Chicago immigration officials detained a Puerto Rican man for three days.
Why is this so unbelievable? All Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens since the island is a U.S. commonwealth.
Seems though they didn’t believe Eduardo Caraballo even after he produced a birth certificate and a state issued I.D., according to this story by NBC Chicago.
“I’m pretty sure they know that Puerto Ricans are citizens, but just because of the way I look — I have Mexican features — they pretty much assumed that my papers were fake,” he told NBC Chicago. “They were making me feel like I can’t voice my opinion or I can’t even speak for myself to let them know that I am a citizen.”
Now for all the people out there who still don’t understand why I have a problem with this new Arizona immigration law all you have to do is look at Caraballo’s case.
He was arrested by police in connection with a stolen car. Even if he were guilty on that charge, he shouldn’t have been detained by immigration officials.
But he’s a brown man who speaks without an accent and even with documentation immigration officials didn’t believe him. This is why Latinos are so upset over this Arizona law as it allows police to question and arrest people if they have “reasonable suspicion” that they are undocumented. It’s up to us to prove we aren’t and look how hard it was for Caraballo.
Apparently, Caraballo was finally released after his mother contacted Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez‘s office for help.
Meanwhile, it was announced Tuesday that President Obama is going to send up to 1,200 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border to help search for drug smugglers.
However, they won’t make arrests of border crossers and smugglers, something they are not trained to do, according to a New York Times story.
Now the Obama Administration is trying to appease Republicans like Sen. John McCain and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer. Still, McCain wants 6,000 National Guard troops at the U.S.-Mexico border.
This is merely a political move that won’t deter immigration and isn’t likely to help that much with drug smuggling either.
The truth is that crime along the U.S. side of the border is actually down. On the U.S. side of the border from Texas to California there has not been a spike in crime, according to a story by the L.A. Times.
By sending National Guard troops migrants and smugglers will only seek out more remote and dangerous routes into the United States. This also could result in more people perishing in the desert.
Remember the U.S.-Mexico border is 2,000-miles long and we couldn’t possibly build a wall long enough or send enough troops to cover every square inch of it.
If we want to stem the flow of drugs into the United States, the government has to create policies that address drug consumption by Americans. And if we want to slow immigration into the United States, then the United States and Mexico need to develop policies to create jobs in Mexico.
A billion dollars in U.S. government aid to fight Mexico’s drug war and sending 1,200 or 6,000 National Guard troops at the border won’t change much.
In the end, you will only have more U.S. Latinos, like Caraballo, caught up in the web of immigration enforcement.
It’s not just a problem for Arizona. It happened here in Chicago.