Immigrant population conflicts

With increasing numbers of immigrant raids as we have seen in the news lately, conflicts between different immigrant groups are on the rise. As a volunteer for a Latino community organization I have had time to discuss with members of this community their feelings about other immigrant populations, such as the Somali refugee population. It is problematic that current social conditions have led Latinos to make complaints regarding the âÄúlazinessâÄù of Somali immigrants, as it is precisely that same argument many have used against the Latino population. Those who have studied the matter are well aware that such judgments are not valid in either case. These types of judgments and tensions are enforced and perpetuated by U.S. government policies that discriminate against the undocumented Latino population, ignoring the contributions they make to our society and the necessity for their labor. Such policies silence the Latino voice in local and national politics by exploiting their fear. Immigration and customs enforcement squads are raiding factories throughout the Midwest and deporting Latino workers and Somalis fill those positions while living with government benefits and no fear of deportation, causing the continued growth of this tension. It is important to recognize the necessity to work together to create a sense of community, not only between white U.S. citizens and the Latino population, but within immigrant populations as well, in order to allow for their empowerment. Inter-immigrant clashes can only further disempower both communities against the white majority of the Midwest. Much of the non-Somali and non-Latino populations of the Midwest remain highly uninformed about the conflicts that have brought them here, their cultures and their values. Since one of the best ways to understand a culture is to be able to communicate with its members, the University of Minnesota and other institutions need to advocate for Somali language and culture courses, in addition to continuing efforts to educate about the Latino population. Currently the only institution offering Somali courses in the Twin Cities area is Minneapolis Community Education. As we have learned through the establishment of Spanish language programs throughout the United States for many years now, this type of education gives us the tools and knowledge to eliminate misunderstandings and prevent further conflicts amongst all members of the population regardless of race. Grace Higgins University student