Huffington Post, January 8, 2017
At the end of December, The Washington Post reported that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement would being rounding up Central American immigrants for deportation. This past weekend, the raids began, with parents and children being detained in military-style operations in several southern and border states. Fear has spread through immigrant communities around the country.
As a professor of migration studies at Stony Brook University who has researched consequences of immigration policies for over a decade, I have followed news of this initiative closely. But I am also an Anglo mom of two on Long Island, in a town with sizeable communities of Latino immigrants, many of them from Central America. I speak Spanish, so I talk with Latino immigrants, I listen, I ask. And this is what fear looks like in my town.
Sunday afternoon, my kids were playing with some kids in the community, blowing off end-of-holiday break steam. Suddenly, one boy said to me, “Miss Nancy, did you hear that they are stopping people on the streets, and taking them away? Whole families. My mom was crying, she’s so scared.” I called his mother. She came to Long Island 13 years ago, and while her husband has papers, she does not. Their kids are U.S. citizens. Yes, she said, word was out that ICE was in our town, setting up checkpoints on the roads, knocking on doors, walking through stores where Latinos shop. Everyone was staying home, terrified. Read more here…