Migrants should not be vilified

In an editorial, Mount Holyoke professor Davíd Hernández decried the “persistent xenophobic vilification of migrants and asylum seekers.”

As the Senate debates a border security deal that is aimed at discouraging migrants from crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, Davíd Hernández decries the “persistent xenophobic vilification of migrants and asylum seekers.”

In an editorial for the Daily Hampshire Gazette, Hernández, associate professor of Latinx Studies and Critical Race and Political Economy at Mount Holyoke College, called out Governors Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas for their bussing of migrants to other states for political points.

“The anti-immigrant sentiment does not stop there,” Hernández wrote. He criticized Texas for passing “the most punitive state legislation against migrants in a decade, permitting Texas authorities and local judges to apprehend suspected undocumented migrants and determine their status and deportability, a process normally within federal jurisdiction. This month, three migrants (including two children) drowned on Abbott’s watch, while Texas authorities blocked Border Patrol access to the Rio Grande.”

“Cynical and reckless endangerment of asylum seekers, including children, for political gain is repulsive and disqualifying for political leadership,” he continued. “The global pandemic taught us that collective concern for neighbors and mutual aid are the only way forward and that rationing safety is deadly.”

Read the editorial here. An expanded version of the editorial with hyperlinks can be found at the Border Criminologies blog.

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