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Illegal Immigration - A Native American Indian's View

by Reposted by El Chivo Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 at 1:10 AM

By Carlos Estrella December 13, 2005

On almost every weekend in the US, the indigenous people of North America (Indians, Native Americans, Native Hawaiians, etc.) hold gatherings called "pow wows." During these festive, colorful events, many vendors sell t-shirts that talk about the effects of the so-called "discovery of America." Bumper stickers deride those who would forget that the original inhabitants of the Americas were the first to face the perils of "illegal immigration." Now however, residents of many "border states," particularly California, are looking at the efforts of "Minuteman" groups that have been formed under the auspices of "border security." On the surface this seems honorable and to be working to stem the tide of illegal immigration. However, there are some fundamentals that only an "Indian" might be able to point out:

First, there is a saying taken from the bible: he, who is without sin, let him cast the first stone. Many of those who would promote Minuteman groups and the proposed California Border Patrol are the same types of individuals who would fight Native tribes over tribal lands. Note that many of the Minuteman's supporters also support restrictions on how Native tribes use their lands and in some cases, these "protests" have turned violent. (Witness the border clashes between Native and non-Native people in NYS for proof of this.) Additionally, EVERYONE not of pre-1492 decent in the US is an ancestor of an illegal immigrant, as the islands of the Caribbean, the Continental US, Alaska, Hawaii and other small but no less significant places were invaded then populated by people who were not "legally welcome."

Second, the methods used against the majority population (Mexicans) of illegal immigrants may not be openly violent, but they are inherently racist. Not because the vast majority of those coming across the Rio Grande, etc. are Mexican, but because of the lack of minority involvement in such endeavors as the Minuteman Project, the organization of the California Border Patrol, etc. If security, terrorism prevention, protection of the legal workforce, etc. is so important, then why haven't legal immigrants, minorities, etc. "jumped on the bandwagon" and supported border "protection" measures? The fact of the matter is that the majority of supporters of this new form of "border security" are white males in middle to upper middle class environments who have latched onto an agenda that permits open racism. Even those who are not racist among us still laugh at the occasional ethnic joke, and what better way to justify those jokes than to come up with an element of truth (weeding out “illegals”) to justify harassing a whole group of fellow human beings?

As a descendant of LEGAL immigrants (believe it or not, some Cherokee moved northward and were welcomed in the NY/NJ area by the local Indians, ultimately becoming part of the Sand Hill Band in New Jersey, New York and parts of Pennsylvania), it’s plain to see that there is strong evidence that the motives of those in these so-called border protectors are more than a little suspect. If illegal immigration and job protections are that important, protect them universally and in a way that respects the sacrifices many make in order to come to this country, and don’t forget that unless of indigenous lineage, YOU are an illegal immigrant.

NOTE: The author is a member of the NJ Sand Hill Tribe of Indians, a Native enclave encompassing NJ and parts of NY and PA. He is also a former military and tribal police officer and has been active in Native affairs for many years.

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Listed below are the 10 latest comments of 10 posted about this article.
These comments are anonymously submitted by the website visitors.
reply Jammer CC Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 at 10:57 AM
to jc El Chivo Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 at 5:29 PM
well spoken canat Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 at 9:10 PM
Joe's Illegal then El Chivo Friday, Dec. 16, 2005 at 9:28 PM
reply Jammer CC Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 1:14 AM
say what..? canat Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 2:49 AM
Confusion johnk Saturday, Dec. 17, 2005 at 11:54 PM
huh? way to go Monday, Dec. 19, 2005 at 6:06 PM

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