A few days after the El Paso, Texas shooting, the most deadly shooting of Latinos and immigrants in recent history, members of the Long Beach State Latinx Faculty and Staff Association got together to declare, “We can’t ignore this.”
As a response to the violence in El Paso and other anti-immigrant actions like the family separations at the United States-Mexico border, LFSA held a town hall event in the psychology building, Tuesday.
One goal of the event Querida Familia Latinx: Uniting Against Hate was to bring the “beloved Latinx family” together to create a safe space for Hispanic people to gather and share their experiences with hate in today’s political climate.
“Immigrants have always been seen as a threat,” said associate professor Steven Osuna when discussing Latinx communities being used as political scapegoats by national leaders.
The tension around immigrants and stereotypes associated with Hispanic people leads to serious consequences, including the separation of families.
According to data from the U.S. government obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union, as of October 2018, over 2,000 children were separated from their parents at the border.
Separation of families not only along the border but also among immigrants already here in the U.S. is a constant threat that is faced by members of the Latinx community like second-year international studies major Idalia Mora.
These separations are not required by immigration law and didn’t start until the Trump Administration put this practice into place, according to the ACLU. This threat of separation troubled some students and staff during the presentation.
“[Anti-immigrant threats] do sometimes scare me, that in a matter of seconds I can lose everything I have and lose my family,” Mora said.
Leaders of the meeting called for members of the community to use their voices to fight against injustices they face.
Lecturer Teresa Puente encouraged all journalists covering the Latinx community to call out racism and anti-immigrant actions when they occur.
“This isn’t okay, and we can do something about it,” Puente said.