Arizona & Immigration Reform

Photo: Cinthya Felix

I said I wasn't going to get political on this blog, but in memory of a great friend of mine inspired me to post this.

The tragic death of my close friend Ms. Cinthya Felix, motivated me to acknowledge the Arizona law that recently passed. Since the day the law passed, we would gchat about it almost everyday. We'd also discuss it at work. At first I didn't know much about the law, but after hours of conversation with Cinthya, I realized how discriminatory and cruel this law was. She was so upset about such a hateful legislation. I was angry too, although I don't completely understand all the struggles of being an undocumented immigrant, I can understand discrimination. This photo (above) is Cinthya at a rally in DC in April 2010. She frequently rallied in LA, DC, and Massachusetts.


Knowing Cinthya, I learned more about immigration reform than I ever thought I would have otherwise. I saw this photo (above) on the NY Times website and sent this to her not too long ago. She laughed and said, "Man, that sh*t is still f*cked up." I could tell she was sad, but we both knew that there is still a lot of work to be done in Washington.

This video is of First Lady Michelle Obama at a 2nd grade school in Washington. Unscripted (and unexpected), a young girl in the class asked Mrs. Obama -- "My mom said, I think that she says that, Barack Obama is going to take away everybody that doesn't have papers". Watch below:

I read CNN a lot, but I very rarely comment on the site. When I saw this and read the previous comments posted, I couldn't hold back my frustrations -- mostly from the use of the term "illegal." My comment submitted to CNN was not chosen to be posted on the site, but here is a synopsis of what I wrote:

"Illegal" is not a term we should use to describe a person. No human being on this earth is or ever will be "illegal." All the rights and freedoms granted to Americans, taken for granted daily by most, should be justly given to those who immigrate to this nation in an equal manner. I have learned from my personal encounter with undocumented citizens a sense of rigor, dedication, and more patriotism to this nation than any natural born citizen I know. Most undocumented citizens work longer hours, harder labor-intensive jobs, and for less pay than most Americans would be willing to do. They pay federal, state, and sales taxes just as the rest of us, and take the highest interest on loans banks are allowed to incur; but most of you don't know that (ignorance). Our nation was founded and built on immigrants. Instead of "fighting" for discriminatory policies to keep others away, we need to learn to embrace neighbors and push for reform that will allow them easier citizenship access.
I've probably only ever given my point of view on immigration policy with Cinthya. In closing with one of her favorite quotes:

"Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically to those who hardly think about us in return." T.H. White

Rest in Peace Cinthya
Junuary 23, 1984 - May 15, 2010