Families with loved ones in detention or facing immediate deportation are tired of waiting and tired of our voices only being welcome as stories that illustrate someone else’s agenda.
From April 5th those whose lives are at the center of the immigration debate will create an indefinite presence on the President’s front lawn asking that he meet with them directly and that their loved ones cases’ be closed. Mothers, fathers, sons and daughters will renew a hunger strike, having exhausted all other routes to see their loved ones released from the detention centers they’re held in pending imminent deportation.
Sometimes tactics and strategies are planned far in advanced, developed and premeditated, other times it comes from a place that cannot be designed. In this case it comes from a parent’s will and community desperation, an expression of suffering and willingness to do anything to keep a family together.
Most undocumented families in the United States have already lived through the risks of getting here and the dangers of the work we do. We’ve lived through days of unplanned hunger and now accept it willingly.
Starting on April 8th members of our communities have our last meal and start a hunger strike.
We’ve watched the debate in public and suffered in private. We have gone to bed with our arms empty, aching for our loved ones, and now it is time to make that suffering known to the world. Politicians may tell us to be patient. Advocates may say that our tactics are misdirected. But if there is not room for us, wives who miss our husbands or fathers who miss our sons, at the center of this conversation, than we hope our empty stomachs change that conversation.
We may not have formal education but we have learned that change happens when we face power and draw a line in this moral dilemma. We have spent years appealing to politician’s hearts and minds and still they are closed. If they have not opened on their own, we will make them open.
As long as we keep our suffering to our kitchen tables and half empty beds, they will call for reviews and meetings and ultimately keep their policies the way they are. Our loved ones’ imprisonment hasn’t been enough to get them to act. We hope our hunger strike will.
NotOneMoreDeportation.com is a campaign made of individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws.
As the immigration debate continues, #Not1More enters the discussion from the place that touches people in concrete ways and can offer tangible relief. By collectively challenging unfair deportations and unjust policy through organizing, art, legislation, and action, we aim to reverse criminalization, build migrant power, and create immigration policies based on principles of inclusion.
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I want to be part of the movement to stop deportations and win inclusion.