Familia Latina Unida Statement, May 2nd
As the media talking heads reflect today on the legacy of Bin Laden they will focus on 9/11 and the war on terrorism. Today, however, Chicago’s young Latinos and their parents will gather in a human family chain in front of City Hall to focus on Bin Laden’s “other legacy”, the massive wave of anti-immigrant, anti-Latino hate and repression that has destroyed hundreds of thousands of American Families and children.
When 9/11 happened, the Congress of the United States was on the verge of passing a series of immigration reform bills. In the political wave of hysteria and hate that followed the tragic events of that day, politicians ran from immigration reform as fast as they could. Instead, right wing racial supremacists initiated a decade of anti-immigrant enforcement only programs that were justified by the fear generated in the hearts of the American people but were aimed at curbing the growing Latino majority in states like Texas and Arizona.
When Elvira Arellano was arrested through operation Tarmac in 2002 she said, “They were looking for Osama Bin Laden but all they found was me, working for 9 dollars an hour and raising my U.S. citizen son.” In spite of the protestations to the contrary, 9/11 turned this nation into a nation of fear, hatred and racism which attacked the only enemy they could find – the men and women who picked and cooked their food and cared for their children.
President Obama promised a new era of hope and change. Instead, his administration has deported more people than any other administration in history, mostly the moms and dads of U.S. citizen or dream act eligible children. His lack of political courage has made his administration yet another victim of 9/11.
As the era of Bin Laden comes to a close today, the members of Familia Latina Unida and La Fuerze Juventud gather in the human family chain in front of city hall in Chicago to call on the President to end the insanity of fear, hate and racism and to use his lawful administrative discretion to stop the deportation and separation of American Children and their families. The Human Family Chain of American Children and Families is also calling on the City of Chicago to stand on the traditions of Mayor Washington and Mayor Daley to resist the imposition of a malignant federal policy in their city and to use its home rule powers to adopt a Utah styled workers permit solution to keep families together.