Deportations out of proportion

The phenomenon of undocumented immigration was created by the attractiveness of the U.S. around the world, with its opportunities for employment and progress. However, when people talk about undocumented immigrants, they focus on Latinos, which is detrimental to our community.

According to data from the Pew Research Center, Latinos account for 75% of undocumented immigrants settled in the U.S. Nevertheless, as per official data, they make up 97% of deportees.

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF) and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network released a report detailing the country of origin of those deported in 2013. It revealed that there are a disproportionate number of people from Mexico, Central and South America getting deported from our country, compared with other ethnicities and nationalities.

The study shows that the majority of actions by immigration officials, court decisions and laws are directed at combating immigration from the south. For example, although only half of undocumented immigrants enter through the border with Mexico, most of the efforts have been and are directed toward that border. I-9 audits to search for undocumented workers are conducted in industries that have mostly Latino workers. In addition, the use of racial profiling in states like Arizona focuses on those who appear Latino.

This reality involving deportations goes to show why not having immigration reform is a big concern for the Latino community—which is experiencing family separations. One of every four Latinos knows first-hand about a deportation case. Today the absence of reform has very direct consequences among Hispanics, who will remember tomorrow at the polls who helped them and who turned their back on them.