Letter to the Editor

909

Oppose upcoming legislation

What are the responsibilities of a DePauw University student? Our daily routine often involves balancing academics, extracurricular activities and a social sphere. Frequently, we move so fast that we disregard our civic duties involving more than voting every two to four years. It is time to change this!

This Thursday, March 10th, community members, friends, families, students, activists and other individuals from across the state of Indiana will stand in lockstep at the Indiana State house, opposing the proposed immigration legislation — SB 590 and HB 1255! We will be calling on the strength and courage of our elected officials to value humanity and dignity over intolerance and fear.

Indiana Senate Bill 590 will permit law enforcement officers to question any individual whom an officer has "probable cause" to believe may be undocumented during stops and arrests. Such ambiguity in statute will promote and mandate racial profiling leading to discriminatory arrests and practices due to there being nothing in law that safeguards against abuse of police power.

As Sir Isaac Newton once stated, "We build too many walls and not enough bridges." These bills are potential walls in a time where our community is in dire need of bridges. Language in this case will be manipulated to serve as a concrete wall.

SB 590 and HB 1255 mandates a monolingual culture by requiring that only the English language be used in public meetings, public documents, by officers and employees of the state in performing their duties, and providing information communicated electronically by the state or a political subdivision. Such provisions will prevent vital communication between citizens and government, documented or not.

Less than a year ago the DePauw University Latina/o community was attacked by some of our peers. Now we face being targeted by our government due to the color of our skin and proficiency of only one language.  

As DePauw students, we are the leaders of today. Justice may be delayed but it will NOT be denied, its up to us to make a STAND and have a VOICE for those who cannot. Let us unite against ignorance that exists but we rarely take the time to confront! 

SI SE PUEDE!

— Margarita Villa, president, and Hermes Grullon, Dream Act/Immigration reform chair, and the Committee for Latino Concerns