By Emma May, BCRW Research Assistant
On Wednesday, January 25, President Trump signed an Executive Order calling for the construction of a “impassable physical barrier” between the United States and Mexico. Throughout his campaign, Trump has stated that he would force the Mexican government pay for the wall, due to funds ostensibly lost from the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
On Friday, January 27, Trump signed an executive order banning entry for anyone from one of seven majority Muslim countries: Syria, Iran, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Iraq — which includes travel, refugee asylum, and immigration. Although Trump’s time in office hasn’t yet totaled to a week, these dangerously xenophobic and violent policies are already being drafted and enforced.
What fuels the violent fear, repression, and criminalization of immigrants, Muslims, and black and brown people? What are the historical causes, contemporary political forces, and institutions that instill and perpetuate these ideologies? And, most importantly, what how can we collectively organize towards justice?
Here are some articles, art, and activist actions that address immigrant justice and anti-criminalization and can help inspire resistance to anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim, racist and xenophobic legislation, rhetoric, and the systems that create and perpetuate it.
Scholar & Feminist Online: Borders and Belonging
In 2007, BCRW published a special issue of Scholar & Feminist Online, entitled “Borders on Belonging: Gender and Immigration,” focusing specifically on US detention programs and policing, the US-Mexico border, and rampant post-9/11 racial profiling of Arab men. Through an intersectional and multidimensional lens, merging the voices of activists, journalists and academics, the journal brings to light the many systems that perpetuate and install the myth of a US-based “immigrant crisis” perpetuated by xenophobic and racist anti-immigration legislation, media and institutions.
“A Radical Expansion of Sanctuary: Steps in Defiance of Trump’s Executive Order” by Marisa Franco for Truthout
Marisa Franco asks us to explore the possibilities of imagining and creating new futures without prisons, criminalization and borders. She writes, “If Trump seeks to strip us of sanctuary, then we must defy him. And our defiance must not simply recreate what existed, but instead expand, reimagine and breathe life into its possibilities.” In the op-ed, Franco advocates for collective action and expansive visions that will create and sustain sanctuary and protection for those who are most vulnerable in our communities.
#Not1More builds collaboration between individuals, organizations, artists, and allies to expose, confront, and overcome unjust immigration laws. Through art, activism and community-building practices, #Not1More works to stop deportations and the ongoing criminalization of immigrants and undocumented people.
Want to take action with #Not1More?
Sign petitions to stop ongoing deportation cases.
Check out and share visual artworks calling for immigrant justice and centering the resilience and resistance of immigrant communities.
Learn more about how to fight deportations with your communities.
Use these resources in your activist communities and, if you’re an educator, in your classrooms.
How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind by Mirah Curzer
In this Medium post, lawyer and organizer Mirah Curzer outlines strategies for combatting activist burnout. She suggests that “we have to stay outraged for the next four years and resist the powerful urge to adapt to the new normal.” In short, Curzer argues, in order fight this forthcoming administration and the bigotry it stands for, we must take care of ourselves and each other. Curzer suggests to work through coalition-building on one or two issues that motivate you.
“Queer Liberation: No Prisons, No Borders” Video with Dean Spade, Reina Gossett, Angélica Cházaro, and CeCe McDonald
This video explores how borders, policing and prisons are threats to queer and trans survival and liberation. It draws integral connections between the prison abolition movement and immigrant justice movements, and how prisons and deportation systems categorize people into “deserving” and “undeserving” populations to legitimize the illusion that institutions like prisons and other forms of carceral punishment are necessary and effective tools to keep people safe.