Humor Urban Legends Cheap Tomatoes Viral Email Cites Arguments Against Undocumented Workers in America Share PINTEREST Email Print CSA Images / Getty Images Humor Urban Legends in the News Classic & Historic Legends Rumors & Hoaxes Animal Folklore Scary Stories By David Emery David Emery is an internet folklore expert, and debunker of urban legends, hoaxes, and popular misconceptions. He currently writes for Snopes.com. our editorial process David Emery Updated August 30, 2018 Undocumented workers in America have been a political hot potato for many years. In April 2006 an email began circulating with the subject line, "Wake Up, America," that gave an opinion about why the author thought illegal immigration was bad for America. It was modified in misleading ways and should not be considered to be authentic or to contain current facts. Email Author Changed, Facts Out of Date The original email was written from the viewpoint of the husband of an English as a second language teacher at Valley High School in Santa Ana, California. Over time, references to the original author and location were changed or deleted altogether. Ultimately, the text was anonymously revised to make it seem as though it was written by the teacher herself. The example immediately below was circulated four years after the original, in 2010. The email as circulating below had the subject line of, "Cheap Tomatoes." Much of the text matches that of the earliest 2006 version, complete with spelling and grammar errors. Whether the original author was the husband of a teacher is not known. March 2010 example: Cheap Tomatoes "As you listen to the news about the student protests over illegal immigration, there are some things that you should be aware of: I am in charge of the English-as-a-second-language department at a large southern California high school which is designated a Title 1 school, meaning that its students average lower socioeconomic and income levels Most of the schools you are hearing about, South Gate High, Bell Gardens , Huntington Park , etc., where these students are protesting, are also Title 1 schools. Title 1 schools are on the free breakfast and free lunch program. When I say free breakfast, I'm not talking a glass of milk and roll -- but a full breakfast and cereal bar with fruits and juices that would make a Marriott proud. The waste of this food is monumental, with trays and trays of it being dumped in the trash uneaten. I estimate that well over 50 percent of these students are obese or at least moderately overweight. About 75 percent or more DO have cell phones. The school also provides day care centers for the unwed teenage pregnant girls (some as young as 13) so they can attend class without the inconvenience of having to arrange for babysitters or having family watch their kids. I was ordered to spend $700,000 on my department or risk losing funding for the upcoming year even though there was little need for anything; my budget was already substantial. I ended up buying new computers for the computer learning center, half of which, one month later, have been carved with graffiti by the appreciative students who obviously feel humbled and grateful to have a free education in America.. I have had to intervene several times for young and substitute teachers whose classes consist of many illegal immigrant students, here in the country less then three months, who raised so much hell with the female teachers, calling them "Putas"(whores) and throwing things, that the teachers were in tears. Free medical, free education, free food, free day care etc., etc, etc. Is it any wonder they feel entitled to not only be in this country but to demand rights, privileges and entitlements? To those who want to point out how much these illegal immigrants contribute to our society because they LIKE their gardener and housekeeper and they like to pay less for tomatoes: spend some time in the real world of illegal immigration and see the TRUE costs. Higher insurance, medical facilities closing, higher medical costs, more crime, lower standards of education in our schools, overcrowding, new diseases. For me, I'll pay more for tomatoes. Americans, We need to wake up. It does, however, have everything to do with culture: It involves an American third-world culture that does not value education, that accepts children getting pregnant and dropping out of school by 15 and that refuses to assimilate, and an American culture that has become so weak and worried about "political correctness" that we don't have the will to do anything about it. If this makes your blood boil, as it did mine, forward this to everyone you know. CHEAP LABOR? Isn't that what the whole immigration issue is about? Business doesn't want to pay a decent wage. Consumers don't want expensive produce. Government will tell you Americans don't want the jobs. But the bottom line is cheap labor. The phrase "cheap labor" is a myth, a farce, and a lie. There is no such thing as "cheap labor." Take, for example, an illegal alien with a wife and five children. He takes a job for $5.00 or 6.00/hour. At that wage, with six dependents, he pays no income tax, yet at the end of the year, if he files an Income Tax Return, he gets an "earned income credit" of up to $3,200 free. He qualifies for Section 8 housing and subsidized rent. He qualifies for food stamps. He qualifies for free (no deductible, no co-pay) health care. His children get free breakfasts and lunches at school. He requires bilingual teachers and books. He qualifies for relief from high energy bills. If they are, or become, aged, blind or disabled, they qualify for SSI. If qualified for SSI they can qualify for Medicaid. All of this is at (our) taxpayer's expense. He doesn't worry about car insurance, life insurance, or homeowners insurance. Taxpayers provide Spanish language signs, bulletins and printed material. He and his family receive the equivalent of $20.00 to $30.00/hour in benefits. Working Americans are lucky to have $5.00 or $6..00/hour left after paying their bills and his. Cheap labor? YEAH RIGHT! THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS WE SHOULD BE ADDRESSING TO THE CONGRESSIONAL MEMBERS OF EITHER PARTY. 'AND WHEN THEY LIE TO US AND DON'T DO AS THEY SAY, WE SHOULD REPLACE THEM. Please pass this on to as many as possible. Immigration legislation is to be considered in 2010. This is important to working Americans, our economy and our American culture and heritage. Analysis of the Viral Email As will happen with viral emails, this text is liable to change further to match the political events and topics of the day. You can match the text to the example to see that it was originally written more than 10 years ago. The facts and observations cited are out of date and probably not relevant to the conditions at the school today. As such, it is wise not to forward the email as you will not be circulating verifiable facts.