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Immigration Raid in Chicago

25 April 2007

 Lorena Diaz de Leon, a U of Chicago medical researcher, who works with the Mexican imigrant community in her native Chicago, when not visiting family in San Luis Potosi and Guanajuanto.  As soon as we get it set up, she’ll be contributing under her own by-line.  I had trouble setting up “contributors” before, so have patience. 

On 26th street and Albany Avenue in Chicago, Illinois yet another immigration raid has befallen illegal, Mexican immigrants. The reason for the raid was supposedly to seize an illegal fake-documentation organization housed in the discount mall. Randall Samborn of the US attorney’s office reported that the agents made arrests as well as searches throughout the Little Village area (a predominately Mexican immigrant community on Chicago’s south side).

I often wonder in what form these raids will persist. In these past couple of months, the raids have become more common and have literally spanned across the nation, including raids in: Georgia, North Carolina, Baltimore, Washington, D.C, Texas, and now, Chicago.

The Chicago incident disturbs me all the more because it has become personal now. It has occurred in the neighborhood I grew up in and it has afflicted the people that continue to foster that community’s richness in Mexican culture (a great contribution to the diversity of Chicago’s citizens). And yes, I consider immigrants, “citizens”, for one that contributes to societal functions in a positive way, i.e., contributes to the economy, deserves to be recognized. Instead, the US doesn’t see the immigration conflict in this way. The US position: they are illegal, they should be deported. This ideology has gone far enough.

According to witnesses, the agents in the Chicago raid managed to fill two buses and another bus was seen en route, presumably to arrest more immigrants. This raid naturally enraged the community. People immediately took to the streets and marched in protest while locked arm-in-arm.

How many more raids will continue, and how many times will “illegal” activity be blamed? Let us not forget the depths of where these immigration raids have reached. They have provided extremist groups with a new agenda. Groups such as the Ku Klux Klan and Neo-Nazis have surged in numbers compared to their slow growth in the 1990s. Their popularity has been attributed to, of course, anti-immigration sentiment!

The following is an excerpt from CNN reporter, Paula Zahn’s interview with the “imperial wizard”, Ray Larsen, leader of the Ku Klux Klan:

ZAHN: “We are bringing a frightening new trend out in the open tonight. Today the Anti-Defamation League released a brand new report that shows that the Ku Klux Klan is on the rebound and recruiting new members at an alarming rate. So what’s their new strategy? Here’s Deborah Feyerick.”

 

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

 

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: “They’re going to make y’all number two if you don’t get them out of here.”

 

DEBORAH FEYERICK, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): “It’s the newest marketing tool for hate groups, illegal immigration, a topic so divisive the KKK has been signing new members, some say, at a rate not seen since the 1960s. Ray Larson is imperial wizard of the Ku Klux Klan in Indiana. Did a light bulb go off in your head that said, this is our new issue?”

 

RAY LARSEN, IMPERIAL WIZARD, Ku Klux Klan: “Absolutely. Illegal immigrants is bringing us far more members than we did when we were just totally against any ethnic group.”

 

FEYERICK: “There’s no way to verify how many rally attendees actually became Klan members. But the response supports what the Anti-Defamation League called surprising and troubling findings in its new report about the KKK. In it, the ADL warns of a, quote, ‘noticeable spike in activity by Klan chapters across the country, many of them exploiting illegal immigration.’ As a reformed member of the Aryan Nation, Floyd Cochran knows firsthand what fuels hate groups like the KKK. He tracks them on his website, eyeonhate.com.”

….

CESAR PARALES, PUERTO RICAN LEGAL DEF. FUND: “When you start using terms, when you start saying, this is an invasion, these are cockroaches coming into our land, you’re using obviously racist language. You’re trying to make people hate others and that is your real intent.”

 

FEYERICK: “That’s Larsen’s plan.”

 

LARSEN: “I’m going to be very emotional right from the get-go, yes.”

FEYERICK: “Entice new members who hate illegal immigrants, then brainwash them to hate others like blacks, Jews and gays once they’re hooked. By making illegal immigration your issue, is this to ensure the survival of the KKK?”

 

 

No one can exactly say how future raids will be handled. The landscape of American culture is changing. It is propelling anxiety in souls of the undocumented, a country built by immigrants. Milton Friedman fashions America’s immigrant history in the subsequent quote:

There was a time when we [the U.S.] had completely unrestricted immigration, when anybody could come to these shores and the motto on the Statue of Liberty had some real meaning. This was a country of hope and of promise for immigrants and their children, and as many as a million immigrants a year came in 1906 and ’07 and ’08. By 1914, roughly a third of the population was foreign-born or the immediate descendants of foreign-born…The fact that year after year hundreds of thousands of people left the countries of Europe to come to this country was persuasive evidence that they were coming to improve their lot, not to worsen it.

 

As an American citizen, I can walk freely into a store without the panic of having some federal agent whisk me away on a bus. I do share a common fear with my fellow Mexicans, both immigrants and citizens. That fear is of hate groups. Their vileness is deplorable, their reasoning, fake. This as much is true, they won’t ask for proof of citizenship; their aim is to eliminate all of color.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Angel permalink
    27 April 2007 11:10 pm

    This is why we need raids: if an unscrupulous hirer has no fear of punishment, he will break the law for competitive advantage and worker abuse will be the result. Only workplace enforcement can eliminate the black market and the resultant problems.

    And the employers in this case were ??? This was not a raid on a workplace, but on a place where the feds apparently thought there were “illegals.”

    By the way, if you want credibility, using a real e-mail address is much better than a “hispanic” sounding name.

  2. 29 April 2007 2:43 am

    The KKK has become very skilled at using the tools net to recruit new members. It’s alarming when you seek how adept they have become at spread their brand of hate.

    The KKK is not only are doing an effective at making illegal immigration their war cry and using it to recruit new members, but they are also lending their expertise towards towards helping create more hate groups that at first glance would not necessarily be associated with the KKK.

  3. Ana permalink
    1 May 2007 2:14 pm

    Other peoples who come her come with correct documents- student visa, work visa, etc. Counterfeit documents is illegal, no matter who is doing it. Many others have to apply, provide personal information, go through background check, pay fee, and then wait for proper visa. Why you not think you are like others? I come from Espana to come to school and live, and it is a privilege, not a right, to be here! If I want to be a citizen, I need to show that I am a good citizen, not just say “oh, I work, under the table, I survive with tips and cash, i do not pay taxes, i have a right to be citizen because i am here !” and then expect citizenship when you break laws. You expect so much and take so much without asking before you even think to ask for privilege. What is wrong with Mexico, your countries? Why not stay there and make it better?

  4. Tom permalink
    8 November 2007 4:46 pm

    Illegal is illegal. I do feel sorry for the families; however, thats the law. I just hope more immigration raids happen in Chicago, it is long over due. I would have more respect for the Mexican community if they would not try to run down our neighborhoods and learn english.

  5. scobydoo permalink
    28 August 2008 7:37 pm

    If this guy is a “european” then why is he complaining about something in the United States?
    send the mexicans home and put the nigers to work
    no more section8 for nigers and free food
    mexican=mexico
    niger=slave
    they have to many rights and in couple years they will control this country
    im european and i will leave this country because of nigers and mexicans como sta senior si si moda fuca

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