Last night I listened to Willie Nelson on TPT, singing promise and defiance and hope:
“Give us your tired and weak
And we will make them strong
Bring us your foreign songs
And we will sing along.”
Promiseland is an anthem for today, though written years ago. The promise is welcome for refugees and immigrants, hope for those who have lost everything, for those who have only their children left to lose. This land, Willie Nelson sings, this country is Promiseland. We can keep our promises to those who come. We can welcome strangers and make them part of us, learn their songs and their food, celebrate rather than fear what they bring.
“There is a winding road
Across the shifting sand
And room for everyone
Living in the Promiseland.”
Just about two years ago, I began writing this immigration news blog. I am still writing, usually about five days a week. Back then, I thought the news would slow down, or at least that the attention of the liars and haters in Washington would turn to other targets. That hasn’t happened.
On this first day of a new year, I want to share light and hope, in a time when darkness often seems overwhelming. I want to share ways that you can join in the effort to strengthen the light and fight back against the lies and hate spewing from high places in our country.
I find hope in the ACLU, which does heavy lifting, taking the lead in almost every lawsuit that beats back the Trumpian tide of anti-immigrant policies. That works: the courts offer hope even in these darkest of times.
I find hope in the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota, where wonderful people work every day to represent immigrants, advocate for a more just immigration system, and educate everyone about the law and facts (and where I am privileged to make a small contribution to communications.)
Recent Minnesota news also brings sparks of hope to light the new year:
- Minnesota immigration attorney Kara Lynum went to the borderwith other immigration attorneys and two Congressmembers to help asylum seekers claim their legal right to ask for asylum. Now back in Minnesota, she started a GoFundMe page to raise money for unaccompanied children waiting in Tijuana.
- Mitchell Hamline School of Law sent a group of students to Texason Christmas Day, to advise and counsel asylum seekers jailed in an immigration detention center.
- University of Minnesota doctors and nurses are heading to Tijuana to provide medical care for the asylum seekers waiting there.
- Dulceria Bakery donated 10 percent of its holiday sales to support the work of the Immigrant Law Center of Minnesota.
Want to be part of the light, part of the hope? Here’s a short list:
Donate or volunteer at:
Share immigration facts and stories with your family and friends—on social media and in conversations, every day of the new year. Follow this blog, and you’ll have something to share almost every day. Like or follow the Immigrant Law Center’s Facebook page, and you’ll have news and facts to share every day.
A new world is possible. We can build it together.