University of Illinois professor talks immigration issues at MU

Friday, April 24, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A group of about 65 people gathered in MU's Strickland Hall on Thursday evening for a discussion with Jonathan Inda about the policies and practices of policing immigration in the U. S.

Inda, a visiting professor from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, specifically discussed the raiding practices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

"Raids have, in fact, become rather commonplace in the United States over the last few years," Inda said. "They are part of a broader practice of governance that has aggressively criminalized immigrants."

Inda outlined the idea of the post-social state, a concept in which ideal citizens are responsible for their own well-being. This concept also creates a marginalized group of irresponsible citizens, who are deemed incapable of fending for themselves in the same way ideal citizens do.

According to the concept, the people who are irresponsible are then governed and dealt with through crime, Inda said.

"Today, crime and punishment are a primary means through which political and other authorities generally seek to govern," Inda said.

Using this idea, Inda described how undocumented immigrants can fall under the category of 'irresponsible' and are dealt with through the criminalization of their behavior.

Some Americans have this viewpoint and see undocumented immigrants as lawbreakers, burdens on the state and competition for jobs, he said.

"Indeed, they are commonly seen as bent on sponging off the American people," Inda said.

Much of Inda's lecture focused on raids, a practice in which authorities ambush a specific area to capture and arrest people suspected of living and working in the country illegally. Raids can happen anywhere and are common in workplaces.

Generally, those who are arrested in a raid are placed in a detention center, where they wait to be deported, Inda said. Sometimes, those with young children are released. Some are charged with crimes and face time in jail.

When these people are caught, they are not the only ones who have to face consequences, Inda said.

"Not only does the removal of a breadwinner reduce a family's income and increase their material hardship, it also creates a rather unstable home environment," Inda said. "Moreover, the fear and stigma produced by a raid can lead to the social isolation of immigrant families and have an adverse psychological effect on children."

Inda also cited studies indicating that the Hispanic population in general, including those who are U.S. citizens, worries about deportation.

"Immigrant raids, then, and immigration enforcement more generally, have helped to create a sense of unease among Latinos, immigrants in particular," Inda said.

Michael Ugarte, a professor of Spanish literature at MU, said he's familiar with immigration issues because his son practices immigration law in California. He said Inda's lecture confirmed what he thought.

"I think it's creating fear of coming into the country," Ugarte said. "I think it's counterproductive to the well-being of the country. Immigration is going to continue. We have to deal with it on a more human level."

Inda said the outlook for immigrant advocates is not completely bleak and that there are groups fighting to hedge the negative effect of raids.

"Immigrants and their advocates have not completely lost their spirits," Inda said.

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Ray Shapiro April 24, 2009 | 2:24 a.m.

Inda, what part of, "Being in this country illegally" don't you understand?
Cry me a river Mr. Inda, and make it the Rio Grande.

(Report Comment)
casey skelton April 24, 2009 | 3:28 a.m.

Professor Inda doesn't seem to know the difference between immigrants and illegal aliens. I disagree with everything he says however he is entitled to his 1st amendment right to free speech. This is just another illegal alien sob story trying to elicit sympathy for people who have broken our laws. Any repercussions the children may suffer is the result of their parents actions. These parents need to be held accountable for what they have brought upon their own children.
Since the parents don't obey our laws, they probably do not teach their children to obey our laws, which should be considered a form of child abuse.
"Raids" are not exclusive to ICE and illegal aliens. Americans are subject to raids also if the laws they have broken warrants it.
This is not a debatable subject. Enforce our laws. E-Verify and 287(g) nationwide. Send these lawbreakers home.

(Report Comment)
Ayn Rand April 24, 2009 | 12:29 p.m.

Did somebody offer take Inda for a tour of Columbia Regional Hospital so he could better appreciate the societal cost of all those anchor babies?

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 24, 2009 | 3:10 p.m.

I'm surprised you didn't post that he should personally pay for all of their "botellas de leche." If given half a chance, I would have posted that for you.

(Report Comment)
david bert April 24, 2009 | 9:52 p.m.

Did the prof. mention the 200,000 veterans and millions of Americans who are homeless and unemployed ? The people he calls immigrants are ILLEGAL ALIENS ! Homeless and unemployed Americans - are the result of our lawmakers refusal to enforce our IMMIGRATION LAWS for decades !
The U.S. allows more Legal immigrants into our country than any other nation on EARTH ! So to have someone running around our State or Country telling us how BAD we are is not going to FLY !
ILLEGAL ALIENS and our(LAWMAKERS/breakers ?) are responsible for so many - diseases,deaths,hospital closures,state and federal-government tax increases,gangs,drugs over crowded prisons and schools and more things I can think of right now ! That if WE as AMERICAN`s don`t get a hold of this-NOW-(OUR POLITICIANS-McHaskill ? etc)we may not be here tomorrow !LOOK AT TEXAS-CALIFORNIA-FLORIDA !
Call congress @ 866-220-0044 or 866-338-1015 and DEMAND
To learn more about E-VERIFY - 287g - ILLEGAL ALIENS and the crimes - etc they commit visit: - alipac- - - - - - and follow LINKS to OTHER GREAT SITES !
THANKS ( 1 of 200,000 )

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 24, 2009 | 11:38 p.m.

@david bert:
Good points.
I was listening to Gary Nolan's radio show this evening and was slightly surprised to hear that his best solution for eliminating the Mexican invasion was to do away with minimum wage and governmental assistance programs.
Considering that he states that Democrats see these illegals as potential votes and Republicans view them as cheap labor, no really big surprise that a hard-core Libertarian will use this scourge on our sovereignty as an opportunity to advocate for the removal of government's involvement in the private sector and social welfare programs.
I have a more direct approach to the problem. Alert Mexico that we are returning each and every undocumented, illegal trespassing invader back to whence they came. Additionally, alert the Mexican government that the United States of America will hold the Mexican government responsible for allowing Mexicans to infiltrate our borders. Announce that illegal Mexican invaders attempting to secretly. or unauthorized by border patrol, to enter into the United States will be viewed and treated as if they are hostile threats to the sovereignty of the United States and that they are subject to be fired upon similar to the mentality of "Trespassers will be Shot on sight." We can first shoot one over their head. If they keep coming, aim for their left arm. If they are brazen enough to advance, clip their right arm. Overly determined, shoot a foot. Let them hobble back for some good old Mexican first aid.
Treat this as a war. It's long over due.
Maybe then they'll get the message.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 25, 2009 | 4:39 a.m.
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John Schultz April 25, 2009 | 5:20 a.m.
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Mark Foecking April 25, 2009 | 5:27 a.m.

We have far greater problems than illegal immigration. In fact, I'm sure that a lot of the Mexican residents on my street are illegal, and I'd rather have them as neighbors than some of the citizens I've had. They're hard working, quiet, respectful, and frugal.


(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr April 25, 2009 | 9:43 a.m.
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John Schultz April 25, 2009 | 9:52 a.m.
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Charles Dudley Jr April 25, 2009 | 10:32 a.m.
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John Schultz April 25, 2009 | 10:42 a.m.
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Charles Dudley Jr April 25, 2009 | 1:37 p.m.
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Jake Sherlock April 25, 2009 | 2:19 p.m.

I've removed a few comments from this thread that had delved into personal attacks.

A reminder about personal attacks: We're cracking down on them.

Now, back to the discussion on the immigration debate ...

Jake Sherlock
Opinion editor

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro April 25, 2009 | 2:32 p.m.

Some of my best friends are Mexican.

(Report Comment)

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