Sklar steers the conversation on the relationship of Mexicans to the United States through several administrations, focusing on legislation President Clinton signed that eliminated laws that made it easier for Mexican immigrants to establish permanent legal residence, instead branding people without proper documentation as being an “unlawful presence” in the United States.
She said many in Congress reflect an anti-Mexican sentiment, based on different political analyses, that “does not want to see the Mexican population in this country documented. Whether it’s based on labor interests and the extent to which people’s undocumented status could be exploited in the workplace, because they’re vulnerable to termination [or] whether it’s because… there’s a racial animus that motivates the desire for Mexicans not to be able to regularize their status.”
The legislation passed by Clinton has allowed Trump to separate families, an act, Sklar abhors: “Clearly, there are other events in history that parallel to some extent. But this is the singling out of children, and making them orphans” is like nothing she has ever seen. Sklar and Scheer also discuss how during Obama’s administration, “there was a lot of damage… In the realm of abuse of people in detention by customs and border protection, and ICE.”
Young girl with flag at Chicago immigration protest may 2006. Photo credit: Jvoves.