Nancy Pelosi’s statements follow the “good vs. bad immigrant” discourse. Undocumented immigrants may not get that path to citizenship which according to some they never deserved anyway because they are “illegal”.
This same story played out yesterday in opening statements in a trial against a border patrol agent in Arizona accused of shooting and killing an immigrant. Meanwhile in parts of California ICE targeted the “worst” of immigrants, gang members.
A Border Patrol agent fatally shot a “peaceful and passive” illegal immigrant without provocation as he tried to surrender, a prosecutor told jurors Wednesday during opening statements of the agent’s retrial.
Nicholas Corbett is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and negligent homicide in the death of Francisco Javier Dominguez Rivera, of Puebla, Mexico…At least five times during opening statements, special prosecutor Grant Woods alluded to the peaceful nature of Dominguez, who was killed about 100 yards north of the Mexican border.
Dominguez “was not hotheaded,” said Woods, a former Arizona attorney general. He said Corbett had lied in alleging that Dominguez threatened to smash his head with a rock, as well as in his explanation of the confrontation and how the shooting occurred.
Woods said Wednesday that he hoped to show Dominguez’s good character through witnesses, including a woman who had employed him near New York City…
“They didn’t run; they didn’t hide,” Woods said. “They figured they would be apprehended.”
He said the brothers and girlfriend will testify that all four were surrendering when Corbett hit Dominguez in the back of the head and was pushing him down from behind with the gun in his left hand when the weapon fired…
But defense attorney Sean Chapman said Corbett defended himself with deadly force, as state law allows.
“The evidence will show that Francisco Dominguez was not a peaceful man,” Chapman said, “that he had a rock the size of a baseball or softball, and tried to smash it into the head of a federal law enforcement officer.”
So the prosecution’s angle is not that this border patrol agent used excessive force, or even that that border patrol shoot first and ask questions later as most law enforcement entities do, especially against people of color, but rather that this agent shot and killed “one of the good ones” , a hard worker and someone who goes against the stereotype of violent and hot tempered Latino males.
Meanwhile in the San Francisco area:
Immigration officials, along with federal, state and local authorities raided more than dozen locations in San Francisco, South San Francisco and Richmond Wednesday as part of an ongoing criminal investigation targeting alleged members of the notorious street gang MS-13…
Wednesday’s raids were not administrative immigration enforcement raids but part of a criminal investigation.
The MS-13 street gang, also known as Mara Salvatrucha, started in Southern California and has roots in El Salvador. Authorities say they have linked the San Francisco arm of the group to several slayings in the City, including the shooting deaths of Tony Bologna and his two sons in the Excelsior District this summer.
No one is saying that violent street organizations whose actions impact the Latino community should be permitted to commit crimes. A friend of my family was killed by a suspected member of the MS-13. The problem is that being a “hard worker” and being a “gang member” aren’t mutually exclusive, especially in an atmosphere where Latinos are deemed gang members often for just standing on a corner with a friend or two. We can’t expect to solve crime in Latino communities when laws prohibit many immigrants from finding jobs that provide a living wage for their families and budget priorities have children of color learning in schools with 10 year old textbooks.
So who deserves a path to citizenship, the right to be recognized as fully human in the eyes of U.S. society? I say it’s everyone or no one and yes that means you too.