Tuesday, December 13, 2005

Interview with Andrea Cruz, of Southeast Georgia Community Center — 1 hour ago

cafegroundzero went to Lyons, Toombs County, to meet and interview the director of this centre, where immigrants can find out where to get health care, education, food, clothing, and find a place to meet others.

cafegroundzero: As you may have heard, Homeland Intelligence and the Immigration and Naturalization Service has announced some policy changes recently. What news has filtered down to the Hispanic or indigenous Latin American immigrants here in this (southeastern)part of Georgia?

A. Cruz: Very few people understand this… We have a radio show which puts out the word. It’s depressing. (The U.S. governement and the state of Georgia) is making it very hard to allow these people to come together, to come out—to become more identifiable—into the communities…It’s like they’re going underground.

Q. Does this new policy really grant an immigrant a possibility to enter into a permanent legal status? A. Cruz: There’s no form. They’re not giving them any options. It’s basically a joke. We’re supposed to have intelligent people in the country, but they don’t see beyond their (finite) vision.

Q. So what does the Guest Worker program do for Hispanic immigrants? A. I think it’s a way to trap these people. Six years (they work in this country), and you’re out. They’re able to detect that you left the country. What are they (then) going to do in Mexico? Starve? Because that’s what they’re doing in Mexico.

Q. Has there been any other program put forward?

A. Cruz: We need to have a program which will offer them permanent legal status. We all have dreams. We live in a country of dreams. We want to see our people salir adelante, move forward. Another thing, we’re a country of immigrants. So it’s really hard to go home in the evenings, and think what my country—the USA—is doing to (Hispanic immigrants). These people are the hands that feed us, that plant, sew, harvest, butcher… that make all these wonderful carpets for our homes. cafegroundzero: Many Americans are saying that the undocumented aliens are taking away jobs, are depressing the wages. What do you say to that?

...As advocates we need to be proven wrong. We need to be shown that they are NOT needed. That they’re taking away jobs from other Americans—that’s a big lie. I personally don’t practice politics. I practice policy. (I provide) low level information that can be shared with real people who need to hear it. Information that they can use is what we offer.

cafegroundzero: Are there any people going to other parties or institutions to try to get solutions, to say “THIS is what we need?”

A. Cruz: The National Council of La Raza, MALDEF, LULAC, they’re taking these issues higher. There are a lot of things that need to be done. I’m in the right place to see that these people are educated at a local level.

cafegroundzero: To you all, what is a local level?

A. Cruz: At a local level—county, city, town… At the state level the leadership are blind to reality. They need to tackle these issues that eare confronting the people locally.

Dec 12, 08:34PM PST 1 cheer | Edit | Delete | 0 comments


At Tuesday, December 13, 2005 11:29:00 AM, Anonymous Tomas said...

Good interview. I posted a small excerpt and link back on my blog HispanicTips


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