|Demonstrators picketing against the arrival of undocumented migrants scheduled|
to be processed at the Murrieta Border Patrol Station in Murrieta, Calif., on July 1, 2014.
(REUTERS/Sam Hodgson, Washington Post, July 2)
Protesters yesterday blocked a bus attempting to deliver a large group of undocumented Central American women and children to a detention and processing center in Murrieta, California. Protester anger is understandable. As many have said, the US immigration system is broken. Still, it's odd that the protest stopped a federal effort to actually do something about the problem of overwhelmed immigrant detention centers in Texas. And though not surprising given our nation's history of nativism, it's sad that the NIMBY attitude (we're not a "dumping ground," said one protester) trumped the recognition that the US government is obliged to care for these detainees--many of them kids, for god's sake (listen to this NPR story Why are kids from Central America risking solo travel to the US?)
|Undocumented children in a detention center|
(From CBSTV Videos at Yahoo News)
Instead of stopping buses, I suggest that people protest any or all of the following:
|Waiting for work in LA|
(Southern California Public Radio, Getty Images)
1) Protest employers that have long had a voracious appetite for cheap and pliant undocumented immigrant labor. Start with Tyson, or other meat-packers.
2) Protest consumers who have benefited from the lower prices that undocumented labor affords. March through Beverly Hills, and berate all those wealthy residents who have enjoyed lower cost housecleaning, landscaping, and construction.
3) Crash a coke-laden party and protest all those providing the demand that sustains drug cartels, which in turn contribute to violent conditions that drive people to risk migration to the US (see, for example, this story about an inter-fraternity drug ring at San Diego State)
|President Reagan with Guatemalan dictator, Rios Montt,|
recently indicted for genocide
4. Why not go to the Ronald Reagan Library and protest an administration that fed civil wars in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Nicaragua (in violation of law, mind you)--wars that kicked off a surge of Central American migration to the US in the 1980s, and established a permanent migratory chain.
5. And for all you protesters that voted for Representatives or Senators that have blocked comprehensive immigration reform--go to a mirror, and shout at yourselves.