La Voz Latina - Su puente a la comunidad Hispana de Georgia y Carolina del sur

Fear is your enemy!

  • Por www.ice.gov

Donald Trump and the people who voted him into office should feel very proud of themselves. Not even a full month into office and he has managed to sow terror and fear into the lives of millions of immigrant workers and their families.
After Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents conducted late night raids on trailer parks and apartments in and around Savannah last month, frantic mothers and wives called our office asking where their loved ones had been taken.
In one instance, a crying mother told us that on February 8th, ICE agents shouting “policia” banged on the front door to her home where she lived with her husband, her children, and her husband's two brothers. Storming into the house, they asked “Where are you from?” and “Have you ever been stopped by the police?” When a couple of the men answered admitted they had been stopped for driving without a permit, the ICE agents told the woman to take her daughters into the bathroom, then arrested all of the men and hauled them off to a detention center without allowing them to speak to her.
If memory serves, Donald Trump swore he was looking for “bad hombres” and dangerous criminals. But now that standard has apparently been relaxed to include anyone and everyone who crossed the border unauthorized.
In immigrant communities across the US today, the fear and panic are palpable. But I want to remind you that fear is your single biggest enemy. Donald Trump is using Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents just like a police SWAT team would use a flash-bang grenade– to terrorize and immobilize.
But there are things you can do immediately to prepare yourselves and your families in case you are caught up in an ICE raid. First, put a plan in place to protect your children and your possessions in case you are caught up in a raid. Immigration attorneys, as well as churches and charitable organizations, can assist you with legal documents like guardianships and powers of attorney that specify who you want to entrust with those things.
Second, remember that no matter how much Donald Trump yearns for dictatorial control over our government and no matter how many Republican Congressmen are willing to roll over like lapdogs and give him that authority, he cannot and will never have the authority to suspend certain basic legal rights and protections granted to all of us (including the undocumented) under the US Constitution. “Due Process” means that everyone is guaranteed the opportunity to a court hearing before the government acts to take away one's life, liberty, or property. This is why an undocumented immigrant should NEVER, EVER sign any document presented to them by an ICE agent without first talking to his/her attorney or legal representative. Please see page 4 of this issue for specific information about this.
A wise priest shared the following advice: “Reading gossip about how the world is coming to an end is not the way Jesus Christ gave us to navigate the world. The best thing to do is stop reading Facebook comments and actually pray and educate yourself. Don’t ignore your feelings, but don’t pay too much attention to them either. Otherwise they will ruin you and make you a slave to be manipulated. If the devil can cause you to live in a state of fear, it means he can control your actions.”
This month, March, 2017, marks the 15th anniversary of La Voz Latina's first publication and after writing literally dozens of editorials over the years explaining why undocumented immigrants have been such a blessing to our country, thanks to Donald J. Trump and his minions, I find myself forced to start all over again.
Over the years, people have often asked me why we decided to start La Voz Latina in 2002 and the short answer is “because there were so many Latinos starting to make their homes here, their wants and needs could no longer be ignored”.
So where did they come from?
Twelve years before we started La Voz Latina, in 1990, Atlanta was selected by the USOC to be the host city for the 1996 Olympics. City fathers rejoiced at the prospect of an economic boom that promised to revitalize many of Atlanta's inner city neighborhoods. Along with $100s of millions in construction spending, thousand of workers were also required.
As time drew near for the games to begin, Olympic organizers grew desperate for construction workers to finish these jobs. Mexico's Consul General in Atlanta, Teo Maus, got a call from a U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service officer asking him to spread the word throughout Mexico that there would be no enforcement of immigration laws until after construction of the Olympics venues had been completed.
Thousands of Maus' countrymen responded to that call and many of them remained here after their work was completed. Over time, those people and many others responded to a similar need for workers in the construction and poultry and hospitality industries. They then bought homes, had U.S.-born children, and started their own businesses.
And today we find ourselves in the middle of a huge immigration enforcement mess caused, in part, by the same government that now seeks to deport an estimated 8 million residents. Trump has instituted an insane policy that, carried to the extreme, will have disastrous results for the US economy. Remove eight million undocumented immigrants and you also remove eight million entrepreneurs, consumers and taxpayers.
And make no mistake. Contrary to the lies spread by Donald Trump and his cohorts in the Republican-controlled government, these immigrants do pay billions of dollars into our tax coffers each year. According to the Social Security Administration, undocumented immigrants paid $13 billion in payroll taxes into the SSA Trust Fund in 2010 alone.
One bright spot in all of this misery is the fact that millions of voters who had grown complacent during the Obama years have now become energized and are looking to right the terrible wrongs inflicted by our newly-elected 45th president.
2018– here we come!

Issue Month: 
Wednesday, March 1, 2017