Five ways to respond with love to the newest attacks on immigrants
This week we’re watching some of the world’s most vulnerable and courageous people - escaping violence from both organized crime and their own government - banding together in a migrant caravan to support each other in the pursuit of safety and freedom. Yet so much of the media coverage and political rhetoric paints them as if they were the threat, not the ones at risk.
As Honduran families, mothers, siblings, children take the risks necessary to migrate north through Guatemala, Mexico, and the U.S. border, may we again answer the call to leverage what we have - our stories, our voice, our resources, a spare bed, our role in our workplace - for justice.
Urgent ways to show love resisting in the face of hate:
1) At this time there are a few hateful proposals with open public comment periods which give us an opportunity to turn our practice of reflection and storytelling into change. Share your personal and professional perspective as comments on the public record against the indefinite detention of the children of asylum-seekers and against the ‘public charge’ proposal which would discriminate against legal immigrants based on income and class. Each comment needs to be individual (not a “form letter”) so speak from the heart.
2) Spread the truth about the United States’ violent role in Honduras, and our role in forcing people there to leave home and take this dangerous journey. Listen to an interview with Love Resists’ own Hannah Hafter of UUSC on Rising Up with Sonali to learn more, as well as long-time Central American organizers Patricia Montes and Oscar Chacon on Democracy Now.
And as always:
3) Consider opening your home and heart to sponsor asylum seekers. Both short-term and long-term sponsors are needed.
4) Call to #AbolishICE and learn from Mijente about how people are fighting for non-compliance and non-cooperation with ICE at every level - at congregations, schools, hospitals, businesses, institutions, at the city, county and state levels.
5) Support local immigrant-led organizing, workers’ centers, bond funds, rapid response + accompaniment networks, community defense and visionary electoral work.
There will soon be more specific calls to action to support the caravan members - including an urgent need for volunteers on the border in Arizona and Texas to support local organizations welcoming asylum seekers and fighting the detention centers. If you think you may be able to go, e-mail hhafter [at] uusc [dot] org.
We may be overwhelmed by the onslaught of confusing, heartbreaking news about new forms of family separation and the dismantling of the legal asylum process. May we dig deeper and find the strength to love harder. Reconsider what we might have called impossible. Maybe between you and your neighbor you can actually offer housing to an asylum-seeker and transform their life and your own in the process. Maybe you can gather your co-workers for a conversation about your economic links to companies that profit from their contracts ICE. Maybe your friend group can throw a party or 5 for your local workers’ center or bond fund. May we fight every day harder for our own souls and the soul of our communities.