Bab, bad xenophobes and racists! You had better be on your best behavior and not ask any questions.
The Boston Marathon bombings and their impact on immigration policy framed a discussion organized by Centro Presente Friday on police hostility, immigrant rights, and the necessity of grassroots and community organizing.
An immigrant rights organization based in Somerville, Centro Presente held the community conversation in partnership with the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities. NALACC is a Latino-led organization based in Chicago that works for betterment of the Latin American community in the U.S. and abroad.
The event reflected the anxiety among some in immigrant communities that the Marathon bombings would lead to a backlash against immigrants and possibly endanger legislation on Capitol Hill to overhaul the nation’s immigration system and create a pathway to citizenship for the 11 million unauthorized immigrants already here.
Natalicia Tracy, executive director of the Brazilian Immigration Center, and Oscar Chacon, executive director of NALACC, expressed their sympathy and solidarity to those affected by the April 15 bombings and the aftermath.
“Of course what happened is not okay,” Tracy said Friday. “But to use an incident such as this one to continue to criminalize our community and portray us as those to be blamed for is not justifiable.”
Around 20 people attended the event, including representatives from other immigrant rights organizations of the area. Also present were Jacobi Francisco, vice-consul of Mexico’s consulate in Boston, and Jose Aleman, general consul of El Salvador’s consulate in Boston.
“For the past 25 years or so, in a very systematic manner, forces that are motivated by racism and xenophobia in our society have been constantly painting foreign nationals as threats to US society,” said Chacon. He condemned the hostility toward the immigrant community with the same emphasis he condemned the acts of terror against innocent people that took place in the Boston Marathon.
Well, you have options. You could always leave our country and go back to your native shithole.
“Not only does the anti-immigrant hysteria run the risk of rising again, but we also become more complacent to accept practices such as the excessive use of police force,” said Chacon, who likened the manhunt for the bombing suspects to a military operations.
Anti-immigrant hysteria, huh? Since the bombings occurred has there been a single incident against any of these people? No, there hasn’t. But that doesn’t stop them from complaining.