Op-Ed: How disenfranchisement leads to second class citizenship

May 21, 2013 —


FNM Executive Director Gihan Perera published the following op-ed on The Grio about the link between deportation and the continuing criminalization of communities of color.

This past Saturday, at the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony, Harry Belafonte delivered an inspiring call to action to save our children from an education system that does more to prepare them for prison than for success.

Twenty-hours before, with far less celebrity fanfare but no less impact, civic leaders marking the end of a week-long fast in Homestead, Fla. spoke of the urgent need to end the ongoing detention and deportation raids carried out against immigrants.

On first glance, few might make any connection between the mass incarceration of black communities inflicted through the War on Drugs and the draconian law enforcement measures that are being carried out while Washington negotiates a new  immigration system. Yet the response to both issues has created a path to disenfranchisement and marginalization that threatens to undermine opportunity and mobility for all impacted communities.

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