Keeping families together.

Author:Hernandez, Daisy

A LOT OF PEOPLE ARGUE that it's hard to make the case for not deporting immigrants who've committed crimes. I disagree.


It's true that in the United States, Americans like to talk about these mythical immigrants who just work hard, so hard, and deserve to be Americans. But we have another story that's just as powerful: second chances.

A good number of Americans still believe this country is a place where people get to redeem themselves, to pursue their dreams, to have second and third and even fourth chances.

We know it's not so simple, that everything from racial profiling to discriminatory housing policies makes it so aspirations and opportunities are curbed along the color line. But that doesn't mean people have stopped believing in the version of a just America they were taught in fourth grade social studies classes. It's this vision of a country where legal justice exists and keeps families together that I think we should tap when talking about immigrants and crime.

In this issue's cover story, three journalists traveled to New York and Jamaica to find out exactly what happens to a family when the dreams of a father are cut short and when the racism fueling the criminal justice system targets Black immigrants at higher rates than other immigrant groups. As their stories show, the three systems--immigration, criminal justice and even child welfare--are tearing apart families and eliminating second chances.

This cover story exemplifies best what ColorLines has done for more than a decade now: bringing you the personal stories and...

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