By Hipolito Munoz, Managing Editor
“Dear Immigrant, I don’t want you here because I am not doing well and I am afraid that the only opportunities I may have, you will take. I understand that you are also looking for opportunity, but the opportunists are now using you to replace me. This is not personal, but it is personal. My fight is not with you, but I am not sure whom else to fight. I see your children suffer, and I also see mine struggling. I see your family hurting and I see my family scared. It’s not personal, but it is. I have been told how lucky I am and then they tell me to be grateful for the opportunities, which, I can’t seem to find. There are many very smart people that tell me you are the problem, and as I try to survive, I don’t have time to investigate, I must trust someone who is on my side, or so it seems. So, its not personal because I don’t know you, but it is, because I am afraid for me and my family.”
In immigration policy, fear drives the opposition, and that fear is not something that should be ignored or dismissed. They are rooted in real situations that affect the current citizens. I write current because if you look closely, some of those most opposed to President Obama’s plan are first generation US citizens whose disdain for those that come after them from their own ethnic communities is strong. They especially dislike those from communities they dislike or don’t understand.
The US is now changing faster for those in positions of power and responsibility care to accept. So what do we do? We press on, and we tell our stories. We need to be more compassionate than we have ever been. We must look to the example of Reverend King and show those that are just scared that we are here to make this country better and to those that hate these immigrants, that there is no acceptance for their vitriol. The New York Times is launching a Spanish language version, want to try and explain why?
As Latinos, we have a lot to learn about living with our neighbors. We hear constant derisive comments about our African – American neighbors, Asians and other non-Anglo individuals. If we do not change this and learn to respect them as much as the community wants to be accepted, we will lose the chance to be an example of a community that treats others as it wants to be treated.
We all know that there are many situations where we have experienced the love and the opportunities afforded by the US, some of it unintended. The way the structure of the legal system is designed, it allows for the prosperity of the country to be tied to the prosperity of the individual, the oligarchs will soon find out that this is not a country where people are okay to being taken advantaged of. There are those that would have us believe that we are each other’s problem so the undocumented, or illegals, whatever you prefer, are the latest effort to divert focus on the real issues that are haunting us. The biggest is the divide between the wealthy and the rest of us. There are those that are rich who can still lose all they have through a series of business or personal mishaps, and then there are those that are so rich, they are insulated from situations that would destroy a family. The situation is complicated, let’s not get confused about what the problem is, fear and disdain for the poor. As a “Christian” country, we need to revisit our hearts.