Reading Observations: Latin@s in Prison

There were several different similarities between the previous readings and the one for this week. The overall thesis was the same: people of color make up a majority of prison populations due to racial profiling and targeting under the guise of a “war on drugs.”

Where the Latinx population differs, however, is in immigration detention centers. The Hispanic population is targeted not only in order to “crack down” on drug use and distribution, but also to locate and deport those believed to be undocumented immigrants. As reported on page 31 of our Morín reading, Latinx immigrants are no more likely to commit crimes than the general population. In fact, due to the motivation of coming to America for a better life, immigrant populations are less likely to commit crimes as it might interfere with that goal.

And yet, even with this evidence, public politic figures continue to spread rhetoric that paints “illegal aliens” as criminals coming to America to steal jobs and commit crimes. The GOP presidential candidate, Donald Trump (neé Drumpf), has based his entire platform on top of xenophobic ideas, largely centered around keeping illegal immigrants (because Drumpf believes they’re all criminals out to get your job) out of the country through the construction of a wall.

But as seen in Moore’s photos (and other contemporary works that address the issue) prisoners detained prior to deportation are not “illegal aliens” but human beings who decided to change their lives by coming to the “land of the free.” In Diane Guerrero’s 2016 memoir, she recounts her life as the daughter of undocumented immigrants who were deported without her knowledge, leaving her at the age of 13, alone and homeless. We need to reform our immigration policies to welcome those in search of a better life, not tear families apart and building a wall.

In other regards, I have began to work on my infographic by sketching out different visualization ideas to represent the data I discovered and trying to figure out how to link the different topics together. The following are those sketches.


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