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A Latino perspective on discrimination
By Thibaud Smerko, CAIR-Chicago

In response to Sun-Times article:
“Latinos know profiling all too well”

I was pleasantly surprised to read the Daily Herald article by Ruben Navarrette, “Latinos know profiling all too well”. (08/11/2009) I can’t remember the last time I read a Latino point-of-view on discrimination.

Navarrette uses the recent Gates incident to draw light upon the often overshadowed discrimination problems faced by legal Hispanic-Americans citizens. Navarrette tries to put us in the shoes of U.S. citizens of Hispanic origin. He exemplifies how humiliating it would be for such an American to have their citizenship be put into question just because of the way they look. Navarrette writes: “Things get really insulting when the question is asked [to prove one’s citizenship] in (…) Arizona where some Hispanic families have lived for eight generations, or in New Mexico where Hispanics trace their origins back 500 years”.

Attention is also brought to the often inefficient use of local police forces in carrying out immigration enforcement. Ill-trained and ill-equipped for such tasks, local police often exacerbate the problem. By assuming most immigrants are here illegally, police can be prone to mistakes. This can cause alienation and distrust between communities and the police force.

Thank you for drawing attention to the nefarious effects of anti-immigration sentiment on legal U.S. citizens.

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