July 3, 2019

IT'S NOT AS IF THEY'RE HUMAN:

Mexicans in US routinely confront legal abuse, racial profiling, ICE targeting and other civil rights violations (David FitzGerald & Angela Y. McClean, 7/03/19, The Conversation)

[E]vidence suggests that Mexicans and other Latinos are sometimes targeted for arrest based on their race or ethnicity.

In 2014, independent monitors at a Customs and Border Protection checkpoint in Arivaca, Arizona, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, found that vehicle occupants who appeared to be Latino were 26 times more likely to be asked to show identification than white-looking vehicle occupants, who are frequently waved through the checkpoint.

And in 2012, a U.S. Department of Justice investigation in Alamance County, North Carolina, found that the sheriff had instructed deputies to "go out there and get me some of those taco eaters" by targeting Latinos in traffic stops and other law enforcement activities.

The DOJ concluded that the county demonstrated an "egregious pattern of racial profiling" - a violation of the 14th Amendment, which guarantees everyone equal protection under the law.

Mexicans in the United States have seen their constitutional rights violated in other ways.

The most egregious example was the forced separation of families found to have crossed the border illegally.

Under this Trump administration policy, which began in April 2018, at least 2,654 migrant children - and perhaps thousands more - were taken from their parents and held in government custody while their parents were criminally prosecuted for crossing the border unlawfully.

Thirty of the children known to have been separated from their families were Mexican; the rest were from Central America. Poor record-keeping has made it difficult for all of them to be reunited with their families before their parents' deportation.

Together, these actions violate the constitutional rights to legal due process, equal protection and, according to the Southern District of California, the right of parents to determine the care for their children.

"The liberty interest identified in the Fifth Amendment provides a right to family integrity or to familial association," wrote Judge Dana M. Sabraw in a June 2018 ruling.

More routine civil rights violations happen to Mexicans in the U.S. every day, our report found.

Though children born in the U.S. are entitled by law to American citizenship regardless of their parents' immigration status, hundreds of undocumented Mexican women in Texas have been denied birth certificates for their U.S.-born children since 2013, according to a lawsuit filed by parents. In 2016, Texas settled the lawsuit and agreed to expand the types of documents immigrants can use to prove their identity.

And in both Arizona and Texas, so-called "show me your papers" laws allow police to demand identification from anyone they have a "reasonable suspicion" may be undocumented, which may lead to discriminatory targeting of Latinos.

Once in government detention, surveys conducted in Mexico of recently deported immigrants show, Mexican deportees are often badly treated.

On average, in 2016 and 2017, about half of all recently deported Mexicans reported having no access to medical services or a bathroom while in government custody. One-third reported experiencing extreme heat or cold.

Posted by at July 3, 2019 12:02 AM

  

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