12 June 2008 ~ 0 Comments

The Perpetual War on Immigrant Students

It seems that we have built quite an appetite for war at home and abroad. Our foreign policy mirrors our domestic one and vice-versa–Overseas, we are destroying families, communities, killing innocent children, deferring their dreams permanently through a ‘war against terrorism’ and at home we are killing the spirit and dreams of our undocumented immigrant youth by deporting them while destroying families and local economies in ICE raids. Even the beneficiaries of both wars are a similar prototype: CORPORATIONS. While big oil and security companies stand to gain most from the new spaces of neo-liberal globalization created by waging war against sovereign peoples, corrections and security companies also make big moolah with the creation of new spaces of detention. It is such a fascinating observation. Really, I wonder why we divide it up into a foreign/domestic dichotomy when they are connected, one and the same. It is United States policy.

This morning, no sooner had I come down from the good news about the private bill for Arthur Mkoyan, there was yet another case of deportation coming out of the shadows–Camila Hornung and family are currently in a detention facility facing deportation back to Peru in less than 2 weeks.  Reprieve is next to impossible and it is unlikely to create the hue and cry that Arthur Mkoyan did. And even Arthur’s immigration troubles are far from over–his private bill simply delays deportation proceedings till the bill is defeated.

Sarjina Emy, Tope Awe, Meynardo Garcia, Mario Munoz, Lino Nakwa, Anya Gorlova, Arthur Mkoyan, Camila Hornung are names that we do not want to lose to history. They are victims of a unique system which punishes children for the civil violations of their parents. Thousands of undocumented students find themselves caught in the cross-fire of a battle that they never volunteered to fight — the swords were drawn on each side of the border, with these children and young adults cast in-between, in-limbo, simply yearning to live and breath productive lives.
Does anyone ever stop to think where we are headed with this perpetual war against students?

But for every one of these students whom we have ironically, documented, there are countless others that are undocumented, faceless and nameless–their existence erased from even the margins of history.

Accused of using taxpayer dollars (nevermind the fact that their parents are also taxpayers), accused of criminality (nevermind that ‘illegal presence’ is a mere civic violation), accused of taking the college seats of U.S. citizen children (nevermind that those seats are earned through hard-work and merit, and the percentage of college seats filled by undocumented students is less than one percent-not noteworthy), these students are the latest victims of displaced anger and misguided immigration policies.

Can you prove that your healthcare premium is high due to a DREAM Act student? Can you accuse undocumented students for high gasoline prices and the rate of inflation–a major source of your frustration no doubt? Can you accuse these students for taking away your jobs in agriculture, hotel, retail, construction? Can you show me statistics that say deporting a high-school educated DREAMer saves us money, balances the budget and helps the economy? Can you give me names of students that could not afford school or did not gain admissions in colleges due to undocumented students being more qualified?  Can you even craft a jurido-legal opinion that justifies deporting these students? Probably no to all counts. No, I don’t want to hear that “Illegal is Illegal” — that has already been refuted countless times here, here and here.

Enough with the war on immigrant students. Perpetual war for perpetual peace is an empty promise. I can guarantee you that deporting young immigrant students and their families would not make your life any better. It would probably make your immediate life worse with rocket-high prices of primary products and your retirement worse when the United States needs workers to fund social security for the baby boomers.

%d bloggers like this: