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Immigrants are entitled to human rights and we must ensure they are aware of them, represented, and fight alongside them.
Immigrants are entitled to human rights and we must ensure they are aware of them, represented, and fight alongside them.

OPINION: Fires Broaden Risks
and Exasperates Anxiety for Immigrants
Op-Ed

Dec 12, 2019

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By Ryan Gopar Ramírez 

Fleeing from fires and seeking refuge exasperates anxiety for immigrants. Immigrants documents or not, fear exposure to ICE and risks of deportation for themselves and their families. The Kincade fire is now 100% contained and the path towards normalcy begins. The fire forced many residents of Sonoma County to evacuate their homes, either finding a place to stay with family or head to a local shelter. Karen Fies, Department Director for Sonoma County’s Human Services Department, expressed that the Tubbs Fire in 2017 demonstrated the reluctance of immigrants to evacuate to local shelters. It was that previously experienced anxiety which lead to the Press Democrat report that shelters would accept all evacuees regardless of immigration status. ICE did not have access to the shelters, yet fear of detainment while seeking aid persisted. The anxiety of entering an evacuation center needs to be addressed. The fire’s containment does not lessen the fear immigrants continue to live with on a daily basis.

Prior to the Fires, The Washington Post reported on Federal judges partly blocking The Trump’s administration “public charge” rule in California, Texas, and New York. Along with Washington, Illinois and Maryland district courts have ordered that the “public charge” rule cannot be enforced. The “public charge” rule would essentially make immigrants ineligible for green cards if they are considered a burden to the government if using public benefits. These changes would disqualify immigrants from receiving assistance from programs such as Medicaid, SNAP, TANF, or federal housing vouchers.

The Trump’s administration has launched a brazen attack against low income immigrants. Misinformation has spread as many families needing assistance and how do qualify become scared to seek it. California’s high cost of living is unsustainable even as more companies make the news donating to assist the housing crisis. Yet while money is being pledged, the need for supplemental aid for all Californians persists. Immigrants in California and across the nation however, fear seeking aid, opting to work harder than ever and seeking to legally attain their green cards in the hope of becoming US citizens.

The Trump administration’s desemination of misinformation has spread to create a climate of fear within the immigrant population, which is amplified by the chaos of devastating fires. Immigrants are individuals who are not fully dependent on the government, but at times need some assistance. We must continue to work against these unlawful rulings. Immigrants are entitled to human rights and we must ensure they are aware of them, represented, and fight alongside them.

Photo Composite Attributions: Statue of Liberty by Ranjithd from FreeImages. Farm Worker-pxhere.com - CC Public Domain.  Immigrants protest by Elvert Barnes- flickr.com (CC BY 2.0). Fire: Photo by Richard Styles from FreeImages - CC Public Domain


Original Spanish Version

Ryan Gopar Ramírez 

El fuego de Kincade ya está 100% contenido y comienza el camino hacia la normalidad. El incendio obligó a muchos residentes del condado de Sonoma a evacuar sus hogares. Era necesario encontrar un lugar donde quedarse, ya sea con su familia o dirigirse a un refugio local. Karen Fies, la Directora de Departamento de Servicios Humanos para el Condado de Sonoma, expresó que el incendio Tubbs en 2017 mostró la renuencia de los inmigrantes a evacuar a refugios locales. Es por eso que El Press Democrat informó que estos refugios aceptarían a todos los evacuados a pesar de su estado inmigratorio. Para los inmigrantes, la posibilidad de perder su hogar a los incendios no fue el único miedo. ICE no tenía acceso a los refugios, pero persistía el miedo de ser detenidos mientras buscaban ayuda. La ansiedad de entrar en un centro de evacuación necesita ser abordada. Los incendios están contenidos, pero no disminuye el miedo o la ansiedad que los inmigrantes viven diariamente.  

Antes de los incendios, The Washington Post informó que jueces federales bloquean en parte a las reglas del “Cargo Público” (Public Charge) de la administración de Trump en California, Texas y Nueva York. Junto con Washington, los distritos de Illinois y Maryland han ordenado que su regla no pueda ser aplicada. La regla del "cargo público" haría que inmigrantes no sean elegibles de recibir su tarjeta de residencia - Green Card - si el gobierno considera a un aplicante como una carga para el gobierno por utilizar beneficios públicos. Estos cambios descalificarían a los inmigrantes de recibir asistencia de programas como Medicaid, SNAP, TANF o vales de vivienda federales. 

La administración de Trump ha lanzado un ataque descarado contra los inmigrantes de bajos ingresos. La desinformación se ha extendido a la mayor cantidad de familias que necesitan ayuda. Aunque si califican sienten miedo por buscar ayuda. Muchos eligen no aceptar asistencia para ellos mismos o sus niños. El alto costo de vida de California es indiscutible a medida que más empresas hacen noticias que donan para ayudar a la crisis de la vivienda. Sin embargo, mientras se promete dinero, la necesidad de ayuda suplementaria para todos los residentes de California persiste. Los inmigrantes en California y en todo el país temen buscar ayuda entonces trabajan más duro que nunca buscando alcanzar legalmente sus tarjetas de residencia y con la esperanza de convertirse en ciudadanos estadounidenses.

La desinformación de la administración Trump se ha extendido y crea un clima de miedo dentro de la población inmigrante, que se amplifica por el caos de incendios devastadores. Los inmigrantes son individuos que no dependen plenamente del gobierno, pero a veces si necesitan ayuda. Debemos seguir trabajando contra estas resoluciones ilegales. Los inmigrantes tienen derecho a los derechos humanos y debemos asegurarnos de que estén al tanto de sus derechos, que sean representados y luchemos junto a ellos.

More info:

https://www.pressdemocrat.com/news/10237148-181/officials-all-sonoma-county-residents

https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/politics/Lawsuits-Around-US-Seek-to-Block-Trumps-Public-Charge-Rule-562563601.html

https://www.npr.org/2018/09/22/650808003/trump-administration-will-seek-to-limit-green-cards-for-immigrants-needing-public

https://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/

 


Comments:

Dec 13, 2019
When fire burns your world it doesn't matter where you're from. We need to stop building homes that burn. We have the technology we just need leaders to focus on their job instead of their hatred towards one another and us.~ Beef Mcwin
- Beef Mcwin

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