2.22.2007

Latinos Should Support Immigrants

Miguel Perez in Latinos who got here first should sympathize with others expresses his disgust for Latino bigotry against newer immigrants. I hear him--and I feel the same way.

It's a sad part of our history that members of immigrant groups scorch newer immigrants with levels of intolerance that rivals, and in some instances, surpasses the venomous views of traditional American bigots. Unfortunately, as Latinos enter the mainstream of American society some are using their status and position to attack more recent and less secure Latino immigrants.

Miguel Perez writes about two Latinas (Cuban Americans) which attacked him for his empathy for undocumented immigrants. When the women learned that Perez is of Cuban heritage and not Mexican, as they'd assumed, they were especially harsh:

Until today, we believed that you were Mexican. You do not know the shame that we feel, to have known that your mother and grandmother were Cubans. Why don't you go to Mexico, if you like the Mexicans so much?
Unfortunately, these two women are not the only Latinos holding anti-immigrant views today in this country. I've heard and read equally disturbing comments from others as well, and I'm especially disturbed when I hear anti-immigrant bigotry come from the mouths of my people--Americans of Puerto Rican heritage.

There's even a "Latino" lobby group called You don't speak for me whose purpose is to promote harsh anti-immigrant policies. It's figurehead is Col. Al Rodriguez, a Latino immigrant himself, but don't be fooled. The group was founded and is funded by right wingers with a distinctly anti-Latino immigration agenda.

If we're to create a society that truly values people, it seems to me that we should stop with the hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. And if any group should set a better example for other Americans, it ought to be Americans Latinos.