THE ADVENT OF THE TRUMP ADMINISTRATION has plunged many immigrant communities into uncertainty. While this moment is still surreal, we can say this: For decades, immigrants have put their bodies on the line—fasting, marching, taking arrest, speaking out publicly—to demand and win protections. Wherever Trump promises to inflict pain, immigrants and their allies can draw on this history to mount a powerful resistance.
“I don’t want anything for Christmas, but one of my wishes is to keep my family protected. Not just my family, but our immigrant community”, wrote 17 year-old Elena from Miami, Florida, whose father was deported, and mother alone has to care for her and four younger siblings.
Guerrero is an actor, the author of In The Country We Love, and a supporter of the We Belong Together campaign
In recent weeks, I have been speaking publicly about my life as a U.S. citizen who used to live with the constant fear that my family would be deported. I was 14-years-old when those fears were realized. Growing up without my parents by my side is a weight I still carry today.
Nos Mantenemos Unidas y el Immigration Advocates Network Lanzan “Hacia Delante” para Mujeres Inmigrantes en el Día Internacional de la Mujer 2016
En el Día Internacional de la Mujer, Nos Mantenemos Unidas / We Belong Together, junto con el Immigration Advocates Network lanzará “Hacia Delante,” un nuevo sitio de web bilingue para mujeres inmigrantes y sus familias con herramientas, recursos confiables, e información actualizada para entender sus opciones migratorias y sus derechos.
Step Forward, a new website aimed at providing roughly 5.2 million undocumented immigrant women and their families with the resources to understand their rights in the U.S., launched Tuesday, on International Women’s Day, NBC News reported. The site, which is available in both English and Spanish, is expected to keep readers updated on the status of immigration cases in the Supreme Court and inform immigrants of already-existing programs.
Undocumented women comprise more than half of immigrants in this country, and their experiences are unique. While these mujeres are celebrated for leading movements around workers, migrant, immigrant and environmental justice, they are also among the most vulnerable to abuse and immigration enforcement. Step Forward, a new website, hopes to address these challenges by ensuring that immigrant women are aware of their rights.
Adriana Cazorla used to live in the shadows. The 41-year-old domestic worker suffered from domestic violence at the hand of her then-husband, but felt she couldn't seek help because of her undocumented status. She was in her "lowest moment," she told NBC News through a translator, when a woman from her local YWCA approached her.
"I had been in a situation where I was suffering from domestic violence and hiding from immigration," Cazorla said. "I was afraid because I was undocumented, and this woman told me, 'You don't have to continue suffering like this. You also have rights.'"
For Guillermina Castellanos, the Pope's message on compassion for immigrants is personal. Though she and her nine children are U.S. citizens, the California resident said her husband has been living in the U.S. for about 20 years and has not been able to legalize his status. Every time her daughters see a police officer drive up behind them, they're afraid that their father will get pulled over and get arrested for being undocumented.
"I tell them, 'Don't be afraid. The cop won't do anything to your dad,'" Castellanos said. "But they still live with that constant fear."
On Feb. 16 a group of women will be gathering in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, to kick off a daylong pilgrimage to El Paso, Texas, along the border between Mexico and the United States, in honor of the Pope's visit to the area on Feb. 17.
But they want to do more than greet him. They also want to draw his attention to what they see as the humanitarian crisis of refugees from Central America in the United States.