As Congress slowly warms to the idea that immigration reform is a necessity for 11 million aspiring citizens, not everybody is bound to be okay with that.
At NCLR, we get our fair share of negativity and outrage nearly every time we mention immigration reform. But that is starting to shift. Polls show that the public supports proposals, including a pathway to citizenship, by almost two to one.
Unfortunately, we’ve also seen hateful rhetoric rear its ugly head once again. Yesterday, Latino Rebels shared the story that a gas station in Eaton, Colorado was openly selling green bumper stickers made to look like hunting licenses with the tagline “Illegal Immigrant Hunting Permit,” along with the words “No bag limit” and “Tagging not required.”Beyond opposing reform laws and beyond advocating deportation, this sticker is advocating violence and equating immigrants with animals. Undocumented people already live a tenuous existence in America—they build their lives here for decades in constant fear that a deportation order could come at any time, separating them from their loved ones. Why should anyone have to live in fear that some extreme immigration foes would rather wish them dead.?
Similar stickers appeared in a Wisconsin convenience store and were pulled from online retailer CafePress in 2011, yet the company distributing the items, Central States Novelty via Agfinity gas stations, has refused to comment. Agfinity pulled the stickers from the stores after numerous complaints on the company’s Facebook page, though several stickers apparently remained in Eaton. But why were they there in the first place?
The two owners of the Colorado gas station claimed that the stickers “were not supposed to be there” and were “a mistake.” Let’s certainly hope so. We should strive to remember that advocating violence and demonizing an entire group of people is not a laughing matter.