Undocumented Worker or Illegal Immigrant?
From The NY Times. “There are 11 million of them, the best estimates say, laboring in American fields, atop half-built towers and in restaurant kitchens, and swelling American classrooms, detention centers and immigration courts.
“In the public’s mind, the undocumented — the people living here without permission from the American government — are Hispanic, mostly Mexican and crossed the southwestern border in secret.
“In the eyes of their advocates, they are families and workers, taking the jobs nobody else wants, staying out of trouble, here only to earn their way to better, safer lives for themselves and their children.
“At the White House, they are pariahs, criminals who menace American neighborhoods, take American jobs, sap American resources and exploit American generosity: They are people who should be, and will be, expelled.
“Illegal immigrants can be many of these things, and more. Eleven million allows for considerable range, crosshatched with contradictions.
“There may be no more powerful symbol of how fixedly Americans associate illegal immigration with Mexico than the wall President Trump has proposed building along the southern border. But many of the unauthorized are not Mexican; almost a quarter are not even Hispanic.”
Where do you stand and why?
The goal of this painting is to create a focal point on which we can place our national discourse. Maybe the painting stirs up old memories? Do you remember when you first had an opinion about “illegal immigration?” What do you think most shaped your opinion? Do you know any undocumented immigrants? Do you feel you have been hurt/helped by an undocumented worker? What do you think you are most afraid/angry about regarding this topic? Who are these people?