from wild animals. And all the while, they’re being hunted by enemy officers who will stop at nothing to see that their mission meets an untimely end. The contest is one of the most incredibly lopsided in the world: feet versus helicopters and ground vehicles, lone operatives versus scores of precisely trained and coordinated officers, raw human senses and intuition versus radar, infrared and computers.
But it’s not over. Not by a long shot. Even after successfully completing a nearly impossible infiltration operation, the few commandos that manage to make it through still have to reach their final destinations to complete Phase 2: Part 3. These destinations can be anywhere in a country that’s one of the world’s four largest, a country of more than three-and-a-half million square miles. Now it’s a repeat of Phase 2’s harrowing first part, with a nasty new twist: they are now in enemy territory. They stick out like a sore thumb, don’t speak the language, and are continually hunted by enemy agents. They must proceed covertly to their final destinations, where they must accomplish the final phase of their grand operation.
Phase 3: Operations. Once they’re in, operatives must now settle and create undercover bases of operations for themselves and other friendly agents. With little knowledge of the local language and surroundings, no legal protection, constantly wary of discovery and apprehension by the enemy, the commandos must now use every skill and ability at their disposal to survive and thrive. To complete their missions they must best a massive force of almost 14 million unemployed locals (almost all of them with superior education, language skills, contacts, and resources) to secure means of funding their continuing operation. This often means taking on jobs that are dangerous, dirty, and difficult. No job security. No retirement plans. No minimum wage, or guarantee of any pay at all. And all the while, they have to avoid detection by the authorities. As if surviving these brutal circumstances wasn’t difficult enough, they have to religiously scrape together any funds and resources they can spare after ensuring their own survival, and covertly send them back to their home offices thousands of miles away.
Has their dangerous mission proved successful? Overwhelmingly, yes. It is estimated that these covert operatives could be sending back billions every year. Their operations have also become so well-rooted that they have a significant impact on local economies. So well-rooted, in fact, that a localized pullout of operatives in the East shook entire industries. Make no mistake: these commandos are a force to be reckoned with. And with over 10 million currently operating, they’re not going anywhere.
And now, the most incredible part of this elite unit: their leadership. Quite astonishingly, they have none. No superior giving orders. No meticulously-planned operation. No organization whatsoever driving them on their incredible mission. Their entire motivation, mission, drive, planning, training, purpose… it all starts and ends in each and every commando’s own mind. With no skills and at no one’s urging, they take on one of the most dangerous and difficult missions in the world. They have their reasons. Family, friends, a better life. The chance to live a dream. But whatever the motivation, their extraordinary operation is created spontaneously by every operative, almost a divine calling to go forth and conquer all odds.
America is about innovation. It’s about drive. It’s about tenacity. It’s about hard work. And, more than anything, it’s about making a patriotic stand against government oppression. It’s time to meet the next all-American hero. An underdog who braved untold dangers, armed only with his wits and determination. A freedom-lover who, in the spirit of the Boston Tea Party, acted in defiance of an unjust law. An innovator who single-handedly bested and obsoleted the traditional American worker, with all the odds against him. Meet… the Migrant Worker.