Immigrants and the Fires
Posted by Jack Stephens on October 31, 2007
As the fires in Los Angeles cool and relief efforts heat up, we are once again posed with the bleak reality that when the smoke clears, people of color and immigrants face abandonment and punishment.
Reports show incidents of undocumented immigrants being turned away from or arrested at evacuation shelters and detained by Border Patrol at neighborhood checkpoints when trying to go back home. Many veer away from services that might be available for fear of being deported and others sought help from authorities and were turned away.
The fires have uprooted immigrants who, unlike their neighbors who are citizens, have no access to needed support services. Many of these immigrants remain unaccounted for and little is known about how many have been rounded up and deported. What is more, some have blamed immigrants for starting the fires themselves.