If you are part of a group, you may choose to do all of these activities together, or watch the videos on your own and do the rest together. If you are a team leader, please advise your group what you prefer.
Please block off a solid two hours for these activities, whether as a group or on your own.
1. Watch the following videos (21 minutes total), and share your reactions on the Facebook group or in your journals:
- Racist History of the Immigration System (4 Minutes)
- "The Real Crime" by Black Alliance for Just Immigration (4 Minutes)
- "How Immigration Became Illegal": Aviva Chomsky on U.S. Exploitation of Migrant Workers (13 Minutes)
2. In your discussion groups or in your journal, consider:
- What feelings come up for you as you consider the history of immigration and criminalization in the United States?
- What connections do you see between the criminalization of immigrants and the criminalization of Black communities in the U.S. (as well as other marginalized communities)? How do these connections impact how we think about and how we work for migrant justice?
- What spiritual practices do you need to strengthen in order to stay connected to this struggle and not be overwhelmed by the magnitude of this problem?
3. Study the Immigration Detention Timeline presented by Freedom for Immigrants. If you are leading a group, bring printed copies and give 10 minutes for people to review silently (or you can read it out loud together if prefered). For team leaders, ask participants to work in pairs for the next section. Give a minimum of 20 minutes each for parts A & B, and then bring the full group back together for at least 10 minutes to share back and close out the discussion.
a. Develop an “elevator speech,” based on the information learned in this timeline and in the videos above, to explain the complexity of immigration and criminalization in this country. Practice it with friends and family. Can you educate someone who isn’t aware of this history in a way that makes them curious to learn more?
b-1. If you identify as White, locate your own ancestors’ immigration story on this timeline. What details do you know about their story? How would you tell their story differently with the information you’ve learned through this homework?
b-2. If you are a person of color whose people “voluntarily” immigrated to this country as some point, how would you tell the story of your ancestors and their immigration to this country differently, given the information in this homework? How could you tell a story of resilience and persistence about their choices and challenges?
b-3. If you have African American or Native American heritage, or if your Mexican ancestors lived in the Southwest portion of the United States and had the border moved out from under them, how does this information further shape your understanding of the challenges of your peoples? How could you tell a story of solidarity and resilience for the ways all folks of color have tried to make it in this country?
Poem shared during webinar #3: V'ahavta by Aurora Levins Morales
This program is a collaboration of the American Friends Service Committee's Sanctuary Everywhere initiative and the UUA and UUSC's Love Resists campaign with partners Church World Service and Freedom for Immigrants (formerly CIVIC).