"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The terror arrives in the morning… And that is only the beginning.

Immigration is a world-wide phenomenon whose effects are more noticeable at the local level, we see and heard of the loss of jobs and the separation of families, accompanied by the consequent terror of our undocumented sisters and brothers, fearful in the uncertainty that if today, agents of I.C.E. will knock on their door, the terror is greater in the children. than they ask themselves if today, or tomorrow, or the following day, their parents, brothers and sisters without documents that guarantee their legal stay will be taken away.

Those arrested are taken to detention centers where they are victims of insults and crimes, they suffer humiliations, negligence and sexual abuse, in at least 30 of 83 deaths from 2003, the death was due to lack of medical care and administrative practices devoid of consideration to the human condition, civil and legal rights.

Important to note, that while much is spoken of the raids, very little is said of what is happening in the detention centers, where in any given day, it is easy to count 33,000 prisoners, among them women and children, many are citizens of this country, there are cases of whole families in detention.

The immigrants are of all colors and nationalities that are reflected in the dead, Yusif Osman of Ghana, the transgender woman Victoria Arellano of Mexico, Arthur Suarez-Almenares of Cuba, Edmar Alves Araujo of Brazil, Young Sook Kim of Korea, Ms. Kenley of Barbados, Caesar Gonza'les-Baeza of Mexico, for others there is not even information on their places of origin like Reinaldo Prado-Arencilia, Yvel Fils-Aim, Abdoulai Sall, or Enríquez-Betancourt, of whom there is only last names.

Among the deaths, 13 are listed as suicides, 14 as a result of cardiac diseases and 9 related to H.I.V and A.I.D.S, the lists contain other cryptic definitions of the causes as “undetermined” or “unresponsive” , in too many cases these lists do not mention their nationalities or where they lived in the United States. Some names and date of birth are ineligibles.

Sexual violation to a Mexican transsexual woman in the detention center of Miami, where some women reported that the guards promised to release them in exchange for sex or to deport them if they refused, of the Pearsall center in Texas. there are reports of extensive and systematic sexual abuse from the guards, in the present, there are legal complaints, lawsuits and demands for exhaustive investigations on irregularities, abuses and crimes in those concentration camps, euphemistically called detention centers, which are managed by contractors working for private corporations.

The immigrant community faces a crisis of catastrophic magnitude where the efforts to remedy it run into a great segment of the population that ignores the reality, do not care or are in agreement with the policy of the US government.

Those of us who struggle to remedy, or at least to alleviate the situation, have different opinions on what to do to fight off the attacks or how to go about it, we debate weather our immigrant marches inflame the anti immigrant sentiments or alert the rest of the population on the tragedies, the opinions on the course to follow vary in all aspects and apparently the debate arrives to the point of choosing between this or that option as the most suitable or effective method.

Other difficulties derive from the consideration of the causes and effects of the artificial phenomenon that is the forced and massive mobilization of workers and families at a global level, on these points there is no disagreement that they are the result of economic agreements at an geopolitical level, but there is indeed a debate on the spheres of influences or jurisdiction where activities on corrective measures would have to be applied or which of them must have priority, taking into account the stark reality that the problem is caused as much by the countries receiving the immigrants as is their country of origin, since both entities are controlled by corporatist interests, they share the blame for the victims of their economic policies and transnational agreements which are the workers, farmers, small entrepreneurs and their families.

And this way, the debates continue while the tragedies increase, the crises multiply, the terror remains and it is institutionalized in a pernicious way, especially in our children, thus we arrive at the situation were we find ourselves in, where we agree that it is untenable and intolerable and that something has to be done, the only remaining questions are: What, where, and how.

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