Latina Lista: News from the Latinx perspective > Palabra Final > Immigration > April is Immigration Awareness Month

April is Immigration Awareness Month

LatinaLista — In honor of April being Immigration Awareness Month, Diversity Inc. has created a handy one-stop page for interesting facts about the role and contributions of immigrants to the United States.
One of the most interesting items is an immigration timeline that chronicles how Latinos are the last immigrants (so far) to arrive in the U.S. in sizable numbers.

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  • Sandra
    April 2, 2009 at 10:09 pm

    7 million Mexicans? Try tripling that and you would be closer to the truth if you count illegal immigration.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 2, 2009 at 11:37 pm

    Thank-you for this information. At my job we have (Diversity) Celebrations. My friend Barbara and I organize them and we get all the employees to contribute and bring an (ethnic dish) food from their backgrounds. The last party we had the theme was a celebration of Black American History Month with Obama’s Presidency as the theme. We decorated the room with articles, buttons, tee-shirts, bumper-stickers and copys of historical speechs and somehow I did tie the immigration stuff in there using quotes from Nancy Pelosi, Bill Richardson and Bob Menendez and of course parts of Obamas inuguration speech. I should talk to Barbara and see if we can have another party for April…I must tell her it is Immigration Awareness Month….this information is perfect to build the party with. The last party was a joy. We had poetry readings, diverse music and we all held hands and bowed our heads in prayer together. It didnt matter whether it was political or religious…we all compromised because we understood one thing…that we all loved and cared about each other and our country..and the rest didn’t matter. All employees contributed…from the managers to the man who took out the garbage and the women that cleaned the bathrooms. (A language barrier was not our concern). In all my life that I had worked never had I experienced a party that focused on Diversity in the workplace like this one and it was we the people that put it together as a celebration of our pursuit of happiness. It really made us all forget about the economy and the hard times we were all going through. For that day we all came together. My friend Barbara grew up in a town where her and her 2 siblings were the only black people around. Barbara shared various storys with me about how she grew up with discrimination and how for the first time in her life she felt proud to be who she was. It was a joy to help Barbara put together this celebration and watch her happiness when management complemented her on what a wonderful job she had done.

  • Karen
    April 2, 2009 at 11:42 pm

    I don’t see what the so-called Zoot Suit Riots have to do with this timeline, as that has nothing to do with immigration.
    Secondly, that was not a conflict between white servicemen and Mexican “youth gangs.” It was drunk, racist, white servicemen on a bender attacking Mexican-American citizens–men and teens.
    They always call any gathering of Mexicans
    a “gang.” This way they can make it seem like the servicemen weren’t wrong.

  • Horacio
    April 3, 2009 at 12:05 pm

    Ciao Marisa,
    Slightly off subject but relevant nonetheless. Disgustingly outrageous. See NYT’s piece: “Immigrant Detainee Dies, and a Life Is Buried, Too” at;
    We’ll all have to deal with the legacy of the cowboy administration for years to come as if the current worldwide near depression wasn’t more than enough.

  • Michaela
    April 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm

    SPLC identifies hate groups? Do they also identify groups that hate white people like NCLR?

  • Karen
    April 4, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    NCLR doesn’t hate white people. It’s a civil rights group that exists because many white people hate Latinos. It’s funny how you try to rewrite history.

  • Horace
    April 5, 2009 at 9:09 am

    The SPLC is little more than McCarthyism in a different form. The SPLC has assumed the role of witch hunters for ethnocentric groups who have the goal of destroying the people’s right to establish immigration policy to suit national interests. They are but a tool for the Mexican government’s underlying policy to use dual citizenship Mexicans to interfere in internal U.S. politics by legitimizing illegal immigrants and keeping our borders open for illegal immigration. Americans should despise and show contempt for this phony civil liberties organization. They’re no more suited to judging right from wrong than the KKK.

  • Marisa Treviño
    April 5, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Horace, Come on now! Make some sense. Don’t start jumping off the deep end now.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 6, 2009 at 12:19 am

    Horace you need to go to Salem, Mass and hang out there for a while and talk to the guides and historians about your ideas about being the hunted. Witch trials!! who is being hunted down, abused, accused and tormented, jailed for a so called felony just because they wanted a pursuit to a better life. That is the undocumented. Horace you are the hunter…and it is the undocumented that is the victim here. Take a look at the curse of years and years of bad Karma…and listen to Nataniel Hawthorne writings. It’s funny how you can take sacred history, beautiful literature and twist it around to make yourself appear to be the accused. Many of the undocumented have settled here for years now and it is they who many perceive to be the accused. Isn’t it you who want to steal the piece of property they worked hard for and rally up groups to hunt them down. Isn’t it you who wish to put a letter on each one of their backs and I wont even speak of the nasty names that you call them or the letter you would choose to brand them. Or maybe we could refer to the book the scarlet letter and how it feels to be isolated and to live in fear and be marked for a human mistake. We could only imagine what letter you would choose to brand the undocumented with if you could legally do it…if Nathanial Harthorne was alive he would have to write an updated version of the Scarlet Letter. Separating them from there children and loved ones and deporting them because of a mistake they made in the past. Its you who wants to persecute, jail and hang them Horace. You not all that different from the mean spirted oportunists, the cronnies back then. Don’t tell me you are the victim because they crossed the Border or overstayed a visa because our (ridiculous) broken immigration system didn’t allow them to come in the front door. Your argument is shallow. You are a modern re-enactment of 1692.

  • Horace
    April 14, 2009 at 9:04 pm

    ME said: “…..jailed for a so called felony just because they wanted a pursuit to a better life.”
    I’m sure that Machine Gun Kelly robbed banks to improve his economic status, but society frowned upon the way he did it. The banks objected to his withdrawals as does the American public about the way foreigners show their contempt towards our immigration policies. Amnesty for illegal aliens will never happen if our congress complies with the will of the majority of Americans. Our citizens have already seen the lie of CIR in the fact that the enforcement provisions of the last amnesty were ignored. NEVER AGAIN!

  • Sandra
    April 15, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    The U.S. can only allow so many to come through the front door, thus we have immigration policies. Defying that and creating a back door instead to enter our country illegally is not acceptable. Nor would it be acceptable in any other country in the world.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 15, 2009 at 3:35 pm

    Horace…to compare Machine Gun Kelly to an undocumented worker is ridiculious. It took you a week to come up with that as your response to the “witch trials” What a creative response?? Also, considering that their are 12 to 14 undocumented + 4 million US born children + their fellow American spouses, relatives and friends that are on their side…you must get prepared to embrace Comprehensive Immigration Reform. Compare it to the US population and you will figure it out. The numbers of your fellow Americans lives being complicated by a broken immigration system are growing. Eventually CIR will happen.

  • Horace
    April 17, 2009 at 4:49 am

    ME said: “…by a broken immigration system are growing. Eventually CIR will happen.”
    Let’s analyze how did this system is allegedly broken. Mexico, a corrupt country drove its poor across our borders. Through the goodness of the hearts of Americans we permitted millions to stay in the 1980’s. These same people who benefited by our charity, having no respect for their adopted country’s laws, invited their family members in Mexico to emigrate illegally. And now, because of this we find ourselves accused of having a broken system. The only reason Hispanics claim that it is broken is that the same illegals who came here in the 1980’s can’t bring their aunts, uncles, cousins and second cousins and half of Mexico with them. And now they claim that it is unfair that the millions they aided and abetted to come here are threatened with deportation. We should be sympathetic with such people. Never! If the rest of America doesn’t want to become the cesspool of illiteracy and corruption that is Mexico today, citizens will wake up and enforce the immigration laws like they’ve never done before.
    What’s growing is a national recognition of the outrageous demands by Latino advocacy groups and, fair or not, a general disaffection with Latinos. Latinos should be careful what they wish, as such political bullying will gain them no allies among the American community as a whole. And judging by the poor academic performance of their children, they need all the help they can get.

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 18, 2009 at 1:29 am

    Mexico…did not drive its poor across the border. American cronys did by exploiting them for cheap labor. have got to get real! The employers solicit the workers through an underground network.! you are nieve. The broken immigration system allows illegal activity to take place. Do not blame Mexico for the mess we have created in America. The more you oppose CIR..the worse the situation gets. It has been 20 years now and people like you are still talking the same silly rhetoric.

  • Alessandra
    April 18, 2009 at 10:36 am

    Mary, the truth is that Mexico can’t get rid of its poor fast enough. The elites in Mexico do not want to be bothered by them; why are there no provisions made for the poor in Mexico, no social programs for them? If there were WIC, food stamps, Section 8 housing, free health care available for them, would they be coming here in droves? Why are the schools not funded to provide a K through 12 public education for ALL of their citizens with free breakfasts and lunches for the needy?? Because the wealthy do not want to pay for it. So the U.S. taxpayers get stuck with the bill.
    By blaming America first and always for the shortcomings and bad decisions of another country, you are absolving that country and their citizens of any responsibilities towards their own citizens and enabling those who should be responsible to escape that responsibility; we are acting as their safety valve. Did you ever consider that point?
    As for the past 20 years: after the 1986 amnesty which was to be the “amnesty to end all amnesties,” the American public was promised that the borders would be secured and the immigration laws enforced. Although just a wee little one at that time, I would imagine that Americans believed that promise at the time. Seven amnesties later, they no longer believe it and can you blame them? You know that old saying, “Food me once shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.” But, Mary, we have been fooled once, twice, thrice, and on and on. Talk about naivetee.
    We can no longer continue this pattern of illegal immigration followed by an amnesty followed by more illegal immigration. No country does this anywhere in the world, including those South of the border.
    There will be no more amnesties without PROOF POSITIVE that employers will no longer be able to hire those here illegally. That means mandated e verify to close up the loop hole that employers now have that they did not “knowingly” hire illegals. There must also be an efficient mechanism in place to track visa overstayers being that 40% of illegals have come here on visas and then did not return home when they expired. This just has to stop.
    Mary what message does it send to the millions of people all over the world who respect this country and its laws and who are waiting patiently in line to come here? What about the people who wanted very much to remain here, but returned when their visas were up and were told if they wanted to live here to reapply as per the law? How is this fair to them? They and their children are still waiting in line while those amnestied get to remain here. It tells them that they are chumps, fools. They should have jumped on that plane and just come here and overstayed their visas like the others.
    I think that the fact that we have been through this before is a major sticking point. I’m pretty sure that had we not, I’d be on the side of giving the benefit of the doubt. But we’ve already been down this road in 1986 and then with smaller, targeted amnesties on a regular basis in the interim. So it obviously doesn’t work, only encourages more to come illegally. After all, if we do not respect our own laws, why should they?
    Now, if our government would be serious about securing the border and forcing employers to play by the rules, then I would be willing to consider a form of legalization (not citizenship, though–that should be reserved for people who did not show contempt for our nation) for those who could prove that they had been gainfully employed for a number of years and had ties to this country if they agreed to certain requirements. But yet ANOTHER blanket amnesty for everyone–no. Mary, at some point we need to send a message to the world that our laws mean something, that our borders mean something. A country without borders is not a country.
    Another thing you need to understand is that this is a matter of globalists vs. nationalists, not necessarily right vs. left. Of course, the Dems are looking at increasing their voting constituency. If they thought that these people were going to come in and vote Republican, do you HONESTLY (be truthful) think that they’d be all gung-ho for an amnesty? Now that would be really naive. It’s all about political power, Mary, not humanitarianism or compassion for the political leadership.

  • Alessandra
    April 18, 2009 at 10:41 am

    History of Amnesty:
    The Seven Amnesties Passed by Congress
    1. Immigration and Reform Control Act (IRCA), 1986: A blanket amnesty for some 2.7 million illegal aliens
    2. Section 245(i) Amnesty, 1994: A temporary rolling amnesty for 578,000 illegal aliens
    3. Section 245(i) Extension Amnesty, 1997: An extension of the rolling amnesty created in 1994
    4. Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA) Amnesty, 1997: An amnesty for close to one million illegal aliens from Central America
    5. Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act Amnesty (HRIFA), 1998: An amnesty for 125,000 illegal aliens from Haiti
    6. Late Amnesty, 2000: An amnesty for some illegal aliens who claim they should have been amnestied under the 1986 IRCA amnesty, an estimated 400,000 illegal aliens
    7. LIFE Act Amnesty, 2000: A reinstatement of the rolling Section 245(i) amnesty, an estimated 900,000 illegal aliens

  • Horace
    April 18, 2009 at 10:03 pm

    ME said: “The broken immigration system allows illegal activity to take place.”
    This is idiotic thinking. Illegal aliens take advantage of our open borders and use forged identity documents and make fraudulent statements on W-9 documents claiming that they can legally work. The illegal activity wouldn’t take place if it were not for the actions of the illegal immigrant himself. Blaming the employer or the immigration system entirely is like the character on the old show “Laugh-In” where the character (in this case illegal alien) saying “The Devil Made Me Do It.” The “broken” immigration system made the illegal immigrant and his employer do it all, no human being, just an inanimate object, “the system”. This is just like you democrats to insist that no person is responsible for his own wrong actions. Thanks for the laugh, ME. Wacko thinking, indeed!

  • MaryElizabeth
    April 19, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    Oh I see Horace, So you are all about sticking up for the employer that hires people for 5 dollars an hour meanwhile they are breaking the labor laws. You are going to talk about the “rule of law”. You are a joke! You are one of those wing nuts that talks only about inforceing the laws that you like but then you do not have a problem with cronys breaking the law. Your fellow Americans do not want to hear you lousy rhetoric. WACKO!! Indeed you are!! CIR is needed to make a system reasonable that brings the working wage in America worth working for.

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