An Important Day for the Undocumented

Yesterday was an important day for the millions of undocumented Spanish speakers in the United States. In Miami, various experts recommended that the government maintain its support for the fight against organized crime as well as against social and political instability in Latin America, and encouraged the government to enforce these policies immediately. Meanwhile, President Barack Obama prepared a series of actions that will prevent the deportation of approximately 5 million people considered to be illegal because they lack legal documentation. The president is aware of the political risk in carrying out these measures, due to the inevitably hostile response from the Republican Party.

The president of the United States suffered a setback in the recent midterm elections. In an effort not to deplete his strength among Republicans and moderate Democrats, Obama gave the impression that he did not want or was unable to complete his campaign promises as he faced the inflexible stand taken by extreme Republicans against immigration reform, a position that was reinforced by the election results. This domestic policy situation affects large areas of foreign policy, especially in the area of human rights for those who are undocumented but who contribute significantly to the economy of the states in which they live. These people must often take endless precautions to avoid arrest or imprisonment, and we are constantly learning about the hardships they suffer.

A new area of American concern involves the need to analyze the political circumstances and prevailing issues of personal security in the Northern Triangle, especially in Guatemala, where simply getting to work on a city bus becomes an odyssey, especially for women who are abused by other passengers and drivers and whose lives are mercilessly cut short by armed criminals who are often minors. I have witnessed a truck driver give someone a bundle wrapped in paper clearly containing a roll of bills. The transaction is quick and takes place in daylight where everyone can see. Smart phones are also easy prey.

This horrible reality is prompting many to undertake dangerous travel across Mexico to the southern U.S. border. Abuse is a daily occurrence for everyone, but especially for women. For this reason, there is an unquestionable need for President Obama to keep his promise. President Obama certainly has the greatest intent to fulfill his promises and doing so requires action by the Republican Party. However, the Republican Party maintains its myopic stance, especially in denying the importance of participation by the Hispanic population — documented or undocumented — in the economy. Seen from a distance, there appears to be no valid reason to treat the largest linguistic and cultural minority in America that way.

Yesterday may have been an important day but in order to be important, the president’s repeated promises have to become reality. Officially, the United States has supported the fight against drugs and the emigration of undocumented people, fleeing from crime, insecurity, and human rights violations in the countries of Central America. It is tangible and real, it is frustrating, and it reaches inside America. Failure to understand the fight is self-destructive. The large, Spanish-speaking minority will soon become the majority. Certainly, there are a few years to go. However, it is impossible to restrain the growing population of these immigrants, a situation that will force the U.S. to end the current designation of these immigrants as undocumented for a lack of some simple papers.

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