Justice for Marcelo Lucero, But Injustice for Immigrants Continues
Yesterday, in a courtroom in Riverhead Long Island, the jury in Jeffrey Conroy’s murder trial found the 19-year-old white teenager guilty of first-degree manslaughter as a hate crime in the racially motivated attack against Marcelo Lucero. Lucero, an Ecuadorean immigrant who lived in Patchogue Long Island was violently attacked and stabbed by Conroy and six other Long Island teenagers in November 2008. The seven teenagers were “beaner hopping” the night of the incident.
Although justice has been delivered on Lucero’s case, injustice and persecution continue to be present in immigrant communities across the country. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) continues deporting vulnerable immigrant families, instead of focusing on dangerous criminals, to meet the agency’s deportation quotas. The deaths of immigrants in detention centers continue to be ignored and unaccounted for. And now Arizona is close to legalizing racial profiling by authorizing law enforcement officers to question and detain anyone who looks like an undocumented immigrant.
The death of Marcelo Lucero reminds us of the tragic consequences that anti-immigrant rhetoric and sentiment can cause. Arizona’s proposed legislation would only fuel the local and national anti-immigrant climate and do nothing to fix our broken immigration system. Instead of policies that are rooted in fear and anti-immigrant sentiment, real leadership and policy solutions are urgently needed to address the issue of immigration.