The American 2020 riots seem to be centralized on the inequality that Black Americans feel each day. In the previous posts we looked at slavery as the reason that America became the economic powerhouse it is today. It is also the American lie that is driving today’s unrest. But many Americans refuse to understand the underlining reality that is the divided America. We are all equal is hard to drive away from the mindset of the general American population.

To understand how America is divided one needs to look at the institutionalized division of humanity in America. The most poignant example of dividing human beings by demonizing them is the acceptance of the phrase “illegal alien” in government documents.

The problem is not that being undocumented can be a crime nor that Americans want to control who comes to America and who should not.

The phrase “illegal” alien or immigrant is not based on fact but rather, it used to divide by demonizing one human being from another.

It is designed to make marginalizing human beings easier to keep the American lie of equal treatment alive.

American jurisprudence does not define an “illegal” immigrant. Instead, like many laws, American jurisprudence treats undocumented immigrants differently depending on the different laws governing immigration.

Most undocumented immigrants are legally “out of status” under the law. That means that most immigrants are only subject to civil penalties. They are not criminals under the law. At most, the penalty for most undocumented immigrants are to be removed from the country.

In most cases, it is not a crime to be in America without papers unless a judicial process has admonished the immigrant not to return to America without the legal papers. Until then, the undocumented immigrant is in civil violation and not criminally present in the United States.

Yet, many Americans continue to believe that undocumented immigrants have committed a crime.

The reason is because tagging undocumented immigrants as criminals marginalizes them making it more palatable to separate them from the “real” Americans among Americans.

It is this marginalization that drives the divided America that is divided along skin color.

When Blacks riot it is easier to explain the divided America by labeling them as “thugs” or “anarchists” instead of confronting the reality that is Black lives in America today.

Likewise, “illegal immigrants” is easier to put into cages.

Therein lies the American lie.

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...