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Mexican Father And Son Attacked At Their Tire Shop In Salt Lake City For Being Mexican

GoFundMe

Just days after Thanksgiving, on what should have been a typical day at Lopez Tires in Salt Lake City, Utah, 18-year-old Luis Gustavo Lopez was the victim of a brutal attack. Luis, who works at his father’s tire shop, was confronted by a man who proclaimed that he wanted to “kill a Mexican” before launching into a brutal physical assault.

The assailant, 50-year-old Alan Dale Covington, entered Lopez Tires allegedly yelling: “I hate Mexicans” and “I’m here to kill a Mexican.”

According to KUTV, Covington first hit Luis’s dad, Jose Lopez. The teen tried to protect his father by picking up a car jack pole in an attempt to hit Covington. In turn, Covington hit Luis in the face with the pole and then fled the scene.

The daughter of Jose and sister of Luis, Veronica Lopez, wrote on GoFundme that her dad got eight stitches in his arm and “has his back severely bruised due to the blows he received.” She also said that her brother’s “right side of his face was shattered.” After a three hour surgery, Luis now has a “titanium plate from the right side of his face to his nose to be able to attach the bones and keep his eyeball in place and a plate under that.”

He remains in critical condition.

Covington has since been charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, and three weapon and drug charges. He will not be charged with a hate crime.

Under the Utah state law, someone can only be charged with a hate crime if the act is seen as a misdemeanor assault and must prove intent. Typically, a hate crime is motivated by racial, gender identity, sexual orientation, or other prejudice involving violence. In the crime against the Lopez family, even though Covington allegedly targeted Mexicans, his crime is being considered felony aggravated assault and not a hate crime.

Veronica told The Salt Lake Tribune she’s very upset that police won’t consider this act against her family a hate crime. “It makes my blood boil,” she said. “What do they want next? Do they want him to kill someone to see that he’s dangerous?”

The Salt Lake Tribune is also reporting that police said Covington — who has a long criminal record — had clouded judgement because he was on drugs when he attacked the Lopezes. They also said he had “some mental health issues.”

The family is requesting donations for their medical bills because they do not have medical insurance.

CREDIT: Gofundme

Click here if you’d like to donate to the Lopez family.


READ: There Are More Hate Crimes Being Committed In California, And It’s Higher Among Latinos 

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The U.S. Just Saw The Lowest Number Of Undocumented Immigrants In Over A Decade

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The U.S. Just Saw The Lowest Number Of Undocumented Immigrants In Over A Decade

Paul Cone / Flickr

Despite current headlines about migrant caravans and an “invasion” of undocumented immigrants, the number of people living in the U.S. illegally fell to its lowest numbers in more than a decade. According to a new study from the Pew Research Center, the number of illegal immigrants in the U.S. fell to 10.7 million in 2016 which is down about 1.5 million people in 2007, when an estimated peak of 12.2 undocumented immigrants were living in America.

During the span of nine years from 2007 to 2016, the illegal immigrant population reduced by 13 percent. The lowest number since 2004.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Pew Research Center

The study estimates come from figures published by sources like the Census Bureau, which tracks foreign-born people living in the U.S., along with other demographic data including death rates and legal border admissions. Not only has there been a drop in undocumented people in the U.S., the demographic of undocumented people has changed. Since the findings are based on 2016 populations, the decline in numbers can’t be credited to President Donald Trump, who took office in January 2017, and his immigration policies.

The big decline is due to a sharp decrease in the number of Mexicans entering the country.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Pew Research Center

While they still make up a bulk of undocumented immigrants living in the U.S today, migration out of Mexico has declined considerably. That may be due to a revival in job opportunities and growing economy in Mexico. In a stark contrast, the number of migrants from Central America living in the U.S. without documentation rose between 2007 and 2016, mainly due to increased violence and economic uncertainty. The number of undocumented immigrants from Central America increased by 375,000 between 2007 and 2016, to a total of 1.85 million people, the study shows.

The number of people who came to the U.S. illegally and are from South America, Europe and Canada decreased while those from the Caribbean, Asia, the Middle East and Africa rose in steady numbers.

The majority of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. have lived here for a decade or longer.

CREDIT: CREDIT: Pew Research Center

In 2007, the average length of an undocumented immigrant living in the U.S. was 8.6 years; nine years later, it has grown to an average 14.8 years. This shows that the average undocumented person in the U.S. either has been living in the country for quite some time and there are less people coming in during that same span.

D’Vera Cohn, a senior writer at Pew Research, says undocumented immigrants living in the U.S. shows how much more rooted this population is here than before.

“This is a much more rooted, established population than it was in 2007,” Ms. Cohn told the NY Times. “There are markedly fewer short-term residents and more long term residents.”

Programs like Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)  and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) have protected one million undocumented people from deportation.

According to the report, 700,000 people in the U.S. who were brought to the country without documents as children have received protection from deportation through the DACA program. Additionally, 317,000 from 10 nations have received TPS, which applies to those from countries that have experienced natural disasters like Haiti.

The report notes that the The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced plans to end protections for immigrants from six nations that include El Salvador, Honduras and Haiti, which account for the vast majority of the 317,000. Those seeking asylum are also included in the numbers presented by the study.

What does this report mean when it comes to unauthorized immigration in the U.S. as a whole?

CREDIT: CREDIT: Pew Research Center

In what may be a surprise to some, the state of California saw a 550,00 decrease in unauthorized immigrants, the biggest amongst all states. While states like Louisiana, Maryland and Massachusetts saw major increases. When it comes to jobs, the number of unauthorized immigrants in the workforce was 7.8 million, which was lower in 2016 than in 2007 and they made up less than five percent of the workforce, also a drop from 2007 when it was about 5.4 percent.

Overall, the findings in the report show changing immigration trends shifting from countries like Mexico and an increase in those arriving from Central America. Those that have overstayed their visa also appear to make up a significant share of overall illegal immigration. Going forward, it’ll be interesting to see if recent immigration polices have deterred more immigrants from coming to the illegally or if more have left the country all together.


READ: Conditions In Tijuana Are Getting Worse For Those Waiting To Claim Asylum

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