On my way to school yesterday, it was heartwarming to see so many converging, including many children, on Weekes Park in Hayward to stand up for immigration rights. I gather similar demonstrations happened elsewhere. They risk a backlash in Congress — every one I talked to, including my fellow graduate students, focused on “illegal” immigrants who despite facing increasing danger in coming here, hadn’t gone through “the process,” as if they hadn’t sacrificed.
John B. Judis, in The New Republic, addresses these allegations. But what really seems to be going on is that illegal immigrants, Latinos in particular, are the new “niggers,” to be abused and exploited; their humanity is not to be acknowledged. Someone, after all, must do the stoop labor in the agricultural fields for less than minimum wage. And someone should pay into Social Security with no hope of ever collecting.
Some object that “illegal” immigrants take jobs from those whose presence here has been authorized. Employers, it seems, often prefer workers they can intimidate more easily; the real problem here is that as a society, we encourage the exploitation of our fellow humans.