I collaborated with Southerners On New Ground (SONG) to create this video about immigration in the United States. "We at SONG have followed the tide of the national immigration debate as it rose and fell, making its way from the streets of our cities to the farming fields of the rural South; from the small town Immigrant-owned shops to our temples, churches and mosques. We watched it heat up and try to make its way towards a reform solution in line with our people's demand for an Immigrant justice. This is a justice that acknowledges the reality of daily mass deportations, countless families separated and of over 11 million undocumented people emerging out of the shadows to tell the story of our collective struggle. The reality is hundreds and thousands of our children are graduating from high schools all across this country only to work minimum wage jobs because they are banned from attending colleges and universities.
We face a historic moment where collective struggle has seeded a demand for true justice. We watch as the debate makes its way to Washington, DC, where it is translated into a proposal for $6 Billion dollars to militarize an already militarized border, while simultaneously funding a plan that whittles away at the number of people who qualify for legal residency. This has made us reflect on what lies ahead for the Immigrant Rights movement as we get clear about our wins, our compromises, and what is left to be done.
What is undeniable is that our people have struggled to make this moment come to fruition: from the Dreamers demanding the passage of the Dream Act, to Undocuqueers coming out as all of ourselves to both immigrant and Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans & Queer communities. From mass mobilizations demanding Immigration reform to organizing against the criminalization of undocumented people, people of color and immigrant people—it’s the people that make movements happen.
We offer this video as a love letter to our Immigrant communities, LGBTQ communities, and communities of color about our inter-connected destinies.
On the Fourth of July, SONG knows real independence is inter-dependence. Real independence requires community beyond citizenship. For all those who live between and beyond borders of all kinds, this one is for you.