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Undocumented Irish Immigrants Say They Know The Fear Of Living Under The Trump Administration

When you think about the dominant narrative around undocumented immigrants in the U.S., the Irish may not be the first group of people that come to mind. But there are an estimated 50,000 undocumented Irish immigrants currently residing in the U.S. Admittedly, their struggle is different, as Shauna, an Irish immigrant, explained in a recent CNN article: “It is easier being illegal here when you’re white. It’s a bit easier to stay under the radar.”

The Irish make up one of the largest European populations in the United States, but due to the 1965 Immigration Act, legal immigration is nearly out of the question.

IVYANDGOLD/FLICKR

The act set a limit on the number of Irish immigrants allowed in the country. As the New York Times reported in 1988, only about 10,000 immigrants were legally allowed to enter the U.S. between the years 1976 to 1985. And it hasn’t gotten any easier for hopeful Irish immigrants looking for a better life. For many, the only way to stay in the country is to overstay their visas and hope they aren’t deported. Like undocumented Latino immigrants, they are hardly able to enjoy the society to which they contribute so much of their hard work and culture.

Though they may be less likely to be profiled by ICE agents, these Irish undocumented immigrants say the face similar struggles.

Kevin T. Houle/Flickr

Like undocumented Latino immigrants, the undocumented Irish rarely report crimes against them. They avoid going to the doctor because they don’t want to reveal their immigration status. But because they left harsh conditions, the struggles they face in the United States are worth the troubles they endure. However, because they are white, they don’t face the prejudice many Latinos face.

As NPR pointed out, in 2014, around 177,000 Mexicans were deported, while only a mere 33 Irish immigrants faced deportation. Despite the difference in treatment, the undocumented Irish live in constant fear they could be deported any day under the Trump Administration.

Shauna summed up for CNN the differences undocumented Irish and undocumented Latinos experience:

CNN.COM

“Even as Irish, you can feel it when you’re out. Even if it’s not directed at me and it’s at someone who is Mexican or Brazilian or something, it still affects me because I feel like I’m in the same boat, but they don’t direct it at me because I’m white.”

Whether or not immigration laws are designed to target Latinos because of their skin color is up for debate, but the reality here is that the immigration system is broken for many hard working people looking to better themselves and the societies to which they belong.

[MORE] CNN: White, Irish, and undocumented in America

READ: As ICE Targets People With Certain Kinds Of Tattoos, Immigrants Are Seeking Tattoo Removal

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Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Things That Matter

Gov. Newsom And California Lawmakers Unveil Stimulus Checks, Relief For Undocumented Residents

Americans are still waiting for the $1,400 check from the federal government to make good on the $2,000 promise In the meantime, some Californians will get extra help from the state government. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced a $9.6 billion stimulus package for state residents and undocumented people.

Low-income Californians will be eligible for a $600 stimulus check from the state government.

Gov. Newsom and California lawmakers have agreed on a $9.6 billion relief package for the Golden State. The relief package is offering much needed relief to businesses, individuals, and students. The relief will come to Californians in different ways.

According to a statement, the package is making good on the promise to help low-income Californians, increase small business aid, and waive license renewal fees for businesses impacted by the pandemic. In addition, the package “provides tax relief for businesses, commits additional resources for critical child care services and funds emergency financial aid for community college students.”

The relief package is aimed at helping those who are hardest hit by the pandemic.

“As we continue to fight the pandemic and recover, I’m grateful for the Legislature’s partnership to provide urgent relief and support for California families and small businesses where it’s needed most,” Gov. Newsom said in a statement. “From child care, relief for small business owners, direct cash support to individuals, financial aid for community college students and more, these actions are critical for millions of Californians who embody the resilience of the California spirit.”

The package will quadruple the assistance to restaurants and small businesses in California. Small businesses and restaurants will be eligible for $25,000 in grants from a $2 billion fund.

Undocumented Californians will also receive a boost from the state government.

Low-income Californians will receive a one-time payment of $600 while undocumented people will be given a $600 boost. The money will be sent to tax-paying undocumented people in California.

According to the California Budget & Policy Center, undocumented people in California pay $3 billion a year in local and state taxes. Despite paying taxes, the undocumented community has not been ineligible for relief payments from the federal government. These payments will give needed relief to a community overlooked throughout the pandemic.

“We’re nearly a year into this pandemic, and millions of Californians continue to feel the impact on their wallets and bottom lines. Businesses are struggling. People are having a hard time making ends meet. This agreement builds on Governor Newsom’s proposal and in many ways, enhances it so that we can provide the kind of immediate emergency relief that families and small businesses desperately need right now,” Senate President pro Tempore Toni G. Atkins said in a statement. “People are hungry and hurting, and businesses our communities have loved for decades are at risk of closing their doors. We are at a critical moment, and I’m proud we were able to come together to get Californians some needed relief.”

Learn more about the relief package by clicking here.

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An Undocumented Mother In Iowa Is Sharing Her Story Through A Podcast

Culture

An Undocumented Mother In Iowa Is Sharing Her Story Through A Podcast

Laura Rodriguez is an undocumented mother living in Iowa and she is sharing her experience. Rodriguez is sharing her life using one of the most popular forms of media right now: the podcast. “Undocumented Momhood” gives people a chance to listen to what her life is like.

Laura Rodriguez is using her podcast “Undocumented Momhood” to create a space for women like her to find community.

Rodriguez has been wanting to create a podcast of her experience for a long time coming. The mother realized that she was always outnumbered when she went to mommy classes and couldn’t connect with anyone. That frustration led to her wanting to create something people could relate to.

“I was 22 years old when I had the kids and I had zero community around me,” Rodriguez recalls in an interview. “I often attended ‘mom groups’ to try to find my people and little friends for the twins but it never worked. Luca, Azul and I were always the only Latinx (people) in the whole group. Often you could see the class difference because they made it obvious for you to see and feel. After a few of these uncomfortable visits and many cries later I decided to just focus on being home with just the babies.”

Rodriguez’s husband created Amplified DSM and gave her a chance to reach an audience and fully tell her story. She has long been out as an undocumented woman and it was the 2016 elections that convinced her to come out as undocumented. Her biggest reason to come out was to lead her children by example.

“I always spoke to my children about the importance of being yourself and I wasn’t being my fully honest self,” Rodriguez says. “I had this heavy weight over my shoulders about my legal status that had follow me since I was 14 years old. I wanted to be free. I wanted everyone to know that this insane label that was put on us ‘illegal immigrants’  was wrong. I will always fight for my undocumented community they are my biggest inspirations.”

Rodriguez wanted to include her kids in the podcast.

“Azul, Luca, and I have this incredible connection so I wanted to honor them by recording our first episode together because, well, one because they are the ones that made me a mother and it made sense but also becoming Luca and Azul’s mother literally save my life,” Rodriguez says. “From the point on, they have been my teachers, my constant inspiration to keep fighting and to keep living. Plus they are so funny and smart I love my children. They are so fun to have conversations with.”

She wants her podcast to help break down the stereotypes of undocumented people.

“I want people to take away that undocumented people also have their own stories,” Rodriguez says. “[They have] their own struggles as a parent as humans. We are not only a label. Even though it seems everything we do to make a living and take care of our families is illegal, it only is because of our government.”

Rodriguez wants people to know that undocumented people are contributing to their communities. They are opening businesses, starting families, and living in a place that they want to make better themselves.

The podcasting mother says that the future episodes will dive deeper into the reality of living life as an undocumented person in the U.S.

“In the coming episodes, the conversations switch from a cute chat with my kids to the reality of immigration or real talks about motherhood,” Rodriguez says. “[For] example, women not liking being pregnant, not liking breastfeeding, or mothers not feeling that deep connection. “We are going to touch on so many of those taboo topics. I’m extremely grateful for everyone that has listened.”

You can listen to Rodriguez at Amplified DSM.

READ: Chicago’s Mi Tocaya Is Offering Up Free Mexican Homemeals For Undocumented Community

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