President Barack Obama came to Los Angeles for a celebrity dinner where tickets cost up to $30,000 (to raise funds for the November elections) and spoke with young people of Generation Y. However, the eleven million workers migrants who make millionaire contributions to the economy of this country did not appear on the president’s agenda.
By Bertha Rodriguez Santos
Meanwhile, a caravan of migrant rights organizations headed to Bakersfield to deliver a letter to Republican Congressman Kevin McCarthy asking lawmakers not to repeal the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). . This law allows Central American children to request political asylum or refugee status if they prove that their lives are in danger in their countries of origin.
For children and human dignity
According to Gonzalo Santos, professor of sociology at California State University in Bakersfield, since its inception, the TVPRA law was created to stop the migration of Mexican children, a situation that has facilitated the deportation of between 13 and 15 thousand minors a year. , since2008.
The professor analyzed in an interview that as a result of the so-called war on drugs and the neoliberal economic policies (of privatization) implemented by Felipe Calderón, a massive displacement of Mexican minors began to be observed due to violence in states such as Sinaloa, Chihuahua , Tamaulipas, and then Guerrero and Michoacán, as well as states like Oaxaca, which ranks second in deportation of infants who try to flee poverty in that entity.
So far, Professor Santos said, Mexican governments have not lifted a single finger in defense of their adult migrant citizens or children seeking to reunite with their parents, escaping violence and poverty.
During the demonstration in support of migrant children, Gonzalo Santos described as a moral perversion the fact that United States politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, only focus on the elections and remain indifferent to the cry of the children who are expelled to Mexico.
He also condemned the intentions of President Obama and other legislators to eliminate the current Wilberfoce law.
He said that given the inaction of the governments, the civil society of Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean, must form a multilateral pressure movement to establish a North American migratory regime that promotes the sustainable development of the countries that expel migrants and reduce insecurity and violence, among other factors causing migration.
“This is a central fight for human dignity,” said Gonzalo Santos.
For her part, Professor Linda Haggerty agreed that the situation of migrants is the biggest problem of these times.
“We cannot deport these children because many of them may not be alive anymore,” warned the teacher, who has noticed the anguish of her students when they see their parents hiding from the migra agents. “The policies of the United States in their countries have caused this,” Haggerty added.
He also denounced that Congressman McCarthy has refused to listen to the clamor not only from the migrant community (he commented that the legislator denies meetings to people with Latin surnames to whom he closes the door of his offices) but also from the people who support migrants. .
He warned that as long as there is no pressure on legislators and President Obama, the situation will continue this way.
Martha Arévalo of the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), said that 60,000 children, mostly from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, have been detained for deportation.
He indicated that this is worrying because according to a report by the United Nations Organization, El Salvador is the country in which the most homicides of minors are recorded and Honduras is the most violent country in the world.
Since McCarthy’s office was closed (it was said that it was closed so as not to serve the members of the caravan), the organizations posted the letter on the door of the legislator’s office.
The letter demands 1) that the protection of minors contained in the TVPRA not be eliminated, 2) that adequate legal representation be guaranteed for Central American children who are in the process of requesting political asylum. There are many cases of children between the ages of 5 and 12 who face immigration judges alone and a lawyer who argues against; 3) access to social services such as medical and mental health care to help children deal with the trauma caused by the experiences they go through along the way.
José Cartagena, from the Salvadoran National Network Abroad (RENASE) in Oakland, reminded those present that the United States is a country of immigrants, referring to the Anglo-Saxons who arrived in this country, followed by a long list of ethnicities and nationalities that They came from Europe, Africa and Asia. “We are all immigrants except for Native Americans,” he considered.
He said children have become an even higher priority for deportation and criminalization than those who do commit serious crimes in this country.
He considered it inadmissible that President Obama has blamed minors and used them as an excuse for not approving deferred action for all immigrants.
“It is unfair that they use innocent creatures for electoral purposes,” said Enrique Velázquez, an activist from Los Angeles.
Bertha Hernández, based in San Francisco, said that for migrants, their undocumented status is like being slaves because they are not free to go out and go “to see their parents die or hug their children” in their countries of origin.
He proposed greater organization and compared Latinos to a giant that can stop activities in the United States because migrants are everywhere and with that force they can change current immigration policies.
Organizations from Los Angeles, Bakersfield, Oakland and San Francisco participated in the caravan. Representatives from the Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), the Salvadoran National Network Abroad (RENASE), the Mexican Network of Migrant Leaders and Organizations (Red Mx), the Indigenous Front of Binational Organizations (FIOB), Homies Unidos were present. , the Salvadoran American Leadership and Education Fund (SALEF), the April First Movement, and the Kern Coalition for Citizenship, among other groups.
During his visit to Los Angeles on October 9, President Obama encouraged fundraising for the Democratic National Committee ahead of the November 4 midterm elections. The dinner was at the residence of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, in Brentwood; the dishes of the entertainment cost between a thousand dollars and 32 thousand greenbacks.
The president also met with young entrepreneurs from the Cross Campus work center in Santa Monica. There he highlighted the role of the millennial generation or generation Y (born between 1980 and 1995), as innovative people are known here, who stand out for working with technologies and who, according to Obama’s words, will be the pillar of the US economy for decades to come.
Apparently, unauthorized immigrants do not fit into the president’s vision, but the community maintains that it will continue to fight for their recognition.