Now More Than Ever We Need Allies to Support the Immigrant Community

Read this over and over. Immigrant families are as American as any other family.

Read this over and over. Immigrant families are as American as any other family.

 

Originally published at Juan’s Medium page.

Tuesday’s election results have sent shockwaves across the immigrant community in the United States, as one of the most anti-immigrant and xenophobic politicians in recent history was just elected president.

Donald Trump’s election has thrown many of our families, mine included, into a level of uncertainty that we’ve never experience before. Fear is running rampant, as immigrants from all across the country wonder what will happen to them, whether President Obama’s 2012 DACA program will be terminated, and whether Trump’s deportation force will come knocking at our doors.

I am shaking as I type this blog. Anxiety is the only thing that is familiar to me now, and I am sure is the same feeling that many of my immigrant friends and colleagues are feeling right now. And that is completely OK.

Our communities have the right to grieve and mourn the election results, as there are more questions than answers at the moment. Personally, I am scared. Scared that my family will be jailed, deported, and accused of being the parasites responsible for our country’s troubles. Scared for the U.S. citizen children whose parents are undocumented and could now be deported. Scared of this dark path our country has chosen to go down on.

I am trying my best to process all of this. The election results, the fear, and the anxiety as the days go by. It’s not going to be easy, and it will take time, but I recognize that I must eventually compose myself if I am to help our communities move forward. I encourage everyone reading this to do the same.

There is a great deal of comfort to be found within the immigrant community. Time and time again immigrants have proven their strength, their resilience, and their commitment to this country. And while I know that we will have each others back, it is also time for allies to come in and help us through these difficult times.

The support I have received since Tuesday night has been enormous. Text messages, Facebook chats, emails, and phone calls from friends and colleagues who have expressed sympathy and concern for my family and I. These acts of kindness are welcome, not to mention reassuring, and I thankful to everyone who has taken the time to reach out and read my social media posts.

However, I must ask a huge favor from all of my allies.

Your messages of support have certainly gotten me through these past couple of days, but your actions are what will ensure that immigrant families like mine are not deported under the Trump Administration.

As a community, we have learned to fight for our families. We have never backed down and have been fearless. Many of us cut our teeth by organizing during the Obama administration. They weren’t always easy to deal with, but they listened because we made them. We made change happen. But, now we are in a much, much different place. Organizing against the Trump administration, which will be openly hostile to our community, will be a far different and much more dangerous.

Immigration can no longer be an abstract and uncomfortable political topic at the dinner table for allies.

If you want to support immigrants like me, then you must be ready to step up and take action every time at a moment’s notice.

Whether it is attending a rally, donating to a national, state or local pro-migrant advocacy or service organization, or lending a hand to immigrants who may feel like they are out of options — these are the kinds of actions and involvement that will allow immigrants to get through these tough times and remain in the United States.

I don’t have the answer to many of the questions that many immigrants are currently asking. All I know is that our community will need time to heal, and not give into the fear — because we will need to be ready to fight back against any anti-immigrant proposal that may come our way.

If you are an immigrant or a member of a minority group that feels threatened by the Trump Administration, please take care of yourself in the coming days and take time to learn more about your rights.

If you are an ally, the time for you to join our fight for a more inclusive and welcoming country is now.

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Follow Juan Escalante @JuanSaaa.

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