I've blogged a few times about immigration over on my blog. The only point of view I have on immigration is only that I believe that our government should enforce the borders. I almost wonder what the impact of illegal immigration has been in say the Chicago area?
That being said this Chicago Defender article has gotten my attention. Olive-Harvey College is located on east 103rd Street on the south side of Chicago and according to this article they are a minority there. With Hispanic students wanting their faculty and peers to have a grasp on the issue of immigration, the Organization of Latin American Students hosted an informal forum on a Thursday evening attended by 40 people. Here's a quote...
“We wanted to let the community know, but particularly let the immigrant community know, that they can come to this college and find opportunities,” said Edgar Casillas, president of OLAS at Olive-Harvey. “This college is for everyone.”The idea of this forum is to "is to bridge a coalition with the African American students, who make up about 90 percent of the student body population."
“We wanted to inform them about the political issue that is going on nationwide,” Casillas said. “Before, we had an Afro-Latino Expedition to link together the African Americans and Latinos. Because most of the people don’t know that we do have African roots in our Latino countries. The second largest African population outside of the continent of Africa is in Brazil, which is a Latino country.”Although the attendance (most of the school's black students didn't show up) was not very good for this forum the assistant dean of Research and Planning at Olive-Harvey, Andrew Sund believed this forum was necessary...
Finally, here are some student responses on this issue...
“Olive-Harvey has been serving a predominately African American community for years here on the far South Side of Chicago,” he said. “But there is a growing Latino community, Hispanic community, on the South Side, South Chicago, Southeast Side of Chicago that is beginning to take advantage of the various courses and curriculum opportunities offered by Olive-Harvey. And they are becoming 10 to 15 percent of the student population.
“And this was a students’ initiative. They wanted a forum here for their community that was really informational. So that the community could become aware of what are the proposed reforms, but also what are the current opportunities that exist for immigrants with different statuses in terms of education, in terms of social services and in terms of possibilities in becoming citizens."
David Simmons, an African American who is part of theatrical production at Olive-Harvey...
“It’s going to cost us as a country either way,” Simmons said. “It’s cheaper to make them citizens than to deport them and go through all of that drama.
“But I don’t like the idea of illegal immigrants coming to America and getting the jobs that we can do, only because they will accept less money for those jobs. It’s makes it harder for those American families who are willing to work hard just to survive with the prices of everything going up anyway.”
Simmons added that if illegal immigrants are going to be legalized, he wants to see the process made fair and not just concentrate on Hispanics. He said the same process should apply to Africans and people from the Caribbean.
Denise Williams, president of the Olive-Harvey chapter of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, said she is for making illegal immigrants legal.
“This is a free country. They are here, so why send them back,” Williams said, who is African American. “They make up a population just as well as we do.”
Sharice Latham, vice president of Phi Beta Kappa, told the Defender that the immigration issue is simply a human issue, and she sees the illegal immigrants struggles similar to those of African Americans during the Civil Rights Movement of the ’50s and ’60s.
“The thing about it is, not only have they (Hispanics) supported their cause, but I’m also seeing other people begin to support their cause, which just shows how determined they are to be here.”