Immigration has been the issue throughout the history of the United States. Immigration made the nation. Immigration facilitated the expansion westward. Immigration is the politics of the country. The only thing Donald Trump has done is to make it acceptable to war against immigrants. Although immigration is the issue for Americans, the race to the 2020 elections will force the issue to the forefront. Healthcare, the economy and wars will take second seat to the issue of immigration.

Immigrants are the political fodder of U.S. politics. America needs a strong economy then bring in the immigrants. America doesn’t have enough jobs for U.S. citizens, then throw out the immigrants to make way for American jobs. This is the reality of immigration in the history of U.S. politics.

As an immigrant I and my fellow immigrants keep ourselves on the sidelines. We allow others to speak for us. Because of that, the immigration issue is distorted by agenda-driven politics. We, as immigrants, need to engage. We need to take control of the debate.

How do we do that?

I have no idea.

Immigrants are not a unified voice. We each have our own life experiences that drives our politics. For many of us, our culture is to keep our heads down and stay out of the fray. For others, new immigrants threaten the status quo. And for other immigrants it is just better to remain silent.

The idea of a Latino voice is false.

Latinos are not monolithic. Latinos think differently and believe in different ideals. Latinos want the American dream and if that means keeping other migrants in check then so be it.

There is no such thing as a Latino voice.

Latinos have different voices. Immigrants, both documented and undocumented want different things.

For whatever our beliefs or our needs are, there is one thing we can all agree on, immigrants and Latinos alike; there is a war in America today demonizing us trying to erase the Latino and immigrant voice from the landscape of America.

We can sit back quietly and hope it blows over, or we can decide to take our own futures in our hands.

Before we can do that, though, we need to understand each other and the underlining driving force behind the war on immigrants. We need to share. We need to learn from each other. We need to speak up for all of us.

It may be but a fading dream. It may be naïve but I’m hoping that we can at least be part of a small online community which could become the seed to adding our voices to the immigration debate that is raging in America today.

Join me in the National Immigration Policy online community. Click here to join the discussion.

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...