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My Story-Our Story

September 27, 2011
As an immigrant, a woman, a social worker and a professor who teaches about the immigrant experience in the United States, I feel very connected to other immigrants throughout this country on many levels. Restrictive immigration policies such as HB 87 in Georgia, HB 497 in Utah, SB1070 in Arizona and HB56 that is about to go into effect in Alabama are oppressive to immigrants and is a reactive response to the complexities of the immigration issues in this country. My mother migrated to the New York when my sister and I were 8 and 10 years old respectively. During the five years we were...

This is not what I was taught the American Dream was.

September 27, 2011
“This is not what I was taught the American Dream was. The American Dream in my eyes is everyone having equal rights…. I just want to let America know that this is not fair, what they’re doing to us is not fair, because my dad was stopped for no reason. I don’t think that wearing landscaper clothes and having brown skin [is] a crime.” This is a quote from Anna, a high school student in Burlington, Washington, whose father ended up in deportation proceedings after an encounter with the police. She told her story along with dozens of other courageous witnesses at a series of hearings that the...

Georgia’s New Anti-Immigrant Law – Writings from the Women’s Delegation Traveling to Atlanta to Expose Human Rights Violations

September 27, 2011
Welcome to the MomsRising blog-a-thon developed by the delegation of women leaders traveling to Georgia this week as part of a growing national resistance to anti-immigrant laws. The We Belong Together Delegation will hear, and then share, the stories of women and children affected by Georgia’s anti-immigrant bill, HB 87, copycat legislation of Arizona’s controversial and costly SB1070. (For more information on HB 87, see below.) The over two dozen organizations represented in the delegation include the National Domestic Workers Alliance , AFL-CIO , Center for Reproductive Rights , MomsRising...
Mary O's picture

My Mother’s Story and Why I’m Going to Georgia

September 27, 2011
This week I’m going to Georgia, and I’m excited and hopeful. I’m honored to be joining several other women from around the country as part of the We Belong Together delegation. We’re tasked with documenting the impact of Georgia’s new anti-immigrant law on children and families. Their suffering is very real, yet their voices are often not heard. When I think of their stories, I’m reminded of my mother. Because of the extreme poverty in her hometown, she was forced to drop out of school at the age of thirteen in order to work and help my widowed grandmother support the family. She vowed that...
Wendy Cervantes's picture

Addressing Georgia’s New and Abusive Anti-Immigrant Law – Why I am joining the “We Belong Together” Delegation

September 27, 2011
For more than two hundred years, mothers from every corner of the globe have come here to seek a better life for their families, particularly their children. And all of us, newcomers as well as those with families who have been here for generations, want our children to live a safe and healthy life, one with the opportunity to fulfill their hopes and dreams. Over the course of our nation’s history, there have been cycles of anti-immigrant fervor including a painfully virulent one right now. The most recent manifestation is Georgia’s passage of a harsh Arizona style anti-immigrant law. This...
Mary O's picture

In Georgia, Thinking of Henry and His Mother

September 27, 2011
“It’s like my mom… doesn’t exist. My mom doesn’t ask too much of her place in society. She just asks to be acknowledged. My greatest fear is my mom being deported.” (Henry, U.S. citizen whose mother is an undocumented immigrant) I thought of Henry --- and his mother --- when I was asked to participate in this week’s “We Belong Together” Georgia campaign. The campaign brings together female leaders from all walks of life to bear witness to the effects on women, children and families targeted by Georgia’s anti-immigration law. In the way only a child can, Henry gives voice to the millions of...

For my mother. For my daughters.

September 27, 2011
Being a new parent is hard. The sleepless nights, the sudden loss of free time, the aching biceps from carrying around a surprisingly heavy baby, the spit up, the bottles, the picking up, the picking up, the picking up. But during my most miserable nights of waking up at 12am, then 2am, then 4am – I think about my mother. I think of her smirking in self-satisfaction now that I’m beginning to get my come-uppance for being such a difficult and rebellious teenager. No, I’m kidding. Sort of. What I really think about is how much more difficult this would all be if I also had to move my life to a...
Miriam Yeung's picture

Why I am going to Georgia

September 27, 2011
I am going to Georgia for the purpose of making the invisible visible. In the spring of 1960 while a college student, I read about African American students in the South sitting in because they were unable to be served at lunch-counters of national chain stores. I was shocked! I had believed my country was better than this. This outrage was made visible to me by a national media which daily covered the sit-ins. The knowledge of this injustice led me to organize a demonstration at a Woolworth’s in upstate New York. Later I left my graduate studies to join the Student Nonviolent Coordinating...
Betty G. Robinson's picture

Georgia on My Mind

September 27, 2011
Since the execution of Troy Davis, whose shattering story activated thousands of people across the country to speak out against a flawed justice system and the brutality of capital punishment, Georgia has been on my mind. I was born there, in a small town outside of Atlanta called Austell, and spent many summers in Newnan with my grandparents. Both sides of my family can be traced back there, some as colonists and some from the Cherokee tribe that called Georgia home. For my entire childhood, Georgia represented the soothing, simple life, the one I felt connected to in my blood. Now, as I sit...

I am going to Georgia to stand up for America and our children’s future.

September 27, 2011
There’s a myth out there that immigration is complex—even controversial. But the truth is that the issue of immigration may be the simplest and clearest thing that binds us all together. With the exception of our Native American brothers and sisters who were here long before any of us came and who didn’t have the luxury of asking people for their papers when their land was taken over, we are all immigrants or descended from immigrants—willing and unwilling, transported on slave ships or shipped in labor, escaping famine and war or economic devastation, seeking a better life for ourselves and...
Pramila Jayapal's picture

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