Written by attorney Sebastian Gibson

Discrimination Against Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican Americans in the U.S.

As the economy continues to stay weak and job losses mount in America, civil rights advocates and lawyers fear the result may be an increase in discrimination toward Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans in the U.S. Now with the new law passed in Arizona in 2010 aimed at stemming the tide against illegal immigrants, this may be the case even more. While America has always stood for being a country with diverse ethnic cultures that make us great, the fear is that those who have the least, may suffer the most in this economic downturn as unemployment rises and jobs, even those that were previously unwanted, now become a precious commodity. California Hispanic, Latino and Mexican-American discrimination attorneys have always stood for the protection of the civil rights of everyone living in the U.S., but there are too few to meet the needs of Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans who deserve to be treated with the same respect and the protections afforded to them under the law as every one else should be in America. The concern is that in these uncertain times, Hispanic, Latino and Mexican-American families do not become the object of discrimination when we should all be pulling together to help each other in times of need. While African-Americans in this country have for many decades, always suffered the most unemployment, Hispanics and Latinos are not far behind. And while African-Americans can now look to President Obama as an inspiration to what a person can do of any race, Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans as well as other minorities, still suffer from discrimination in the work place and in daily life. Instead of becoming a society where the rich cultures of Hispanics and Latinos are shared with other cultures in America, too much of the country remains segregated where Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans either choose to live or can only afford to live where the majority of their citizens are concentrated in parts of cities away from where Caucasians, African-Americans or other minorities live. There are many causes of discrimination, all of which are idiotic, but the less interaction different cultures have, the more likely it is there will be discrimination by those who do not relate to each other. Studies have found that nearly three in every ten Hispanic workers feel they have been discriminated against in their employment. Some report being referred to with racial slurs at work while one in four feel they are paid less and have reduced career advancement prospects than their Caucasian counterparts. In many organizations, there is a scarcity of Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans in management positions. FBI statistics show a dramatic increase in anti-Hispanic hate crimes. And sadly, hate groups are increasing due to anti-illegal immigration concerns. One would have thought that as a result of this situation, that there would be a flood of civil rights advocates and anti-discrimination lawyers fighting for the rights of Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans. Yet, that is not the case. A symbol to many Hispanics, Latinos and Mexican-Americans is the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border fence which is actually several separation barriers designed to prevent illegal movement of goods and people across the U.S. and Mexico border. The U.S.- Mexico border fence is reportedly nearing completion as this article is being written in March 2009. While much of the purported reasoning for the multi-billion dollar fence was based on preventing the entry of terrorists into the country, many feel that reasoning is flawed while our border with Canada remains open. While the efforts have also been aimed at stopping the flow of drugs into the U.S. a secondary effort is to prevent the flow of weapons bought in the U.S. and smuggled into Mexico. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has said that even the fence will not stop illegal immigration along the border with Mexico, although it may help prevent those who are crossing illegally from blending immediately into some town populations. However, the fence is not continuous and where there are gaps, surveillance technology must be utilized. And then, there remains the fear that tunnels will be used even more extensively than in the past. Over forty tunnels have been found since 2001 and some have been extremely sophisticated. One such tunnel from Tijuana to San Diego was half a mile long, sixty to eighty feet deep, and eight feet tall. It had drainage, electricity and a concrete floor, and its entrance from the California side was in a modern warehouse. The entrance to the tunnel in Mexico was in another building. It should be noted that the border with Mexico is 1,951 miles in length. The fence that is reportedly nearing completion was only completed for approximately 600 miles in February 2009, when news reports came out that the fence was nearly finished. As a result of the construction of the barrier, there has now been an increase in the number of people trying to cross in such areas as the Sonoran Desert and over the Baboquivari Mountain in Arizona where no fence exists. This requires crossing 50 miles of inhospitable terrain to reach the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation, which many fear may lead to an increase in migrant deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border if the smugglers try these more difficult routes. In the last thirteen years, there have been around five thousand migrant deaths along the border. The U.S. Border Patrol Tucson Sector reported on October 15, 2008 that its agents saved 443 illegal aliens from almost certain death after being abandoned by their smugglers. Without the efforts of these border patrol agents, many more deaths would have occurred and may occur in the future. The U.S.-Mexico border fence has been controversial, to say the least, since its inception. It has been condemned by the government of Mexico and opposed by many in the U.S. as well. Tribal lands of three American Indian Nations will be divided by the border fence and the campus of the University of Texas at Brownville will be divided into two parts according to a vice president of the university. A section of the barrier was even mistakenly built inside Mexican territory requiring its removal and rebuilding at a cost of over three million dollars. The new law passed recently in Arizona, no matter how an individual views it, must not be interpreted as justification for racial discrimination in the U.S. There is no excuse for discrimination in America. If you have been the object of discrimination against Hispanics, Latinos or Mexican-Americans, call a California Civil Rights Lawyer and a Hispanic, Latino and Mexican-American Discrimination Attorney for a consultation.

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