My democratic hope is that no immigrant in this country should feel that his or her efforts are futile and future predetermined because of legal status.
There are intentional forms of racism, but race also works as a social force that structures our perceptions, values, practices, institutions, etc. We need to distinguish between the intentional and structural varieties.
When I attended seminary, a classmate once told me that I was not like the rest of "them"; instead, I was rational and logical. He was white, I am Mexican-American, and in the context of our discussion, "them" meant the other seminary students of color. I was dumbfounded and speechless.