Editor Urges Help for Cabrera

Angelo Cabrera in Mott Haven (Photo by Natalie Fertig for Mott Haven Herald)

Angelo Cabrera in Mott Haven (Photo by Natalie Fertig for Mott Haven Herald)

Angelo Cabrera, the Mexican immigrant who founded the Mexican American Student Association (MASA), devoted himself to helping members of New York City’s fastest-growing immigrant group cope in the new land in which they had settled. After living two-thirds of his life in the U.S., he recently returned to Mexico to make his status legal, which would enable him to accept a job at Baruch College helping to enroll Mexican Americans. Now, The New York Times reports that he is stranded there, his application for legal status having been denied.

Bernard L. Stein, editor of Mott Haven Herald, has been following Cabrera and MASA’s story for some time. He notes that “Cabrera didn’t look out for Number 1; he used his opportunity to afford opportunity to others,” and he discusses how much Cabrera did to help promote educational attainment among immigrants. Writing in Mott Haven Herald, he weighs in on the action by U.S. immigration authorities, and urges action.

Cabrera’s plight shows once again how mean-spirited the nation’s immigration policy is and how injurious it is to the country as a whole. This vindictive decision doesn’t just deny one person the chance to continue living a useful life in New York; it denies a generation of immigrants the help Cabrera would have been able to offer.

However, the publicity from The Times story offers an opportunity to reverse at least one foolish decision, and an outcry from Bronx residents against this injustice can help. One avenue to pursue is a private bill in Congress. As The Times notes, this procedure is rarely used. But Rep. Jose Serrano has long been a champion of immigrants in general and of Latinos in particular. 

Go to Mott Haven Herald to learn more about how Stein says one can help Cabrera “return to his adopted hometown” of New York.

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