“We must be impatient for change.
Let us remember that our voice is a precious gift and we must use it.”
– Claudia Flores, Center for American Progress
America is facing a humanitarian crisis at and within her borders. As citizens, we are bearing witness to dehumanizing and unjust treatment of immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers who have survived the trauma of fleeing their home countries, journeyed thousands of harrowing miles only to be met with disdain, deplorable conditions, unlawful detention, lack of due process and most devastatingly – the unconscionable separation of families from their children by our government. At the National Equity Project, we believe that our fates are inextricably linked – that what happens to members of one part of our human family is connected to and impacts the survival and wellbeing of our own. We also understand the complicit nature of silence in maintaining systems of oppression and so we join the voices of millions to denounce the inhumane treatment and the othering of our Black and Brown neighbors both at the border and within our cities recently targeted in a new wave of ICE raids.
History, despite its wrenching pain
Cannot be unlived, but if faced
With courage, need not be lived again.
– Maya Angelou, On the Pulse of Morning
We have seen this before. Indeed, the imagined border was created and defined by the colonization and genocide of the First Nations people across Turtle Island. The violence, crime, and disenfranchisement that Latino/x refugees are fleeing are the result of over 100 years of U.S. policies and practices in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador. Asylum seekers from Haiti and Central Africa are leaving home countries that have been desecrated by slavery and colonial domination without restitution. The corralling and caging of our fellow humans conjure devastating memories of concentration camps in Germany and Internment Camps that held Japanese Americans on American soil.
We must not allow round-the-clock news cycles perpetuating normalcy at the present atrocities to result in desensitization of the human condition. The consequences of the oppression and trauma being inflicted on children and families will stay in their bodies and with all of us for generations to come. We may be tempted to seek self-preservation in “the violent act of looking away” (Lisa “Tiny” Gray-Garcia), yet the opportunity for us to manifest the espoused American ideals of freedom and justice depend on a few irrefutable truths…
We must survive. We must resist. We must fight. So that we can thrive.
America’s history of oppression is ours to bear – and to reconcile with our history of freedom fighting and justice. We must respond to the ongoing injustice in our cities and at our borders as our ancestors have – with unyielding resolve, moral conviction, decisive action and together…in community. We determine what is possible when we decide what we aren’t going to tolerate anymore. At the National Equity Project, we are exploring ways to take action both in our immediate and broader community and urge you to do the same. We invite our partners to share practices and unite our creative and catalyzing efforts against these dehumanizing practices and policies.
Let’s fight this fight. Let’s also continue to dream, design and create the communities we aspire to: where all children and families belong and where every single one of us lives our right to thrive and be safe, loved, and liberated.
Don’t apologize for the sorrow, grief, and rage you feel. It is a measure of your humanity and your maturity. It is a measure of your open heart, and as your heart breaks open there will be room for the world to heal. That is what is happening as we see people honestly confronting the sorrows of our time.
– Joanna Macy
Ways to Take Positive Action:
- Taking Action on Immigrant Detention: a summary of reported recommendations
- What can you do to help immigrants whose rights are under attack?
- Sign the petition: Amazon, Stop powering ICE’s deportation machine
Resources & Context
- Getting Migration in the Americas Right
- Theory of Poverty and ICE Raids Effect on the Community
- US Immigration Policy: An American Atrocity
- Immigrant Detention Conditions Were Atrocious Under Obama. Here’s Why They’re So Much Worse Under Trump.
- A Century of U.S. Intervention Created the Immigration Crisis
- Fleeing a hell the US helped create: why Central Americans journey north
- American policy is responsible for the migrant caravan
- The Violence Central American Migrants Are Fleeing Was Stoked by the US
“Against brute force and injustice the people will have the last word, that of victory.” – Ché Guevara