When processing emotions of what happened last night with regards to immigration, they’ll come out in all kinds of ways.
Many undocumented loved ones will be left out of this immigration executive action. It seems like this is the only thing that’ll be done on immigration in a while. Some will benefit, some will not, some will be deported, some will get to stay. This program is imperfect. This program isn’t stable enough for people to trust it completely.
What happens when Obama leaves office? When do we stop fighting? When do we get to rest? If our loved ones do benefit and are able to apply for this executive plan, will they be able to see a doctor? to establish a career? to benefit from the services they’re taxed for? Will they be able to travel back home? To retire? What happens to the recently arrived immigrants? To those with criminal records? to the families in detention center? To the deported parents of citizen children? Will the deportation machine slow down or will it only speed up? What happens to LGBTQ undocumented immigrants? Will we continue fighting or will some of us leave the movement and live our lives now that we’ve found some ‘relief’?
Sometimes, our doubts, fears, disappointment, and anxiety come out in healthy rage, anger, pain, tears, celebration, laughter, emptiness. That’s okay. That’s normal.
Lets be conscious of each other’s reactions, emotions, and beliefs. Lets not tell those who are hurting to be grateful. Those who are left out that “at least something was done”. For a moment. Let us hurt.
We know organizing continues and we know a lot of work needs to be done, but for a second, we also need to rest. to sleep. to cry. to process. to stop. to breathe. to regain energy.
Elected officials aren’t the ones who have to tell their loved ones they are not eligible. That’s on community and family members. The same organizers that benefited from DACA but won’t be able to see their parents benefit.
All this takes a toll on all of us.
These executive actions impact real people, real families, real community members. This executive order does little to address huge overarching issues or root causes of immigration.
It really is a bitter sweet moment.
For some families and some individuals, it is sweet. for others, bitter. This is life changing for many. I want to acknowledge that too. We often don’t stop to think about the good. we don’t stop to celebrate the small victories. These small steps can be victories for some.
But to say that this immigration system only benefits the lucky and privileged may be true for some instances. But maybe not for others. Many of us were only able to “benefit” from this system because of rape, assault, violence, abuse, trafficking, abandonment. These aren’t things that stem from luck or privilege. It’s worth to keep in mind when understanding what this immigration system has done to us. How we internalize and define what makes us and others worthy of qualifying for anything.
This immigration system is all kinds of messed up. These arbitrary categories are designed to separate us and group us into deserving/ not deserving. Don’t let it happen. We are all valuable and worthy. Papers don’t define that. We will keep organizing and we need all of you to join.
Support, love, encouragement on all fronts. That’s what is needed most.