Tag Archives: Raids

3/28-4/3 – Pushed to the brink: Why the United States is not the “land of the free”

3 Apr

Mexican Immigrants Face Substandard Housing, NY Times, 3-29-2011

‘Silent raids’ squeeze undocumented workers, Wall Street Journal, 3-29-2011

Confusion over policy on married gay immigrants, NY Times, 3-29-2011

The discrimination that undocumented workers are facing, especially in this rough economy, is having a rippling effect on multiple levels. A recent New York Times article reported on a housing study that revealed that Mexican immigrants in New York are experiencing some of the toughest housing conditions: “About 43 percent of all Mexican immigrant households are overcrowded” and “35 percent of Mexican households spend more than half their income on rent.” Sadly, the results of this study comes as no surprise since undocumented workers aren’t even given the right to have decent-paying jobs that they deserve just as much as any human being. Instead, undocumented immigrants are being fired left and right as the result of employment audits, also termed “silent raids,” that have been happening under the Obama administration. Left with few to no options, these workers are forced into lower-paying jobs that potentially exploit them even more because of their undocumented status. Another article in the New York Times discussed how undocumented gay immigrants face yet another double-standard, which at this point should be a quadruple-standard: “While it is routine for American citizens in heterosexual couples to obtain green cards for their foreign spouses, the Defense of Marriage Act has barred such status for immigrants in same-sex marriages.”

As a country that prides itself on being “the land of the free,” it is shameful that our policies serve to make our newest arrivals economically and legally vulnerable while only protecting the interests/opportunities of the privileged. How is this an equal opportunity and free country? Instead of trying to deport all undocumented immigrants and in the process destroying lives and spending enormous amounts of money, we should establish a path – and a right – to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who are trying to have a better life for themselves and their children. Shouldn’t we all have this basic right? I think so.

In Other News

Deported 4-yr old citizen Emily Ruiz finally comes home, Colorlines, 3-30-2011

4 year old Emily Ruiz is reunited with her parents after wrongfully being deported to Guatemala.

Arizona SB 1070 copycats fall flat in most state legislatures, Colorlines, 3-31-2011

COLORLINES’ Seth Wessler describes the status of legislations like Arizona’s SB 1070’s in states across the country such as Mississippi and Georgia. While as many as 14 states have attempted to pass what Wessler terms “show me your papers” bills, almost all have or are expected to fail. He attributes this achievement partly to community mobilization and business lobbyists.