Forum looks at race, borders
Cathi Tactaquin, director of the California-based National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, spoke in Schofield Auditorium Tuesday night as part of The Forum’s lecture on immigration in the globalized world.
Tactaquin outlined the major issues facing American immigrants, especially relating to human rights violations. Tactaquin discussed a study involving a pool of educated white women in the liberal Bay area of San Francisco. One question in the study asked respondents if they felt illegal immigrants should be given emergency care by hospitals. A majority of the respondents, she said, felt an illegal immigrant should be refused medical attention even in cases of emergency.
“We have a responsibility to ensure access to basic human rights,” Tactaquin said, adding she pays special attention to the topic.
Tactaquin said the United Nations created the Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, which was and is meant to identify these basic rights. Yet, Tactaquin points out few Americans have even heard of the U.N. document.
Tactaquin said today protests happen in America’s immigration detention camps, largely in response to poor conditions in the camp. Although there are numerous protests of this nature, Tactaquin said the message these people want to portray often goes under the radar. In one instance the local media couldn’t run a story because the details were so heavily guarded, she said.
Tactaquin finished her lecture by telling the audience what action she has taken with President Obama now in office.
Tactaquin was involved with writing a letter to the new administration addressing concerns over the government’s dealing with immigrant families. Tactaquin brought up the raids that are conducted on areas such as workplaces, churches and even schools in search of illegal immigrants. Raids end up tearing families apart when children are separated from parents who get deported, Tactaquin said. In addition, raids reinforce the stereotyping of immigrants as well.
Although not all the solutions for fixing the problems surrounding immigration are known, Tactaquin advised people to keep their eyes open to what’s happening regarding immigration.