We were honored to spend some time with Environmental Planning and Policy Organizer Jose Acosta, MUPP – and wow! We were excited simply to hear about how recent changes to ICE enforcement has influenced the community, but Mr Acosta did a magnificent job of linking current anti-immigrant sentiment to the long history of cyclical US immigrant recruitment and scapegoating.
Also, as author of the Chicago Latino Neighborhoods Report, Acosta has mapped the way that trends in Latinx concentration in communities has followed industrial corridors, but is now also being affected by displacement from some of the oldest Latino communities in the city, many of which are nearly as old as the city itself.
We had some great conversations on the way home about how students saw these trends reflected in their own family histories – and many said Acosta helped them connect political and social trends across time and space in a way they’d never been able to do before.
Huge thank to to Jose and the whole LVEJO community for welcoming us into their space!