Today on NPR Attorney Jeff Sessions announced that we are facing an "immigration crisis." He continued: "we will not allow people to come illegally" although the Central Americans in the caravan are legally seeking asylum. He used Words like "caravan, stampede, overwhelmed."/C:/Users/Pat/Documents/Blog/in-tijuana-hundreds-of-asylum-seekers-wait-entry-into-the-u-s.html
OVERWHELMED? How can a country with 328 million citizens and residents be overwhelmed by a caravan of 200 people from Central America? It is estimated that there are 11 million undocumented persons in the USA and the numbers entering without documents has actually declined in the past few years, except for primarily women and children fleeing violence in Central America.
This link is to an excellent article by Kathryn Johnson, American Friends Service Committee that explains the root causes as to why people are coming. www.afsc.org/blogs/news-and-commentary/how-us-should-respond-to-migrant-caravan
TWO CARAVANS - Oregonians demanding ICE Out of NORCOR. A law suit is pending in the state court that argues that NORCOR housing immigrant detainees violates Oregon's sanctuary law. These caravans show the compassion for the detained and the need for radical changes in immigration policies that put profit before people.
I am angry at the inhumane policies of my country and am saddened and disheartened by the racist and xenophobic words about immigrants spoken by Mr. Trump and other politicians. They seek to divide us as a people and to make us fear the other with messages that immigrants are here to take your jobs or your women. Trump uses hate language to dehumanize asylum seekers.
BUT there are Americans who are responding in a different way. In a recent article in the LA Times,
Heather Cronk, co-director of Showing Up for Racial Justice, which is coordinating volunteer sponsors in San Diego said:
“I think this is 100% about who we want to be as a nation,” she said. “Not only are we providing material support, supporting those who are in need of a place to go … We offer a counter message. We want to make very clear to the folks who are in the caravan and those across the country that Trump’s voice is not the only voice in this country. Where Trump closes doors, we open them.”
Let's form more caravans for peace with justice to change the immoral and inhumane policies that separate families and divide use.
FOR THOSE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, JOIN THE ANNUAL MOTHER'S DAY VIGIL OUTSIDE THE TACOMA, WASHINGTON DETENTION CENTER ON SATURDAY, MAY 12. OR ORGANIZE YOUR OWN CARAVAN TO A DETENTION CENTER NEAR YOU TO SHOW SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANTS. imirj.org/
On April 21 and 28, 2018 the Interfaith Movement for Immigrant Justice in Oregon sponsored two caravans taking people of faith and conscience to vigil outside NORCOR, the public four county jail in the Dalles, Oregon. We joined local Gorge Resistance folks to protest the practice of NORCOR to house ICE detainees relocated from the private detention center in Tacoma, WA.
Like its sister private prison in Tacoma, it is a soul-less place. NORCOR is located in the industrial part of the Dalles, a warehouse of people, not material products. There we prayed, sang, walked with our signs and waved at cars passing by.
Did we accomplish anything in our month long campaign, "#ICEOUTOFNORCOR." IMIRJ delivered 750 signatures on a petition asking the NORCOR board to reinstate family visits to detainees and on April 28 260 people gathered to remember the hunger strike by detainees of a year ago.
The local newspaper described the action so people know why we were there and what we want.
TWO CARAVANS - One of Central Americans and the other, North Americans - WHAT DO THEY HAVE IN COMMON?
My life has been about crossing borders and cultures and building bridges across the boundaries that normally divide. Have you crossed any borders in your life?