What killed Ana Romero?

Yesterday, Lexington Herald-Gleaner of Kentucky published a powerful op-ed on the death of Ana Romero, an immigrant from El Salvador who died while in custody in Franklin County Kentucky.

ana-romero-2Although the specific persons who may or may not have been guilty of violating Ana's due process, or mistreating her in jail, or neglecting the needs of Spanish-speaking prisoners have yet to be identified -- and no matter what the official cause of death is deemed to be -- it was fundamentally the system that killed Ana Romero.

U.S. immigration policy is broken and unable to cope with the high level of economic refugees who have streamed into the country in search of work.


Instead of dealing with the economic causes of this migration, U.S. policy has stressed an enforcement-only response.


Mass raids, detentions and deportations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have been rapidly increased the past couple of years since the great immigrant worker rights marches during the spring of 2006.


Romero was the victim of such stepped-up sweeps. The new collaborations pushed by ICE, known as 287(g) - which get state and local law enforcement and jail officials to cooperate and act as agents of ICE - are also to blame for Ana's fate.

We must demand reform of this broken system, we must demand that the government implement policies that work for all of us; including people like Ana. The piece concludes:

By calling attention to the public indifference and the lack of media attention to the plight of tens of thousands of immigrant detainees across the country;


By overturning policies that are racist and that encourage profiling and blaming immigrants for our broken economic and immigration policies.


By placing a moratorium on the ICE raids, detentions and deportations until our immigration policy is comprehensively and humanely reformed.