Raids a Reminder of Historical Backlash Against Immigrants

By Megan Izen May 30, 2008

I’m not "the sky is falling type" but if I were an undocumented immigrant, that’s definitely how I’d feel right about now. Immigrant communities around the country are being attacked by ICE, the criminal justice system, legislators, vigilante groups, and the list goes on. Between Iowa and California alone, nearly 1,200 families have been torn apart and possibly destroyed by raids leading to detention, deportation and incarceration. ?? And in Los Angeles , you have elected officials trying to legislate the gentrification of their neighborhoods, forcing out new Latino immigrants. Worse yet, that’s being propelled by third and fourth generation Mexican Americans who may have forgotten what their families experienced in the last century at the hand of US immigration policy. ?? But we’ve seen this all before. If only there was widespread acknowledgment of the predictable cycles of US immigration policy and social norms. During times of economic crisis, the first instincts of those seen and heard is to shut the doors and send them ‘home.’ Can I get a shout out from those who remember ‘Operation Wetback?’ ??Clearly, it’s undocumented immigrants that have driven this country into a recession, created the mortgage crisis and gotten us into a never-ending war, draining us of all our resources. Oh and oil prices, that’s the fault of immigrants as well. ??Pardon my sarcasm, but that seems to be all I can muster. What we can hope is that maybe this time, we’ll have enough collective memory (and constant reminders) to stop this backlash before it gets too far (think 130,000+ deported in a year).