The Stereotype About Undocumented Immigrants

On June 3rd, 2018 Daniel Castro was driving with his father-in-law, Melvin Serrano. Daniel was sitting in the passenger seat of the car. Daniel Castro’s fiancée, Kasandra asked Daniel to pick up warm water to make a baby formula for their son, Ismael. Melvin Serrano made an illegal U-turn, Alarming the Newark Police officers to follow them until they arrived at their apartment building on North 3rd Street. When the officers pulled them over, they asked Daniel Castro to provide a form of identification.

Castro was unable to provide any form of identification because his Nicaraguan ID and birth certificate were destroyed in a house fire.

Even though Castro’s name came back without a criminal record when the officer ran his information through the system, the other officer continuously stared at Castro’s tattoos in order to profile him, (Thomas, 2018). This is an example of how people of color are often profiled base on their appearance. Racial profiling is a big problem all over the United States, black and Latinx people are often targeted no matter where they are in the US.

In the book, Nobody by Marc Lamont, the author referenced a lot of injustice events that have taken place all over the United States and Mass Incarceration among Blacks and Latinos is one of the major problems.

The officers discovered that Castro had an Ice warrant for his arrest which gave the police officers a reason for his arrest. One police officer did suggest that he should be released given that he did not have a criminal history.

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Daniel Castro is now 28 years old. He was just 13 years old when he emigrated to the United States from Nicaragua and has found a steady job in the construction industry. His only history with law enforcement was in 2011 and was again just a passenger in a car. In 2011 Castro’s English was not strong, Customs and Border Patrol were called to translate. Castro was later put in detention because he didn’t have immigration status. Castro’s employer was able to help him get released from detention by paying his bond and providing an attorney. Castro’s employer made him pay his debt by overworking for a small amount of compensation causing their relationship to end badly. Castro still never received any information that he had to appear at a court in Ohio.

Daniel was later issued a warrant for his arrest and deportation for missing his court hearing. However, Castro was unaware of the situation because he had lost contact with his former employer and he never spoke with the lawyer that took care of his case when he was detained in 2011. There was also no record of the court directly contacting Castro about a court hearing date. Daniel Castro is now working with his lawyer, Lauren Major, to apply for immigration status emphasizing that he never formally received a court date. Castro now has to start his immigration process again because he was racially profiled by the Newark Police. Castro could have been married by now, and possibly have received his legal documentation. “Latino residents experienced racial affronts targeted at their “Mexicanness” indicated by skin-color, bilingual speaking abilities, or shopping in neighborhoods highly populated by Latinos. During immigration inspections, individuals stopped were demeaned, humiliated and embarrassed,” (Romero, 2001). Clearly, Castro got profiled based on his race which as always been a problem in the United States, immigrants and African American often raise suspicions for no reason at all.

Mass incarceration and racial profiling has existed for centuries in the United States of America and nationwide. Minorities have been humiliated for a long time and nothing is being done about the issue. Now, the Black Lives Matter movement has sparked attention nationwide and raised awareness about the miss treatments of minorities. “Racial profiling and police use of excessive force. Both run afoul of the US constitution, but remain common practices in law enforcement, too often tragic results.” (Natarajan, 2014).

The stereotype about undocumented immigrants that are being spread all over the US and worldwide is that immigrants are bringing crime and terror to the United States. Anti-immigrant rhetoric by US politicians including the president is not helping or protecting immigrants from the humiliation of law enforcement and mass incarceration. Those terrible rhetoric and stereotype have cost many immigrants their freedom, immigrants like Daniel Castro. Undocumented immigrant detention camps are just like prison, it’s a source of income for the country. Detention camps are being used to benefit the first class in the US.

In the state of Arizona, undocumented immigrants and permanent residents are often automatically incarcerated. Non-US citizens are checked outside and asked to provide documents, failing to provide identification often cost them their freedom. “Illegal immigration in the state of Arizona is a complex issue. However, the miscarriage of justice in the name of crime prevention is thinly veiled xenophobic crusade to purge the latest wave of immigration from our country,” (Ulan, 2013). The racist influence that is showed by lawmakers often make it alright for some police officers to act racist and profile people of color. Demonizing immigrant groups has allowed politicians and detention facilities owners to justify their mistreatment of immigrants.

The United States of America is supposed to be a place of freedom and kindness, “The Land of Opportunity”. People all over the world look at America and see a welcoming place where they can live their lives in peace and pursue happiness. Most immigrants left behind everything they own just to live the American dream and raise their children. Nativist statements have now become a way to prove immigrants her not welcome in the United States. The President of the United States and other politicians are now using nativist statements target immigrants and demonize them. Those nativist views are now targeted specifically toward Muslim, Hispanic and African immigrants. “Incarcerating more Latinos, the trend toward incarcerating more women (more than two hundred thousand in jail and prisons at present, up 646 percent since 1980), and the trend toward the establishment of an irreversible system worthy of imagination of Sweeney Todd, Profiting from the exploitation and further subjugation of the powerless”,(Nobody, page 244).

Immigrants are going from detention canter into the prison system like they are criminals which is unfair. Most people are leaving their countries and coming into the United States to escape violence not knowing they will face the same issue in the US. Immigrants are not just leaving everything behind in their countries they running from the country they love because they scared for their lives. The immigration detention center is being operated as a prison in the US which is wrong. A detention Center is supposed to a place where immigrants welcomed properly while waiting to be processed for asylum. Now, detainees are being treated like criminals when they are just seeking refuge from the US. Daniel Castrol was in a detention center for months before being deported back to Nicaragua. Nicaragua is not safe right now, Castro including others are fighting for their lives. The US justice system is broken that is why Daniel Castro, innocent man was racially profiled for just sitting in a passenger seat of his father in law’s car.

The Newark police officers that arrested Daniel Castrol were not even following orders at all. They saw a Latino immigrant and immediately cast him as a criminal. This means that Daniel Castro is a “Nobody” in the City of Newark and the rest of the United States, he will never be treated fairly. “What happened to Castro also raises questions by those city police and immigration activists about whether city police have been properly trained in implementing the city’s sanctuary policy, created by a 10-page executive order signed by Mayor Ras J. Baraka in June 2017”, (Franklin, 2018). The Police officers that took Daniel Castrol violated the City of Newark’s policy to protect undocumented immigrants with no criminal history from being turned over to ICE for deportation. The city of Newark pledged to protect undocumented immigrants but the city failed Daniel Castro.

A spokesman for the city of Newark, Frank Baraff said that Mayor Ras J. Baraka is waiting for the investigation result to be released. Mayor Ras Baraka also said that the fact that this injustice took place in the city doesn’t prevent it from happening again. “The fact that this has happened does not represent any kind of a change”, (Franklin, 2018). I personally don’t understand what the Mayor’s statement meant. There no reason why undocumented immigrants like Castro to still be racially profiled when there is a law in place to protect them from being victims of injustices. There is no reason why police officers should turn in non-criminal undocumented immigrants to ICE.

When Daniel Castrol was arrested and sent the detention center his fiancée Kasandra Serrano could no longer afford to pay the rent for their apartment so, she moved in with her mother and sisters. She could even afford to go visit Daniel at the detention center. Arresting undocumented immigrants and handing them over to ICE is terrible, it puts their family at risk. If Castro was not arrested, his family wouldn’t have to move out of their apartment. Now, Kasandra Serrano is struggling just to get by with their son Ismael.

Police profiling is a serious problem in the United States and worldwide, people being mistreated because of the way they look. This issue relates to my life a lot because Daniel Castro and I are both immigrants. I immigrated from Nigeria to the United States of America when I was 9 years old, and even though I was a child when coming to the United States, I understood the reason why my parents decided to come to the United States, they wanted a better life for me and my siblings. Daniel Castro immigrated to the United States because he wanted to live a better life, wanted a chance in life not because he wanted to hurt people. When people travel to the United States, all they want is the chance to live happily. Moving to the US not only gives them a chance to succeed, but it also guarantees them opportunities to actually pursuit happiness just has stated in the United States Constitution. Learning about Daniel Castro’s story is really disturbing, upsetting and really emotional for me.

The story not only moved me because Daniel Castro was an innocent man but mostly because there are many people like him in detention centers and prison. Writing this paper has increased my understanding of the problem people of color face in the US and worldwide, the systematic oppression of black and brown people. After reading about different cases of police profile and the mistreatments of people of color and immigrants deal with in the US, I now understand some people are still prejudiced. I now see that white privilege is real, white men and women can never understand what it means to be black because they are privileged. This paper changed my perspective about who I am, it made me understand the challenges that come with being black and how to navigate this cruel and hateful world as a young black man. I now see and understand the “Nobodyness”, how people who look like me and Castro are nobody in America.

To become a medical Doctor in the United States, first, you earn a Bachelor’s degree, graduate from Medical School and complete a residency. At least 11 years would pass for a person to become a medical Doctor. To also become an Airline Pilot, it takes rigorous training and years. The reason for those long training when tying become a medical doctor and an airline pilot is to avoid endangering lives of human beings and ensuring their safety. It is ridiculous to have some bad pilots and doctors because white people’s lives are also involved. It should also be as ridiculous to have some bad Police Officers, some “Bad Apples” finding excuses for people who swear to protect every men and woman, despite their colors. The world needs to do better, starting from the country that holds the most power in the world, the country its constitution was written on the foundation of “equal rights for all” the United States of America.

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The Stereotype About Undocumented Immigrants. (2021, Feb 10). Retrieved from http://paperap.com/the-stereotype-about-undocumented-immigrants/

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