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Immigration Debate has Good Unintended Consequences for Latino Communities

LatinaLista — All this week, Latino communities have been remembering, and trying to replicate, the immigration marches of a year ago.

Unfortunately,the people aren’t quite as enthusiastic as last year. It could be people are tired and are waiting for Congress to get their act together or they are scared,if they’re undocumented,that ICE trucks will be on every corner.
Immigration Debate has Good Unintended Consequences for Latino Communities

But because of the poor showings this week and Congress just barely cobbling something together to get the ball rolling,people are asking,”What good did last year’s marches really do?”

Well, an unintended byproduct of this whole immigration debate is the emergence of new voices and new faces representing the Latino community.

Before, it was either Latinos in show business, sports or those who headed up national organizations who were known as the “voice of the Latino community.”

Today, because of the immigration debate, we have everyday people who found themselves moved to act in extraordinary ways to combat the mindless panic driving the harsh measures targeting undocumented immigrants and border relations with Mexico.

People like Jay Johnson-Castro who has walked from San Diego to the Valley in Texas to bring awareness to the women and children being held in immigrant detention facilites, and to the opposition of a border wall.

Jay Johnson-Castro
(Source: Latina Lista)

Ana Lorena Hart in Little Rock, Arkansas. She has become one of the primary lobbyists on Latino issues at the legislature, it is said, by default. The multicultural community relations manager at the Tyson Foods headquarters in Springdale (she emphasizes that her political activity is separate from her professional work), Hart was pushed into service in the absence of any organization prepared to undertake Latino political action.

Elvira Arellano, the single, undocumented mother who has been granted sanctuary in a Chicago-area church, for refusing to be separated from her US-born son and allow herself to be deported. She sees herself as representing all the undocumented families who would be torn apart in the event of deportation.

Elvira Arellano

And the list keeps growing.

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