[Crystal Middlestadt is a member of the letter writing ladder of Coloradoans for Immigrant Rights, a project of AFSC in Colorado. Her letter below appeared in the December 2, 2011 edition of The Denver Post in response to a November 28 Post editorial.]
While I appreciate The Post acknowledging how our country's inhumane deportation practices tear families apart, a new policy of targeting immigrants charged with a crime ignores the complex reasons people immigrate and runs the risk of reinforcing racist stereotypes about (Latino) immigrants being dangerous criminals.
With exreme and unjust laws such as Alabama's HB 56 and Arizona's SB 1070, we are witnessing an unprecedented criminalization of immigrants while real solutions -- those that address the underlying economic factors that leave people with little choice for suvival but to immigrate -- are largely ignored.
Immigration reform must include full respect of human rights, prioritize family reunification, develop a clear path to permanent residence, demilitarize the U.S.-Mexico boarder, and create humane economic policies.
I ask Colorado legislators to support in-state tuition for all Coloradoans and to protect the rights of Coloradoans by voting against partnerships between local law enforcement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.