This new year marked a time of hope and anxiety for those of us dedicated to the immigrant rights struggle – both for people and families whose lives are deeply impacted by U.S. immigration policy, and for those of us committed as allies. In February we learned that President Obama’s executive order on immigration, which would allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay with their families in the U.S., was threatened threatened by a court ruling of a Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas, and was temporarily stopped.
After many years working with No More Deaths - a humanitarian aid and social justice organization on the U.S./Mexico border, and a ministry of the UU Church of Tucson, Arizona – I always ask what these developments will mean for the death and suffering occurring at our border. While working with people being deported to Mexico, I have heard the stories of many parents aching, and risking everything, to return to their children in the U.S. I have also met hundreds of Central Americans fleeing both gang and government violence. No matter what relief comes for parents and young people currently in the U.S. without papers, the devastating and deadly effects at the border will continue as long as the border is treated as a “security” issue rather than a human rights issue.