Monica Valencia is 1 of 10 students chosen to participate in the Keta Taylor Colby Death Penalty Project
April 6, 2015
Monica Valencia is a Leader in the Community
February 9, 2018
Open Letter to Donald Trump
July 26, 2015
Educate yourself. Read a book or take a class. Don’t believe that anti-immigrant rhetoric suffocating our society. The problem is that we let imbecilic people in quasi-positions of power dictate what we know and what we ought to know about immigrants and immigration policy in the U.S. Unless you are an immigrant yourself or you are a second-generation Latino-American, then you really don’t know what it means to have to fight against the ‘Donald Trumps’ of this world. It’s a looking glass.
Lest we forget about those ‘Donald Trumps’ of the world that have poisoned America; here is a short list that might help you remember:
Joe Arpaio – Yea, you remember that infamous Maricopa County Sheriff from Arizona who conducted the most appalling racial profiling of Latinos in American history. He rounded up Latino residents, (American citizens included) and jailed them.
Jan Brewer – What a gal! She’s that self-serving governor of Arizona, who signed into play the notorious, SB-1070 “Papers, Please,” allowing law enforcement agencies to jail those that are not carrying documentation. This of course only having affect on Latino communities and no others. She and Joe Arpaio had a blast, didn’t they?
Robert Bently – Oh, he was smart wasn’t he? That good ol’ Alabama governor that signed HB-56, which stopped unauthorized immigrants from attending college and investigated the legal status of students k-12. He also gave landlords the power to discriminate against immigrants by not renting to them.
Becky Currie – She’s a gem! As the State Representative of Mississippi, not only did she introduce a bill that would take unauthorized children out of school, but it made it a felony for any unauthorized immigrant to shower or use any of the state’s tap water system. I mean, if that doesn’t scream oppression, I don’t know what does.
Donald Trump – We can’t forget about the man that called Mexican immigrants “rapists” & “criminals,” although he did think that “some were good people.” With so many millions or billions I should say, you would think that some of Trump’s advising staff would at least educate and inform the ‘poor’ guy on immigration statistics, before spewing ignorance on national television and looking like a rich clown with no common sense.
But hey, I’m just a poor, Mexican-American law student with a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of Southern California….what would I know!
Let’s start with the basics. According to a report by the Pew Research Center, there has been no earth-shattering influx of unauthorized immigrant populations for the last five years. That’s half a decade. In fact, the report states that migration is stable and has decreased, with “11.3 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2014” from the “12.2 million unauthorized immigrants living in the U.S. in 2007.” (Source: Pew Hispanic). See for yourself…
So why does Donald Trump insist that a wall should be built on the Mexican-American border?
The following is written testimony from Jeffrey S. Passel, Senior Demographer at the Pew Research Center, submitted to the U.S. Senate Committee On Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on March 26, 2015, regarding a hearing on Securing the Border:
“The unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. peaked at 12.2 million in 2007 after growing steadily by about half a million per year from 3.5 million in 1990. After 2007, the trend changed abruptly and the numbers dropped dramatically by about 1 million over the next two years to 11.3 million in 2009 as the number of new unauthorized immigrants arriving plummeted and large numbers left the country. Since 2009, the national unauthorized immigrant population has remained essentially unchanged as arrivals and departures have come into rough balance.”
A balance! Do you see what a little research does? It gives you quantifiable information and not anti-immigrant rhetoric that spreads like a virus. I suspect that controversial sentiment about immigration, like that ejecting out of Trump’s mouth, serves as pure hate for my family and my people, especially since no one ever seems to question that there are other immigrant groups and other borders along the U.S. Why aren’t Canadians or Australians or British folk being asked to show some documentation? Is it because they blend into the “American” scheme of whiteness? Surely, there are thousands of ‘visa-overstayers’ that are not Latinos! What about Asians? We hardly ever hear anything on Asian migration. Somehow, Mexicans (or Latinos) have become the face of immigration in our society, as if we are representative of all unauthorized immigration entering the United States. We are not what is wrong with our society. Ignorance is what is wrong. Not standing up and asking these types of questions and demanding facts, is what is wrong with our society. We need accountability and transparency.
The short list mentioned above along with Donald Trump and his delusions only help spread fear and misinformation. By proposing, enacting and enforcing harmful legislative polices, our immigration system continues to remain broken and this misinformation only burdens our society with reckless ignorance against one particular group of people. There are no hard facts to what is being said about immigrants, it is merely a matter of opinion. Although we are entitled to opine, do so with education and fact, not blatant disregard for truth. A study done by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration is a good place to start.
In what Donald Trump declares, “there is great danger with the illegals,” I say this….FUCK YOU!!!
Immigrants are economic contributors. Plain and simple. Trump paints an ugly picture often stating that Mexicans are dangerous and non-contributors. Others opposing immigration say that immigrants affect the nation’s economic costs by creating job competition, being a burden on social services and education and lastly, they say that immigrants bring crime and disease. This of course coming from a Fox News Poll. But I mean, let’s face it, it’s Fox! (LOL).
My people pay their taxes and they contribute to our society. They are not looking for a free ride or a hand out. They come here to work hard and to give their children a better life. They are humble people who do not hesitate to slave in the agricultural fields picking fruits and vegetables in 107 degree heat, just so that our groceries can be stocked with fine produce.
They are nannies who raise children for the upper-classes, so that they may enjoy a dirty martini with the rest of their pretentious friends, eating caviar, lobster frittata and truffle sprinkles.
My mentor and professor, Dr. Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotelo is a Sociologist, who has done extensive research on Mexican migration and disenfranchised immigrants. Interestingly, there are those that do not know that we are able to supersede and achieve upward mobility into the middle classes. I bet you that Donald Trump doesn’t know that either. My other mentor and professor, Dr. Jody Agius Vallejo is also a Sociologist, who speaks about her research on the Mexican-American middle class. The question is now, why do we insist on criminalizing immigrants, accusing them of stealing jobs, and harassing them for having brown skin?
Mi Gente, let’s raise our voices and come together as one. Let’s use our community strength to show the world who we are. We deserve respect and we deserve to be heard. The struggle against the oppressors is not new to us. We need to raise up and show them our truths. Donald Trump cannot sum us up. He will not sum us up. Even if it is once voice at a time.
My parents are Mexican immigrants who came here for a better life. They brought up 3 children in the Echo Park area of Los Angeles, California. Although they are now divorced, they both made me into the woman that I am today; strong-minded, steadfast, and passionate about my roots. They instilled in me the appetite that I needed to reach my dreams, and I am proof of that now.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Southern California and I am now in my second-year of law school. I look back at the hard work that both of my parents have done and it makes me proud to call them my family.
Donald Trump could never understand our struggle, but I will relish in my triumphs and the triumphs of my people. Speak up and let your voice be heard.
Original Post: https://mvalencia00.wordpress.com/2015/07/25/mi-gentemy-people-into-the-looking-glass-of-latino-migration-in-the-u-s/