At the turn of this century, Hispanics became the largest minority group in the United States. This milestone, however, hasn’t changed the way members of the community are being treated by authorities.
Whether it’s migrants trying to cross the border in search of a better future, or just people going about their daily lives, discrimination and abuse by law enforcement officials are common occurrences in border states like Texas and California.
For this episode in the series The Race Gap in the U.S., correspondent Jason Motlagh takes us on a journey with a cast of characters comprised of activists, retired border patrol officers, lawyers and migrants. We learn the story of Miguel Amaya, a Salvadorian migrant who made it safely to San Francisco. Once he settled there, he was able to send for his wife and daughter, who were detained and then separated as they were trying to reach the United States. We also hear from Anaheim Council-member Jonathan Hernandez, whose cousin was shot dead by police officers who mistook a water bottle he was holding for a gun. “This country doesn’t value people of color,” he says. “The Declaration of Independence wasn’t created for people of color”.
According to Cecilia Muñoz, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, “we expect the police system, the law enforcement system, to catch a lot of the problems that we create through other failures.”