We were attacked almost twelve years ago on September 11, 2001. Joaquin Luna Jr. — an aspiring American DREAMer was upset in light of the attacks and wanted to do something, so he spoke of enlisting into the United States Armed Forces according to accounts made by his sister Nina Hinojosa. But he could not enlist into the U.S. military because he was undocumented. As a Mexican-American veteran of the United States Air Force, this story was moving to me and caused me to reflect on the green card soldiers I used to serve with.
Joaquin Luna Jr. lived in Texas and wanted to be an American citizen. The United States was a country he would fight for. He wanted to succeed and build here. He put his hopes on the passage of the DREAM Act in December 2010, but the DREAM Act did not advance in 2010 because 39 Republican and 6 Democratic Senators did not support it. Unfortunately he later took his life because he felt he had no hope in 2011. As a consequence of not supporting the DREAM Act children, the Republican Party suffered in the Latin vote department during the 2012 Presidential cycle.
Living in Arizona, I often see Mexicans and Latinos being demonized and portrayed in a negative light by restrictionists and isolationists who make claims that we are a drain to society or unpatriotic. Some right wing media outlets do not do an adequate job in portraying our patriotic contributions and it is discouraging for me to see an immigrant from Fiji and Iran being tied to Mexican immigrants and our southern border in light of their anti-American or anti-white sentiment. This is yet another instance of Mexican immigrants and the entire border community taking the hit for the reckless actions of other immigrants. Luna represents what was pure and attractive about the DREAM movement in the beginning. He was someone who already believed himself to be American in every way. He wanted to give his all to our country and he only wanted one thing more from the US after pledging his allegiance to our flag — citizenship.
We do not take the immigration issue lightly or as joke, and the Mexican-American community is repudiating anti-American sentiment. Carlos Galindo is an Arizona radio show host and an immigration rights activist within the Mexican American community who said it is wrong to lead others away from patriotism or loving this country. He asks: “Why do these self proclaimed undocumented ‘leaders’ such as Mohammad Abdollahi (immigrant from Iran) enjoy a safe haven in the U.S. while spewing violent anti American rhetoric?”
One of my favorite heroes is Dr. Hector P. Garcia. After World War II, Hispanic veterans suffered discrimination due to their skin color, and Dr. Garcia was courageous and showed leadership throughout that difficult period. Dr. Garcia remains a central figure of the Mexican / Latino civil rights movement today, due to his refusal to stand idle while Mexican Americans were being dehumanized in post-World War II society.
Many of us remember our grandfathers, uncles, and ancestors who were drafted, and how a great number of them spilled their blood to defend our country in a time of war. We honor them for that and we refuse to allow others to make light of the contributions made by our indigenous forefathers and paying that ultimate sacrifice.
The fight for the Mexican patriotic image continues because the sentiment on all immigrants changed for the worse post 9-11, and hate crimes against Latinos rose.
The time is more crucial than ever in light of the Gang of Eight Legal Comprehensive Immigration (CIR) Bill recently passing the Democratic-controlled Senate but is still in need of climbing the hurdle in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives. We predict the Republican-controlled House of Representatives will vote this October on the immigration reform bill in a time polls are showing strong American support for immigration reform. As an American voter, I know it is the responsibility of our Congress to fix the broken immigration system under the United States Supremacy Clause, and we will soon see what the scoreboard will look like.
But with the summer recess break ending for Congress, we are now seeing images from conservative websites that are essentially tying radicals and extremists to the immigration issue during this critical time. For instance, Prerna Lal (an immigrant from Fiji and co-founder of DreamActivist.org) sent a tweet about “killing white invaders.” The problem I have is seeing the likes of MRConservative showing an image of the southern border that ties into the “hate speech” while quoting Brietbart as a source.
Diyer Mendoza is a surviving brother of Joaquin Luna Jr. believes it is a possibility DreamActivist.org may be receiving donations from Republicans who do not want CIR to pass. Mohammad has an agenda to “kill CIR” so naturally this raises a reasonable suspicion to find out where their donations are coming from. Mendoza also believes the far right wing media ought to consider the Mexican immigrant children who love this Nation like Joaquin Luna Jr. because they are the ones really suffering and in a lot of pain because and feel they are hitting a brick wall. The suffering will get worse because many of their parents are here undocumented.
Family members of Joaquin Luna Jr say: “We are not here to provoke hatred against white people or the United States. We are hear to help other who want an opportunity to live the American Dream and prosper. To contribute taxes and help build. We are fighting for DREAMers who love this country because we love this country.”
I will never forget September 11, 2001.
I know leaders in other countries envy us and our freedoms. It is our beacon light [of freedom] terrorists will continue to try to chip away from us because they do not want to hear their own citizens achieving freedoms that emulate the United States.