Yesterday was an important day for millions of undocumented Spanish speakers in the United States. While in Miami experts recommended that the government continue its fight against organized crime and political insecurity in Latin America, President Barack Obama was getting ready to impose a series of mandates that would stop the deportation of about 5 million people who find themselves being illegal because they don’t have documents. The president was made well aware of the political risk this involves through the heartless, inhumane reaction of the Republican Party.
The election results were counterproductive for the president. Stuck between Republicans and moderate Democrats, he has given the impression of not wanting, or not being able to achieve the promises of his campaign, at least not with the uncompromising stance of far-right Republicans, whose anti-immigrant position was only strengthened with the election results. The immigration situation in the U.S. affects its foreign affairs, as well, mainly with respect to the human rights of all those undocumented immigrants who play an important role in the economy of the country they live in, and who are often endlessly paranoid of being arrested and imprisoned. People are now coming to know more about all the hardships they suffer.
Another new concern for the U.S. is the need to analyze the political and security situations in the Northern Triangle, especially in Guatemala, where a simple bus trip to work is an odyssey, particularly for women, who are targets of abuse from passengers, and for the drivers, who are often killed at the hands of armed delinquents, many times adolescents. I've witnessed a bus driver hand someone a wrapped package in which there was apparently a roll of bills. The transaction was quick, in broad daylight for all to see. Smartphones are also easy black market currency.
This horrible state of affairs is what provokes many to take the often fatal journey through Mexico to the U.S. border. The abuses are an everyday experience for everyone, but are especially bad for women. That’s why there’s an undeniable need for President Obama to keep his promises. However, as much as he may try, he still needs the Republican Party, which staunchly maintains its short-sighted position, denying the importance of participation from Latinos — with or without documents — in the national economy. It has no valid motives affect the greatest language and cultural minority in the country.
Yesterday could have been an important day if what was expressed various times by the president were put into practice. The U.S. has officially seen enough of the effects of the Central American war on drugs: undocumented immigration, crime, insecurity and human rights violations in Central American countries. It’s a tangible, desperate reality, and its effects reach American soil. Not understanding that is suicide: The huge minority of Spanish speakers in the U.S. will soon become a majority. It will take some years, certainly, but it’s impossible to stop the growth of this demographic, and therefore necessary to end its current illegal status as a result of simply not having papers.