There may be no greater example of institutionalized anti-Latino bigotry in this country than immigration enforcement as practiced by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and its deputized local police agencies.
The Vera Institute of Justice found 322 people with citizenship claims in 13 immigration prisons in 2007, up from 129 the year before. At this rate of error, ICE could be jailing and deporting as many as 75,000 U.S. citizens, many of them children and most Latino.
As the brother of one poor soul who was picked up in California and dumped in a Mexican border city until he was rescued three months later:
"It doesn't matter whether you are a citizen or not. If you look Hispanic, they can question you. Deportation can happen to anybody."
Where's the equal protection guaranty for Latino citizens? Where in the U.S. Constitution does it say 'except for Latinos'?
Also, imagine for one instance the outcry if federal blackboots were stealing away Canadian American children, mothers and fathers, forcing them into concentration camps, denying access to counsel or due process, and then deporting them to a foreign land where they're left to beg in the streets for help?
No way that would happen today to Canadians in America. It also wouldn't happen to German Americans, Irish Americans, nor to most other Americans, so why is it allowed to happen to Latino Americans?
Why no public outcry? No government apologizes? No changes in policies? Only denials, pathetic excuses and more of the same.
Links: Citizens held as illegal immigrants
US Citizens sent to immigration jails
Stop the Deportations and Other Abuses
AP photo: American Pedro Guzman was wrongly imprisoned, denied his citizenship rights and then deported to Mexico.