Tuesday, November 2, 2010

"Other" - Mexican Immigrants

Arizona Border Watcher has a Reputation for Mistreatment
A ranch owner near the U.S.-Mexican border in Arizona has made it his duty t0 prevent more immigrants from getting into the United States. Roger Barnett, a retired Sheriff. along with his family, continuously watches over their 22,000 acres of land. Barnett claims that over the years the family has prevented about 12,000 immigrants from getting farther into the United States. The border watcher is armed with a pistol and carries a rifle in his truck. Barnett has many times called the border patrol after detaining groups of illegal immigrants. He is admired by civilian border watch groups such as the Minutemen, but is being sued by immigrant rights groups for his actions. Immigrants claim that guns have been pointed at them by Barnett and that he uses racial slurs. In a recent lawsuit, one woman claims to have been kicked by Barnett. Others claim some kind of abuse and even been threatened by Barnett's dogs. Barnett says he has a right to protect his property and is doing his part to keep out illegal immigrants.
This web site contains an article written by a professor at the University of Houston on the subject of Mexican migrants.
He talks of regular coverage on local radio stations across America reporting verbal attacks against migrants, of a racial nature, and claims these sentiments are deeply rooted in US society, often, he says, by educated individuals - even senators.
Being foreign to the aaccepted culture, language and heritage, they invite fear. This, he writes, means many take actions to prevent these foreigners from joining society. Nationalism/patriotism can make followers frightened and insecure in their role.
The writer goes on to talk about the history of this treatment and the role language has played. He talks also of failure in the media and later even likens the migrants' experiences to the rise of Nazi Germany.
He concludes with the comment that there are advantages in the inclusion of these migrants for the country's economy, in terms of labour demands and trade should be noted.
Jill Glazier

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