START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good
START A PETITION
x
1,284,379 people care about Politics

Immigration Laws in Arizona Leave Children Without Parents

Immigration Laws in Arizona Leave Children Without Parents

Note: This is the first in a series of guest posts by Pablo Alvarado from Arizona and the front lines of the immigration debate. The Second Installment was posted on Oct. 29.

In Arizona, law enforcement has two new tools in their supposed fight against immigration; ski masks and teddy bears.

Anyone in Maricopa County can sign-up to be part of volunteer posses that sweep through Brown neighborhoods on a self-described hunt. Upon taking up the task, they’re handed those two items, a ski mask to hide their identity and a teddy bear to hand to any children whose mother or father they rip away.

What’s happening in the state raises questions beyond our immigration laws. In seeing what’s happening in Arizona, we’re forced to ask ourselves — what kind of country do we live in? And in times of crisis, how shall we be together as a people?

My organization has long been committed to improving human rights in the state, but it wasn’t until I saw the video above that I, as a father, committed our all to doing whatever it takes to establish justice there.

Unfortunately, this is not rare footage. When we got involved, we met young people like Catherine. She is an exceptional person who has led a children’s march of hundreds chanting “Obama, we want our parents back,” and she has even testified in Congress. As incredible as that is, it is no burden a nine-year-old should have to carry. She got involved because she witnessed her own parents being detained by the Sheriff on television when she got home from school one day. After a sleepless night of tears, she found our member organization, Puente, and became an instant leader in the effort to keep families together and stop the traumatizing deportations devastating our homes.

After watching these videos, one has to ask, how did we get here as a nation? Is this the America you want to live in? Have we become so scared as a people that our national security looks like Catherine’s tears or anonymous armed men sweeping up citizens and non-citizens alike? Or, like the rest of us, are you ready to sign up and say “Alto Arizona”? (Spanish lesson: “Alto” means stop). For more information, go to AltoArizona.com.

With the country at a crossroads, I believe there is another way forward. I see it every day in the neighborhood defense committees that migrant, Latino, and indigenous communities are creating to protect themselves from out-of-control Sheriffs. I see it in the incredible art that has been created in response to Arizona’s injustices. I believe we can be a people that upholds our dignity, honors our diversity, and lives as community. But as Arizona is one dangerous destination for us, it will take us all to forge that path together.

Pablo Alvarado was forced to flee his native El Salvador and came to the U.S. with other refugees looking for odd jobs at low pay on street corners in L.A. Now, he is the director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, an organization dedicated to building a grassroots movement to achieve civil and human rights for low-wage migrant workers and all people.

Read more: , , , , , ,

Photo courtesy of HumanLeague002

have you shared this story yet?

some of the best people we know are doing it

281 comments

+ add your own
5:00PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

Thank you.

4:59PM PDT on Sep 24, 2012

Thank you.

2:25PM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

Those of you that profess their love of any and all human beings that choose to disrespect the immigration laws of the USA need to ask themselves a question. Be honest and think with your brain, not your heart...

What is it that made America such a great country? Was it something in the soil of America? Do we have "magical" soil here? Or was it the PEOPLE?

Two more questions, please.

1) If the people of Mexico are truly so "hardworking, industrious and honest," why has Mexico become the hell-hole that it truly is? Does it have something to do with the PEOPLE of Mexico?

2) Why do you seek to allow, and outright encourage the USA to 'morph' into another form of Mexico?

2:23AM PDT on Jun 28, 2012

"It's not about illegal aliens, or actually racism. It's just political."...........Beth, I disagree. I am 100% against illegal aliens, definitely am not racist (there are far more illegals than merely from Mexico) and I am NOT a Republican. One doesn't have to be affiliated with a certain political party to be against those being in this country illegally.

5:52PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Just saw an interesting poll, that said 22% of Americans would befriend an alien if they met one. That's space aliens.

Other people from different countries? Not so much.

5:24PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

It's not about illegal aliens, or actually racism. It's just political. The republicans have no problem punishing children so that their parents don't vote Democratic. Of course most of the people who buy into the whole "be very afraid" mumbo jumbo the repups are pushing, are racist.

Earnest, that claptrap was not worth posting once, much less repeating numerous times.

5:11PM PDT on Jun 27, 2012

Well said, Ernest.

The most honest message that I can impart to Mexicans that plan on entering the USA is this: "You have your own country; you CANNOT have mine."

8:27AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ Joao M.. There IS a place for everyone in the world. The place for Mexicans is in Mexico, plenty of room there, and more millionaires than in Switzerland. You can campaign to eliminate the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Let us know when that happens. We should not have abandoned children in the US. What kind of disgusting unfeeling unloving parents would abandon their children in a foreign country and leave for home ? The difference between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans ? Puerto Rico is a possession of the US and its people can legally enter continental US not as immigrants, but as Americans.

8:26AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ Joao M.. There IS a place for everyone in the world. The place for Mexicans is in Mexico, plenty of room there, and more millionaires than in Switzerland. You can campaign to eliminate the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Let us know when that happens. We should not have abandoned children in the US. What kind of disgusting unfeeling unloving parents would abandon their children in a foreign country and leave for home ? The difference between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans ? Puerto Rico is a possession of the US and its people can legally enter continental US not as immigrants, but as Americans.

8:26AM PDT on Jun 21, 2012

@ Joao M.. There IS a place for everyone in the world. The place for Mexicans is in Mexico, plenty of room there, and more millionaires than in Switzerland. You can campaign to eliminate the border between Mexico and Guatemala. Let us know when that happens. We should not have abandoned children in the US. What kind of disgusting unfeeling unloving parents would abandon their children in a foreign country and leave for home ? The difference between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans ? Puerto Rico is a possession of the US and its people can legally enter continental US not as immigrants, but as Americans.

add your comment



Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

Care2 - Be Extraordinary - Start a Care2 Petition
ads keep care2 free
CONTACT THE EDITORS

Recent Comments from Causes

The current free market economy is the root cause of climate change? Please. Nice propaganda piece…

tho in fact nothing is-flour and peanut butter etc etc r legally permitted to contain a %age of insect…

meet our writers

Kristina Chew Kristina Chew teaches and writes about ancient Greek and Latin and is Online Advocacy and Marketing... more
ads keep care2 free



Select names from your address book   |   Help
   

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.