Immigrant hatred moves beyond U.S. borders


The Marques da Silva family: Raquel, Julia, Mauricio, and Julia’s twin sister, Laura. Julia’s parents immigrated to the U.S. from Brazil. Hate crimes against immigrants have increased since 2015, according to the FBI.

Julia Marques da Silva, Design Director

Go back to your own country.”
A woman told this to my father on the beach, after he picked up a crab. As soon as he tried to explain that he didn’t want any trouble, that he only wanted to spend a nice day at the beach with his family. That was her response. It didn’t stop there, either. It escalated to where she physically threatened him, for simply picking up a crab at the beach.

My parents came to the United States for my dad’s work for a better opportunity. They originally came from Brazil. My dad’s job took them to different locations in the world and the U.S. Before, most people would ask where he was from and they never picked on his accent if people were mad at him, but things have changed. It’s now a common insult to point out that someone isn’t American, like it’s shameful. In the U.S., the FBI reported that there has been increase in hate crimes against immi-
grants. Although some in here have always held anti-immigrant sentiments, it has become more apparent as blatant discrimination has become more acceptable.

This increase of hate crimes reflects the coarse political discourse in U.S. that enables people to openly express their hatred of other groups. With politicians and public figures demonstrating their clear condemnation of minorities, people find it more acceptable than ever to act on their unfair biases. The newfound acceptance of hate speech and actions has proven that hate crimes are an increasingly common reality for immigrants.

According to an FBI report, hate crimes have increased for three consecutive years since 2015. The FBI reported that about 59.6% of the victims were targeted because the offenders harbored a bias to the victims’ race, ethnicity or ancestry. This has been an increasingly common phenomenon in our country. What we have seen in the U.S. does not stop at its borders. The shooter from the Christchurch attack in New Zealand credited President Trump for inspiring his white supremacy.

The world views our country as an opportunity at the end of the dark tunnel and I urge that people look back to the brighter side of America’s past and present to create a world where everyone can safely live in and this dream exists. Many people who live in the U.S., especially immigrants, want to follow the American dream. The desire for a better life for generations to come has driven people to come to our country, despite the persecution that they may face.

The majority of colonies in the U.S. were occupied by people who wanted freedom from religious persecution and that still holds true for people who come to live in the U.S. This is the main reason why my family are here in the U.S.. They strived for the best life possible for my sister and me.