LatinaLista — Maybe it’s because all the pictures of people crossing the border illegally always only show Latinos. Or maybe it’s because of the gruesome stories associated with Mexican cartel violence along the border. Or maybe it’s because stories of Social Security fraud is always tied with Latino workers. Or maybe it’s because the majority of undocumented immigrants are, in fact, Hispanic.
Whatever the reason, illegal immigration, border security and identity theft have become synonymous with Mexicans and Latin Americans as a result of these instances, but that’s not the complete picture.
Pew Hispanic Center 2007 chart.
Today’s story from California that two men were arrested for trying to get driver’s licenses for more than 200 undocumented Chinese and Koreans using doctored Canadian passports is a clear sign that illegal immigration, identity theft and border security is not entirely a Latino issue.
Sylvia Longmire, a retired Air Force captain and former Special Agent with the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, and a Homeland Security Today correspondent, writes in the article, What Can We Learn From Trends In ‘Special Interest Alien’ Migration Into The US? that there are immigrants from other countries who either try to cross into the country illegally or are already here.
For example, in 2010, more than 1,600 Indians – most of them Sikhs, a religious group in the Punjab region of India – entered Texas illegally. Six hundred and fifty were caught at the border during the last three months of 2010. In 2009, Border Patrol arrested only 99 Indians along the southwest border, according to homeland security officials.
The Los Angeles Times reported that authorities believed there may be thousands more Sikhs who’ve entered the United States undetected. Those who were caught or declared themselves at a port of entry requested asylum, claiming religious persecution in India. Yet, there has been no documented instances of widespread persecution of Sikhs in India since the 1980s.
Consequently, immigration authorities and analysts are stumped by the dramatic shift in the numbers of Sikhs asking for asylum. Most believe the Sikhs who’ve requested asylum were simply looking for economic opportunities in America, much like the majority of citizens of Central American nations who’ve entered the US illegally. It’s possible that Sikhs are using Latin American human smuggling pipelines because the human trafficking pipelines into the northeastern Unites States that they’d been using are being scrutinized more closely.
There are other shifts in the numbers of certain Special Interest Aliens or SIAs from year to year that make analysts scratch their heads. For example, from 2009 to 2010, the number of Romanian immigrants apprehended by Border Patrol agents nearly tripled, from 79 to 211. A stable country with no ties to terrorism and a low crime crate, the rise in apprehensions of Romanians trying to enter the US illegally remains unexplained.
The examples of these apprehensions aren’t to illustrate a porous border — in fact, the U.S. border can’t be anymore porous than any other nation’s borders when statistical data points to these kinds of apprehensions — but rather, they serve to show that the issues, so identified as being the sole fault of Hispanic immigrants just isn’t so.
The fact is people are coming here from all over the world and continue to do so by any means possible, which makes passing immigration reform imperative to the overall security of the nation.
To put off passing immigration reform only exacerbates a problem that is increasingly operating under the radar and will continue to do until legislation is passed that brings ALL these people out of the shadows of US society and makes them accountable for their actions.