As the people in Shenandoah, PA grapple with the recent killing of Luis Ramirez and the charges against local high school students for this crime, a story from Prince William County, VA provides a glimpse at the deep divisions over immigration in other communities, and also the countervailing power of local citizens who stand up against violence based on anti-immigrant bias.
As Serafin “Pedro” Alvarez Negrete, a Mexican day laborer, walked home toward his trailer park on a fall night in 2006, he was shot multiple times. Police apprehended 2 teenagers, who admitted that they had decided to “get a Mexican,” and later plead guilty to first degree murder.
A coalition called Unity in the Community brought together an interfaith group of ministers to hold a memorial service and raise funds to send Serafin Negrete’s body back to his wife and three children in Mexico. But Unity members also wanted to address the ongoing threat to the day laborers. They have been working on these issues as the chasm over immigration in their town grows wider.
On their NIOT page, Unity members provide updates on their recent activities. Please share your strategies and ideas on how your community is addressing intolerance against immigrants.