Archived: The Longevity of Oppression


The Women’s Declaration of Rights of 1840 stated “…in view of the unjust laws… and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of the United States.”

Women’s Suffrage, Blacks, Gays, Latino Veterans, the Indigenous People, Undocumented Families and many other oppressed groups and classes have shared a common plight, to which this phrase from the Women’s Declaration of Rights could apply. The fight for social justice regardless of the particular battle, use identical arguments that have survived the test of time dating back to when Moses led the Hebrews out of Egypt.

Janet Napolitano, Head of Homeland Security, is encouraging civil rights violations through the setting of quotas and with 287(g), a racial profiling tool put into the hands of novice users. Napolitano is apparently oblivious to the cost/benefit of overzealous enforcement efforts. Billions of dollars are being spent on ICE Raids and border-fences without knowing the true cost/benefit of these activities. Perhaps an audit on the Office Homeland Security’s activities is in order. The American people have a right to know.

Studies from UCLA Professor Dr. Hinajosa suggest that the authorization of undocumented families would actually be a fiscal boon to our economy to the tune of $1.5 trillion over a 10-year period. USC-PERE’s Dr.

Manuel Pastor says there is convincing evidence that undocumented families’ contributions far outweigh their cost. One study says it will cost over $206 billion to effectively remove 12 million undocumented persons from this country. What are the economic consequences of 12 million less people turning on lights, buying gas, purchasing food, visiting McDonalds, going to school, paying rent, or visiting the doctor?  A report from the Social Security Administration suggests that undocumented families contribute more than $7 billion annually to the Social Security system in this country without any ability to recoup those contributions. How many investors, teachers, farmers, doctors, nurses and police officers would lose their jobs as a result of a 12 million person exodus from this country.

So why is so much emphasis being put on quotas, raids and deportation. Money!  In November of 2008, then Vice President Dick Cheney was indicted for organized criminal activity by the State of Texas. Cheney had an estimated $85 million invested in the Vanguard Group that invests in for-profit prison companies. Corrections Corporation of America is named as one of the for-profit prison companies in which Vanguard invests.

Corrections Corporation of America runs federal prisons that hold undocumented persons picked-up in ICE raids. Cheney according to State of Texas’ District Attorney had a “direct interest making sure the prisons stayed in business.”  This and other blatant conflicts of interests may have something to do with record number of ICE raids and deportations.

Minimally, a call for an audit from our congressional leadership is in order, and an immediate cease and desist order on ICE raids until two things can be confirmed. First, that no one in the Executive Office, Senate or Congress has a direct profit interest in keeping prisons in business, while having influence in setting immigration and deportation policy in the country. Second, complete a cost/benefit analysis to be conducted by the General Accounting Office relative to undocumented families living in this country. Ignorance begets hate.

Hate cultivated by ignorance is what caused Christ to be nailed to a cross, ignorance caused blacks to be hung from poplar trees in the South, ignorance caused Latino children to be treated as mentally retarded and whipped by teachers for speaking their native tongue, ignorance caused gays to be ostracized in the workplace, and the ignorance of today teaches us to hate the very people who are our future economic prosperity. We must resist the temptation to let hate guide our economic future. Christ, Ghandi, and Martin Luther King, Jr. all said it in one form or another…let love be your guiding principle in life. Besides, it just may put our economy back on track.

L.A. Ortega is founder and president of Community Union, Inc. a community-based computer training organization based in Van Nuys, CA. Ortega sits on various business, education and policy advocacy coalitions throughout California. He can be contacted

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1 Comment

  1. Adam Murphy on

    The mass immigration fiesta is over. The country is bust.

    And no, the American economy is not going to get “back on track”. The US is going to have government debt equal to 100% of GDP within 5 years. That isn’t a “downturn” – it’s a catastrophe. There will be 25% unemployment before this is over, and the economic attrition of post-industrial America will ruin the lives of would-be Mexican invaders for decades to come.

    What the poor illegal alien darlings are about to realise, is that this “downturn” has barely even started.

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