Anti-Immigrant Rage Dehumanizes the Undocumented
New America Media, Commentary, Roberto Lovato, Posted: Nov 30, 2007
Editor’s Note: The CNN/You Tube Debate earlier this week showed what a hot-button topic that immigration was — with Republican candidates vying over who has the harshest measures concerning undocumented immigrants. But a closer look at the rising numbers of hate crimes reported against immigrants shows the deadly effects of anti-immigrant rhetoric, writes NAM contributor Roberto Lovato.
The focus of this week’s Republican debate on immigration makes one thing clear: We have entered the age of selective humanity. In other words, some humans are more human than others. Nowhere in the debate talk of “illegal aliens” and “sanctuary mansions” or who or what is “American” was there any notion that the undocumented were humans.
As a result, much of the “debate” around immigration has been and continues to be defined by the rage of the anti-immigrant right, a right that champions and humanizes those that shoot and jail migrants instead of focusing on the migrants themselves – who are stripped of anything beyond the parasitic, criminal image that makes for “fiery” television head-butting. Such a climate does not look at the violence and abuse suffered by migrants. It does not ascribe humanity to them.