hechmxThose of you into national politics probably watched or have already heard about the Republican debates last night. As you likely know, immigration played an important part in the debate. Immigration will, as always, be part of the political debates up until election night. Contrary to the notion that Donald Trump has made immigration a center point of the GOP debates, the fact is that immigration has been an issue on the national stage for over twenty years now.

The fact is that immigrants are the easy scapegoats for the candidates, on both sides of the isle. Candidates can’t alienate the rich, the business owners, the welfare recipients or the government workers because they cast votes. Immigrants, for the most part, are a silent minority that do not engage politically.

That is why we are the scapegoats for the politicians. We, as immigrants, allow the politicians to tell us who we are, how we act and what we do. We allow this with our silence. We need to take back control and frame the immigration debate through our experiences. We need to get engaged.

Today, I am starting a simple social media campaign designed to put a stamp on all that we, as immigrants, do for the good of this country. We are everywhere and anywhere, putting food on tables, building gadgets, serving the needs of the citizens and designing the tools of the future. But we live in the shadows and we need to emerge from them.

Although immigrants come from all areas of the world, I am a Mexican immigrant and because we are the largest immigrant population I am focusing my campaign on Mexicans. It does not mean that other immigrants do no matter but rather that I feel that I can best serve that which I understand.

The social media campaign is simple. Tell everyone how we make America great by putting the stamp of a Mexican immigrant on what you produce to make the country great. I have created a logo that you can freely download and use on anything you like to showcase what it is you, or your friends, are doing to make this country great.

I have also created and will continue to create images you can post on the walls or feeds of the various social media channels to showcase why immigrants make America great.

Along with the social media content and the logo I also encourage you to start using the hashtag #immigrantsMAKEamerica on all of your social media postings.

For detailed information and to download the digital content visit: hechmex.com.

In the next few days I’ll continue to dispel the various myths about immigration that are being bandied around by the politicians who have become used to scapegoating immigrants for political expediency.

I hope that you will consider joining me in the immigrants make America campaign.

Martin Paredes

Martín Paredes is a Mexican immigrant who built his business on the U.S.-Mexican border. As an immigrant, Martín brings the perspective of someone who sees México as a native through the experience...

10 replies on “Time for Immigrants to Stand Up and Be Counted”

  1. There is no doubt that the US was made of immigrants looking for a better life.
    The Mexicans have made many great contributions and has shown that the Mexicans serving in the US Armed Forces have been very heroic and recognized as fierce warriors. They do many jobs that U.S. Citizens won’t.

    None of that is disputable. But not the issue. Just as Mexico and other nations have closed borders and immigration laws why shouldn’t the U.S. For all the criticism, U.S. Immigration policy is very lax and humane.

    Mexico and other nations have some strict and draconian immigration policy. The anger point for many U.S. Citizens is that Mexico has the audacity to attack our policy. The other anger point is the refusal to assimilate and expectation of Americans to change its culture to suit them. Just look around the world on the refugee pushback.

    Times have changed and we have to adjust to the perilous times, we need to know who you are, why are coming here and your attitude towards our laws. We no longer have fruit pickers coming. We have criminals and other undesirables traveling among the good people.

    Let’s not mix the great contributions with illegal activity. Nor mix the good people with the undesirables. Totally separate issues.

    If it’s good enough for Mexico, it’s good enough for the U.S.

  2. I think legal immigrants are noble. My only issue is with illegal aliens. I realize advocacy campaigns such as yours blur the line between the two to make it more acceptable for those who pick and choose what laws they obey. I believe we need a guest worker program that mandates equal compensation with US citizen workers but adds an extra employer tax for using a guest worker rather than a U.S. citizen or a green card holder. That would keep the program honest but provide a legal path for people who want to come here to work but not give up citizenship in their home country. But I also believe that in exchange for that we should make it impossible for illegal aliens to reside in our country by eliminating access to any services, tracking visa expirations against exits, mandating use of e-verify by all employers and tightening the definition of eligibility for birthright citizenship to those documented to legally reside in the US. There will always be people who game the system if we don’t have strict laws. And as someone who worked legally in Mexico, I can tell you that none of what I’ve suggested is harsher that that country’s laws. If you love Mexico so much why are you here not there (oh yeah, freedom of the press is not valued there particularly when it criticizes government). my 9x grandfather came from Ireland in the 1700s. I wear green on St. Pat’s day but I recognize that he came to colonies to escape oppression and poverty and see my identity as being an American, not an Irish-American. My husband’s grandparents came from Poland. Even though that was a tight ethnic community in Chicago when he was growing up he isn’t a hyphenated American either. Separatist advocacy campaigns that promote lawlessness don’t make us stronger.

  3. Mexico is not a civilized country by any western standard. It is a country where a mayor can call the police chief and 43 inconvenient students are “disappeared.” Plus, dozens of journalists killed for uncovering the Mexican penchant for corruption and the pervasive influence of the cartels at every level of government. Mexico is a criminal state and a threat to our civilization and liberal democracy. Donald Trump’s idea of a wall is a good idea. Maybe it should be a DMZ?

    Legal immigration and a citizenship process is a bulwark against this kind of “mexicanization” destroying our country and culture, and Mexicans who want to become citizens here honor that process and respect American values. They are welcome here. Illegals do not and must be deported.

  4. The USA is going through a lot of turmoil right now. Uncertainty about the future, jobs, automation etc. During these times history has shown us that fierce nationalism will spring up in order to give an outlet for the masses who are afraid of the future. Therefore the scapegoating of a certain portion of the population is an easy way to calm the masses. Fierce nationalism always leads to fascism or militaristic communism..a two sided coin that leads to the same place either far left or far right. That is where we are going and I feel it is too late to stop the train. The biggest tragedy of this phenomena is that the masses do not realize who is oppressing them and why.

    Illegal immigrants have no power, they didnt offshore your jobs, they didnt implement any changes to USA trade policy and they didnt fail to prosecute investment bankers. Your elected officials did that along with a big help from money in politics from supposed community/national business leaders. The very idea of denying service because of someone’s legal status is fanciful thinking. Some “illegal immigrant” gets his hand hacked off and is bleeding to death will be denied service at the hospital because of his legal status? That is the kind of nation you want to live in? His kids cannot go to school because of the legal status of mom and dad? I seriously doubt that the loudest shouters against illegal immigration really are that cold hearted. Then again..maybe they are.

    1. The USA is not responsible for Mexico’s and Central Americas poverty. Nor should we have to pay for it by accommodating people who have no legal right to be here while they drop their anchor babies on the public doorstep.

      We are an immigrant country. You want to migrate here? Do it legally or GTF out.

  5. No one is going to throw an emergency medical out the door, which Mexico would along its Southern border.

    U.S. Citizens receiving federal benefits for themselves and their family have benefits terminated upon sentencing for a felony. That includes family members receiving benefits because of a parent. The common complain was ” how is the family suppose to live without in come “? Get a job and apply for public assistance. The family although not their fault are left in a tight spot. But WHO put them there ? The parent that decided to commit a felony !

    Same thing with people that sneak into the U.S. or overstay visas. When caught be prepared to suffer the consequences for the entire family. That’s routine anywhere in the world to include Mexico. Ask the Mexican, Chinese, Russians, Middle Eastern governments about their laws. Ask them if they are concerned about the well being of the families. They will transfer you to the border and how you survive is if no concern to them. Try it again and it’s prison time. So how is the U.S. so inhumane? They receive medical care, food, shelter, transportation and trusted to show for an Immigration hearing.

    It’s tragic, but the U.S. has become an enabler for the governments that don’t care their people. A little tough love and perhaps the people will become fed up and force a change. If not, then don’t come here and start protests and riots against the US. No matter how bad you believe you’re treated here, if you’re honest you will admit it beats anything from where you left.

  6. My biggest fear is the U.S. is becoming a Third World Country largely because of the refusal of the immigrants, legal and illegal, to assimilate to our culture & standards. I really hate it when they fly the Mexican Flag out the windows of their house, apartment or vehicle. If you love Mexico so much, please go back!

  7. What are borders but imaginary lines drawn by the victor, the conqueror, and/or the most powerful to protect its ill-gotten assets; stolen lands, the exploitation of natural resources, the enslavement of human beings.

    It’s natural for people to immigrate to lands that will provide them with a better way of life. Is that not why the original ‘illegals’ came here? Of course their descendants would have us believe that they are here ‘legitimately’ here due to the passage of time and because well, the Americas were not populated. Ask the Native American about that, they have been fighting illegal immigration since 1492.

    Of the top of my head the immigrant serves three purposes for the Norte Americano, times when the immigrant is gleefully welcomed in the land that the Norte Americano calls his own.

    After a major natural disaster the immigrant is exploited to perform the clean-up and built-up of the areas that are devastated such as happened after the Katrina and the Sandy storms.

    During that four-year cycle when the mice head of to the polls to elect a new cat, the immigrant becomes the scapegoat for the politicos to carry out their agendas and incite the ‘legals’ into a frenzy. So el trompas and his trompateers are having a merry, ole time this cycle not only with the Mexicans but other ‘others’; the Muslims, Asians. (Of course it’s so much better and, dare I say, easier to blame the ‘other’ for our problems.)

    In between these times, the immigrant is doing what he does, contributing and enriching the country, with or without documents. Many of Mexican ancestry like to claim how theirs came here the ‘right’ way and how they assimilated to the Norte Americano way and now they too are ‘real Americans’.

    We do assimilate, many of us are proud and love our Mexican culture and we will not be shamed because of it. Those days are long gone. Same applies to people of different cultures, they do assimilate but are proud of their own culture and celebrate it.

    Manifest Destiny in reverse.

    Throughout these times the Norte American is illegally invading, illegally bombing, illegally destroying, and murdering, killing by the hundreds innocent people in their own land. Who are the real ‘illegals’? I read that in the thirteen years of war with Afghanistan and Iraq we wasted 1.3 trillion dollars, that’s a lot of money, no? And not a squeak from the mice about their own illegality

    Now when el trompas builds el gran muro does that mean the Norte American will honor it and stay within its confines?

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