Idea that immigrants are a burden is wrong and offensiveDid you count how many times the race card was played in two short letters? I especially like the comparison of the border wall, something that has been signed into law by our government, with the Ku Klux Klan and Nazism.
I was very impressed with the immigration event held Wednesday and Thursday on the mall and I would like to thank everyone involved. The presentation was considerate, focused and sought dialogue about a contentious issue. As a white male, it can be challenging to understand the racism inherent in the current immigration debate. My privilege insulates me from having to acknowledge it. However, the policy is racist and the simplest demonstration is to look at how the issue is framed. When NAFTA was passed into law in 1994, it was expected to increase profits in a sector of the economy and have serious consequences for U.S. and Mexican workers. Both have come true. As a result, there were 2.5 million Mexican immigrants, both legally and illegally, in 1995 and 8 million more have arrived since then. However, now the predicted trade failure has occurred, the blame falls not on the white politicians who imposed this legislation, but on the Mexican workers who suffered as a result. The idea that Mexican immigrants are a burden is both wrong and offensive. According to the Cato and Urban Institutes, Mexican immigrants, including undocumented workers, contribute $90 billion annually in taxes and only use $5 billion in government services. Mexican immigrants are not trying for free ride; they’re trying to earn a life for themselves and their families. If we really want to solve the “immigration crisis,” we need to do no more than remove the conditions that caused it.
Eric Johnson copresident, Progressive Student Union
Wall was a symbol that carried with it the power of hatred
Symbols have power. Many who fly Confederate flags swear they mean no racist insult, and yet the history of it is wrapped up in slavery. Swastikas are another symbol of racist insult. So too is the fence that has just been legislated by the government. Those who insist it means no racist insult need to learn the lesson of symbols from people who wear swastikas or fly Confederate flags. Where they see pride in community, we see racism and poverty.
Grace Chang, a scholar and activist, writes racist and sexist immigration policy and follows four trends. It targets women, barring entry or subjecting them to forced sterilization. It constructs contract labor, monitoring and controlling the duration and conditions of immigrant work. In this stage, interracial marriage is outlawed. It enforces assimilation with programs that assume we immigrants come from primitive places and need to be Americanized. In this stage, immigrant women and children are trained to accept menial work. In the final stage, immigrants are denied rights and benefits and coerced into taking jobs that pay poor wages – or they are prevented from coming at all.
Those who constructed the symbolic racist insult in front of College Hall fit into this final stage. One student of color saw the fence and said it made her ashamed of being American. I hope it also embarrasses the people who run this university, who tolerate it in the interest of free speech, even though they might not tolerate swastikas and Confederate flags.
John Streamas assistant professor, Comparative Ethnic Studies
I wonder if the Young Democrats find these letters to be "vulgar, divisive and in extremely poor taste?" (I also wonder where their public denunciation of Sean Gallegos was) If you are disgusted as well by the rampant political correctness, intolerance and hostility to free speech practiced by liberals and "progressives" on campus, then I urge you to assist the College Republicans in getting out the vote for the upcoming election.