The Illegal Immigrant Among Us

By K. Daniel Glover

Three years ago, my wife and I had the pleasure of hosting a young Guatemalan man in our Virginia home for a few weeks. Andres came to the United States on a work visa for a job in Texas, but when he arrived, his sponsoring employer told Andres he had no work available.

The employer then told Andres he could use the short-term visa to work anywhere in the country. He chose Northern Virginia, in part because of the job market and in part because mutual friends introduced Andres to our family — including the three children we adopted from Guatemala.

We loved having Andres in our home. The children adored him and even took an interest in learning their native tongue, an idea they had resisted for years when Mom and Dad suggested it. We took Andres to the White House, treated him to exotic meals (by Guatemalan standards) and spoiled him as best we could while he struggled to make sense of his immigration status.

But after a trip to the Guatemalan embassy, we became concerned that Andres had no right to be in America. We paid an immigration lawyer who confirmed that suspicion.

Andres’ would-be employer had lied. His visa gave him the right to work only in Texas, only for that employer and only for a few months. He was an illegal immigrant — and living in our home. Worse, he was in a city on the prowl for illegal immigrants, with our house located just blocks from the “Liberty Wall of Truth.”

The lawyer advised Andres to stay in our home until he could take the earliest flight to Guatemala. We bought his airline ticket and sent him home to the needy family he had come to America to support.

I thought of Andres last week as I read and watched the confession of “undocumented immigrant” Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-winning journalist who lied for more than a decade so he could stay in America and rise to glory in a profession that prides itself on truth-telling.


The Roots Of Brand Activism

Originally published on the David All Group’s social marketing blog
By K. Daniel Glover

Those of us who use social networks to promote products, services and other favorites appreciate the value of modern media to spread the word about our favorite brands. But what we may not realize is that brand activism is not a 21st-century innovation; technology has merely enhanced a concept with roots in the mid-20th century.

The proof is in a 1966 study recently revisited at the blog of the Harvard Business Review. The research, conducted by Ernest Dichter, the father of motivation research, explores the value of word-of-mouth marketing and outlines the four things that motivate people to talk about the brands they love:

  • Product. “The experience is so novel and pleasurable that it must be shared,” blogger David Aaker concluded.
  • Self. “Sharing knowledge or opinions is a way to gain attention, show connoisseurship, feel like a pioneer, have inside information, seek confirmation of a person’s own judgment, or assert superiority.”
  • Others. “The speaker wants to reach out and help to express neighborliness, caring and friendship.”
  • Message. “The message is so humorous or informative that it deserves sharing.”

Read the rest of Aaker’s piece for his insights into how brands can apply yesterday’s lessons about word-of-mouth communications to achieve the most success in today’s social-media campaigns.