Feature photo by Isabel Gonzalez

Last Look on Gozamos’ Articles on Immigration

2010 was a tumultuous year for immigrants in the land of the free. 2010 saw immigrants–particularly from Latin America–quickly becoming the country’s new scapegoats for all things wrong in the U.S. Comprehensive immigration reform fell by the wayside; the Obama administration quietly made history by overseeing the greatest number of deportations over a two-year-period; Arizona, riding the wave of xenophobia, implemented several Juan Crow Laws. It banned ethnic studies and with the passage of SB1070, legalized racial profiling and became the “Show Me Your Papers” state. The courts struck down the most heinous parts of the bill, deeming them unconstitutional, yet at least 25 other states are currently considering similar legislation. The DREAM Act passed in the House of Representatives on December 8th only to die–for now–in the Senate ten days later. Yes, it was a tough year. And with a recreant Democratic administration and re-energized Republicans taking control of the House in 2011, things will likely not get any better any time soon. The American Dream remains a dream deferred for the immigrants who help keep this country going.

Despite the disheartening drawbacks, 2010 also saw what is great about immigrants and Latinos. Grassroots movements flourished, and Latino youth led the way in reminding this country what liberty and justice truly mean. On New Year’s Day 2010, Gaby Pacheco and three other DREAM activists started a four-month walk from Miami to Washington, D.C., in a journey called the Trail of Dreams. In March, Chicago’s own Immigrant Youth Justice League captured the nation’s attention through a series of brave “coming out” rallies where members publicly declared themselves undocumented. In July, twenty-one student activists were arrested at sit-ins at key senators’ offices, including the Arizona office of former DREAM Act supporter Senator John McCain. They bravely risked deportation but were fortunately spared. Social media activism also grew as sites like DREAM Act 2010 mobilized over 80,000 fans to call and email state representatives and senators. From Los Angeles to Miami to Chicago to New York, youth organized rallies, sit-ins, protests, and hunger strikes in support of the DREAM Act–and in support of the human rights of the undocumented. It is this dedication to fight for justice that should be remembered most about 2010. Let it inspire us to start 2011 with one simple New Year’s resolution: do not give up.

Immigrants Are What’s Wrong with America
Gozamos contributor N. Reyna Amaya looks at how changing demographics, a collapsing economy and emerging political movements are convening at an auspicious time for those needing a Latino immigrant scapegoat.

Immigration Points that Make Me Sick
An essay for the tired, poor children of the homeless and tempest-tossed by Gozamos contributor N. Reyna Amaya.

Sin Documentos: My Undocumented Husband
One Gozamos reader’s struggle with the broken immigration system.

Undocumented, Unafraid
This film by Liz Cazares and Taras Berezowsky features three young undocumented immigrants as they work to move this country toward immigration reform that is fair for all immigrants.

An Open Letter to America
Gozamos contributor N. Reyna Amaya asks, “What the hell is going on, America?”

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