By Linda Olvera
The horrible tragedy of the San Francisco waterfront killing of Katherine Steinle by one undocumented immigrant is being politicized and manipulated by anti-immigrant organizations and racist politicians like Donald Trump.
The crimes of one or two undocumented immigrants may point to shortcomings of the criminal justice system that should be corrected. But we cannot allow these tragedies to be used by extremist people and organizations to promote their hate and racism by calling for more inhumane immigration policies for the undocumented.
Do we condemn all white people for the behaviors of white cops, or do we judge them individually and independently apart from their ethnicity and community?
Undocumented children and families are suffering enough. They have escaped the violence from their home countries. Many have been raped or have died along the way trying to reach the US in order to survive as human beings on this planet.
The vast majority of undocumented immigrants are law-abiding. Many work at hard jobs –“cheap labor” – as farmworkers, domestic help and in the restaurant and construction industries.
U.S. corporations and some business people make huge profits by not paying them equitably. Yet, it is precisely these employers who have become the worst enemy of the undocumented, pushing for harsher immigration policies.
Simply stated, the immigrant community is asking for no favored status, only the same fair and honest treatment entitled to all residents of the U.S., security for their families and communities and due process for all.
Undocumented immigrants do not fit Donald Trump’s image of felons who commit murder and sell drugs. Immigrants commit no more crimes than native-born Americans, according to Congressional Research Service (CRS).
Immigrants generally have a stronger incentive than native-born Americans to stay out of legal trouble, especially undocumented immigrants who are always at risk of deportation.
In addition, those who legally are in the U.S. or are pursuing legal status are required to pass a criminal background check.
Trump and anti-immigrant organizations are scapegoating undocumented immigrants for the criminal woes of this country.
Look at the roots of the illegal drug industry, and it is clear that is the demand generated by U.S. citizens that generates and maintains the international drug industry.
U.S. demand c generates supply, which leads to recruitment of drug traffickers from Brown & Black impoverished and jobless communities often employed in small-time, street-level positions.
Ironically, Trump, a so-called financial leader, ignores the economics of this global business but instead blames undocumented immigrants in order to feed his electoral campaign.
We have witnessed years and years of these racist lies. Trump is only the latest to exploit them for his personal advantage.
But as a result, many Americans believe that walls, borders and harsher immigration laws are what will save them from drugs and crime in America.
Undocumented Immigrants are not the cause of crime and drugs in America. America is the cause of crime and drugs in America.
Linda Olvera is an Oakland Latina advocate and activist.