Founded in 2015, Mijente is a digital and grassroots hub for Latinx/Chicanx organizing and movement building. We engage in digital organizing, direct action advocacy campaigns, base-building and strategic communications, in service of racial, economic, climate and gender justice.
The immigration crisis has reached a fever pitch in the United States. Its impacts have already been so devastating that there really is no quick fix that will bring relief and resolution. Not even an end to the unabashedly anti-immigrant Trump administration would be enough to undo the harms that its policies have caused to thousands of migrants, refugees and asylum seekers—not to mention the millions who live in absolute terror every day.
How the U.S. scapegoats migrants
Migrating to survive is what human beings have always done. Yet, in the interests of political expediency, it has been characterized as a threat to national security and public safety. The terms of the debate on U.S. immigration are defined by fear, hatred and greed. The stance in some sectors of the country—goaded on by this administration—is to blame newcomers for old problems that have festered. Problems such as a failing U.S. healthcare system, stagnant wages, poor quality public education or shortage of affordable housing.
A scapegoat is needed, so migrants are facing an all-out assault on multiple fronts. What we’ve borne witness to is nothing short of a full-scale war. Children have been willfully ripped apart from their relatives or guardians and kept in detention under abhorrent conditions. The right to asylum has been significantly restricted. A ban on a number of Muslim countries has been instituted. All migrants are considered fair play for the detention and deportation machinery.
Under the Trump administration, the hits come in rapid-fire succession, thanks to a profit-driven surveillance apparatus that tracks and targets undocumented and documented migrants alike, their families and friends and the places where they live. The damage that has been wrought demands solutions that are just as large in scale and scope.
As an organization that is pro-Black, pro-queer, pro-woman, pro-worker and pro-planet, Mijente fundamentally believes that remedies must be all-encompassing and far-reaching. We can’t help just some migrants, dividing our communities between those labeled “deserving” of humanitarian reform and those who will be left to languish in detention and deportation.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)—the agency that has been granted carte blanche to terrorize immigrant communities in their homes, workplaces and neighborhoods—must be abolished. Migration must be decriminalized by repealing the federal laws prohibiting “unlawful entry” and "unlawful re-entry.” It is these laws that Trump’s Department of Justice was able to weaponize and create the family separation crisis.
What can we do to put a stop to this?
We are under no illusion that these demands will become a reality under Trump. But we are organizing to make it possible in the future. In the short-term, we disrupt business as usual by throwing a wrench in the machine. One way to stop ICE is to stop the tech companies that create the tools and scrape public and private databases for the agency’s target list.
This year also offers a major opportunity to make our voices heard at the ballot box by mobilizing the vote to elect people dedicated to real and bold change. We need to get Trump out of office. Visit fueratrump.com to learn more about and plug into Mijente’s efforts to get Trump out of office in 2020.
Actively supporting or standing by as migrants are being denied the right to make a home here, the right to pursue happiness and thrive, is something that dehumanizes all of us. If we turn a blind eye to the treatment of migrants, we greatly diminish the capacity for fairness, empathy and generosity across all of society.
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