Illegal Immigration, Santa Muerte, and Religious Fear-Mongering

Last year I warned that intensifying polarization over the issue of illegal immigration was leading to the demonization of Santeria and related syncretic faiths practiced by immigrants. Since then things have only gotten worse, especially in Arizona where a series of draconian laws, including one tailored to eliminate public school classes that are seen as too Mexican-focused, have deepened divisions. It didn't have to be this way, many prominent conservatives, including George W. Bush, Orrin Hatch, Charles Hagel, Richard Lugar, and John McCain once supported compromise legislation like the DREAM Act, and  large swathes of Americans (including conservatives) support establishing a path to cit … [Read more...]


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