Our country has a rich history of cruel and irrational laws. In 1958, Mildred and Richard Loving’s home was raided by police. Richard, a white man, and his wife, an African American, had recently married in violation of Virginia’s anti-interracial marriage laws. They were charged with a felony and faced up to five years in prison. Their conviction was later overturned by the Supreme Court in the landmark case Loving v. Virginia.
These types of cases are now glaringly antiquated. When the lower court judge in Loving says that “God did not intend the races to mix,” we rightly cringe at his misguided worldview.
Spotting the injustices that currently surround us is markedly more difficult, however, not impossible.
Let me tell you about two of the women I met this week at the Yakima County Jail. They were arrested earlier this week during an immigration raid. They are being accused of working with false papers.
Both women are in their early twenties. One has a small baby at home, and the other has two young daughters. They both came to the United States when they were about 10 years old, a choice that most certainly was not their own. Neither one of these women has any prior criminal history. Their lives are dedicated to work, family and church.
As a community we welcome their hard work, while scorning and criminalizing their existence. This kind of hypocrisy has no place in modern society.
Setting aside the moral argument for a moment, do these “enforcement” efforts make sense in a town that’s awash with guns, drugs, and gangs? When all is said and done, tax payers will have spent literally hundreds of thousands of dollars prosecuting dishwashers and busboys for, well, working.
Please take a moment to get involved, even if it’s by doing something as simple as tweeting your congressman or senators. As a community we can continue to correct misguided laws and anti-immigrant perceptions by working together as advocates for the oppressed.