Thursday, January 5, 2012
The Violence of Doing Nothing
The problem is that while we are doing nothing, thousands of families are being separated as deportations continue. Dreamers, young people who would be able to earn status under the DREAM Act, are losing hope.
Thanksgiving weekend this past year a young dreamer, Joaquin Luna, committed suicide. In a note he left his parents he indicated his depression and hopelessness since the failure of the DREAM Act. As his high school graduation drew near, Joaquin could not envision a change in the system that would usher in the future he desired. In his case, our doing nothing led to a violent end.
As we head into 2012, immigrant advocates are predicting that nothing will happen to move us to immigration reform. No lawmaker will want to take it on in an election year. The president will do nothing. And yet something will happen to my neighbors. They will continue to live daily with the fear that they or their spouse or their grown children will be deported. They will continue to serve us far below a living wage and under the radar with no worker protections. They will continue on in landlord-tenant relationships with very little leverage. 65,000 more undocumented students who were raised in the U.S. will graduate from our high schools with no legal right to work or contribute.
Doing nothing in 2012 will not be neutral. Nothing results in something and in this case it will be the ongoing violence of fear, poverty and mistreatment.