Are Most “Americans” Heartless?

artesia_deport hate

When will we stop hating? Haven’t we learned from our past? Is history doomed to repeat itself?

In 1939, the United States turned over 900 Jewish refugees away and sent women & children back to Europe to die in the Holocaust. Why? They were turned away because “American’s” were afraid that they would take their jobs, bring disease, and many more ridiculous reasons.

The president, FDR, said nothing & did nothing. Almost 66% of “Americans” supported turning them away. They justified their hate and ignorance by believing that they needed to “take care of their own people” and that these desperate refugees needed to “go back where they came from.” They turned their backs on the refugees and sent them to their deaths.

“Americans” would never repeat a horrific act like that again…would they?

artesia_front of march

In Artesia,NM, hundreds of big-hearted people marched to the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center to show support and love for over 500 women & children being detained there awaiting deportation.

The women & children in the detention center traveled thousands of miles, risking their lives, to flee dangerous circumstances in their home countries. They come from counties that have been devastated by US policy and interference. Many of these countries are collateral damage of the US war on drugs and communism.

They are fleeing from countries that are torn apart by violence from drug cartels. The cartels make money by feeding America’s never-ending appetite for drugs.

They come from countries that are exploited by global corporations that devastate the local economies. Small farmers and local businesses cannot compete with the mega-corporations. They do not have very many options to make a living.

To make matters worse, severe droughts in Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras, and El Salvador have destroyed crops and hurt fishing and livestock.

How could anyone blame these families for leaving a completely hopeless situation? What parent would allow their children to grow up like that?

The parents brought their children here hoping to give them a better life. Instead, they are forced to live in prison-like conditions and treated like the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay. They are held without formal charges and treated like they are sub-human.

artesia_no human being illegal artesia_truck

The protestors do not want to see history repeat itself. They marched in a “Campaign of Love.” Hundreds of people peacefully marched from Martin Luther King, Jr Park to the FLETC fences.

Police officers lined the street dressed in bulletproof vests and military uniforms. The marchers sang songs to the families and let them know that they were not alone.

The detainees cheered and joined in the songs from behind the fences. The police became agitated and demanded that the marchers leave. They claimed that the detainees were “rioting” because of the marchers.

How is joy and love considered “rioting”? They were just happy to find out that people in the US care about them. They were happy to be treated like human beings for a short period of time.

artesia_police vehicles artesia_miltary police

But the police did not like that. They slowly began to surround the marchers and used intimidation to force them to leave. They followed the marchers back to the park and observed them as they peacefully dispersed.

artesia_police watcher 1 artesia_police watcher 2

The day was both beautiful and disturbing. A handful of hateful anti-immigrant protestors attempted to agitate the marchers by yelling extremely hateful words. But the marchers were there to spread love, not hate. The marchers ignored the hateful words and remained positive.

It is clear that the US government put the women & children in a remote facility hoping that they would be “out-of-sight & out-of-mind.” It is an attempt to make these brave people irrelevant to the average “American.” By doing this, they can send these people back to the violence, famine, and poverty that they attempted to escape.

The world MUST pay attention to what is going on. We cannot repeat the past.


artesia_statue of liberty

Inscription on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free; The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, Tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” 

KOB News: Police:It’s the largest protest Artesia has ever seen

Undocumented Students benefit New Mexico and need a pathway to citizenship

Julio Salgado

New Mexico has the highest rate of children living in poverty in the nation, the highest rate of food insecurity for children, and has been deemed the worst state to raise a child. These statistics are based upon documented children whom the government can track. Unfortunately, there are many undocumented children in this state who are not counted in the analysis. These undocumented children attend New Mexico schools and graduate from accredited state high schools.

The state of New Mexico allows these undocumented children to attend state funded universities and colleges. The children are also allowed to use a state funded scholarship known as the Lottery Scholarship as long as they meet certain qualifications. This unique relationship is in danger of falling apart if the state funded Legislative Lottery Scholarship Fund ceases to provide enough money to pay tuition. Undocumented children are not allowed to apply for federal aid and rely on the Lottery scholarship to get a higher education.

In reality, the Legislative Lottery Scholarship Fund is doomed and these children need another alternative. The answer to the problem is to include a path to citizenship for children in the new Comprehensive Immigration Reform Bill. If these children can become U.S. citizens, they will be eligible for federal financial aid.

According to a Pew Hispanic Center Report, in 2010 there was an estimated 85,000 undocumented immigrants living in the state of New Mexico.(Pew Research Center) That means that there are roughly 20,000 undocumented children living in New Mexico. Fiscal Impact Report for 2005 New Mexico Senate Bill 582 estimates that 10% of the Hispanic children graduating from New Mexico high schools are undocumented. (Fiscal Impact Report, SB 582)The Report estimated that there were 812 undocumented high school graduates in the state of New Mexico during the 2003-2004 school years. The Report states that only 69% of New Mexico high school graduates attend universities, therefore 560 undocumented graduates would attend a university.(Fiscal Impact Report, SB 582)

It is estimated that New Mexico spends $717 million annually on undocumented immigrants. Every taxpayer pays an average of $1000 annually to cover the expenditure.(Federation for American Immigration Reform )The study breaks down the amounts to:

K-12 for children of undocumented immigrants……………………………..$438 million

English as a Second Language………………………………………………… $54 million

Unreimbursed health care/ social assistance programs………………………..$108 million

Justice/ Law Enforcement costs………………………………………………. $ 76 million

Public Services…………………………………………………………………$ 42 million

By allowing the high school graduates to attend a university and become U.S. citizens, the state will increase tax revenue and decrease the annual burden on individual tax payers. If only 40% of these students graduate every year, there will be 200 new taxpayers added to the economy each year and 200 less undocumented immigrants for the taxpayers to cover. The cumulative result of allowing these individuals to be productive members of New Mexico should be the motivating factor for passage of a path to citizenship.

In May 2013, the Immigration Policy center published a report in which they stated:

“ Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $25.1 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $7.6 billion and employed more than 60,000 people at last count. At a time when the economy is still recovering, New Mexico can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.”

(Immigration Policy Center, NEW AMERICANS IN NEW MEXICO)

The same study pointed out some startling economic facts:

–          Unauthorized immigrants in New Mexico paid $101.5 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy,which includes:

• $8.7 million in state income taxes.

• $8.7 million in property taxes.

• $84.2 million in sales taxes.

–          Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 5.6% of the state’s workforce (or 50,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.23

–          If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from New Mexico, the state would lose $1.8 billion in economic activity, $809.1 million in gross state product, and approximately 12,239 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

(Immigration Policy Center, NEW AMERICANS IN NEW MEXICO)

With that type of economic strength, the businesses and government of New Mexico must listen to the demands of the people. Many of the individuals who make up this statistic either know or are related to an undocumented child. These children live in their communities and go to school with their children. By supporting Comprehensive Immigration Reform that includes a pathway to citizenship for children who attend college, business’s can show their commitment to the community.