Last week seemed even worse than usual, beginning with Sunday’s (July 14) “Go back where you came from” tweets, moving on to Monday’s regulation basically ending asylum and then Thursday’s news that Trump wants to set the refugee ceiling for 2020 at zero. And that’s only the immigration news—not even the approval of a carcinogenic pesticide, the (alleged) shooting down of an Iraqi drone, or sending troops to Saudi Arabia, cozying up even closer to that murderous regime.
So let’s begin this week with some news that inspires, stories of individuals and organizations taking stands and raising hell.
The first is Julie Sharron, who stood up and paid for bond to get a 28-year-old Cuban mom out of detention.
“Even more consequentially, Sharron wrote up her experiences in a Facebook post that went viral – within days, it was seen by 3,000 people – and inspired more than a dozen others to follow her lead and offer bond money of their own….
“The lesson, Sharron says, is that large numbers of people want to push back against what they see as horrifying policy decisions by the Trump administration but need guidance to point them in the right direction. “People in general want to do good,” she said, “but most of the time think nothing they can do can make a difference or they don’t know how to make a difference. Giving people a little knowledge and power changes everything.
“It’s a vocal minority making these negative policies. And it’s going to be everyday people that make things right again.”
Then there’s The Scullery, a restaurant in Greenville, North Carolina. When Trump came to town to stir up hatred, this restaurant acted:
“The Scullery, a Greenville, N.C., diner had a good night Wednesday, serving over 500 customers and bringing in more than $5,600 in sales.
“Visitors to the Scullery were met with a sign explaining where those sales proceeds would be going.
“100% of today’s sales will be donated to American Immigration Council in order to help with the immigration crisis at our southern border, and to celebrate our diverse community.”
“The president’s visit started to stir up some negative feelings in our community, and we wanted to make a statement of positivity about how special our community is,” owner Matthew Scully told CNN. “(Greenville) is a diverse place full of all kinds of different people. All that diversity makes our city a better place.”
“Border residents are dealing with violence and atrocities that are happening in their backyard, and they’re having a really innate human response to it,” [Maria Rodriguez, a No More Deaths spokeswoman] added. “Humanitarian aid is a commonly held community value in the borderlands, and if you’ve ever gone out on a 110-degree day in the desert it’s really easy to understand why.”…
“By providing food, free legal aid or policy proposals, activists in the borderland city are responding to the administration’s hostility toward immigrants by emphasizing a sense of community and shared humanity.
“The message we want to send is exactly the opposite of the message that SB 1070 sent to all of us who were undocumented and migrants,” said Livier. “It’s that we’re here for you, we care for you, we value you, and we want you to be safe, and to belong, and to live your life like everyone else lives their lives in Tucson.”
Finally, Minnesota immigration attorney Kara Lynum is heading back to the border to represent asylum seekers during the first week of August. Her GoFundMe campaign raised double its goal in just two days, and is no longer taking donations—but don’t worry, you can still get in the act. Here’s a page with Eight Things You Can Do to Support Immigrants and Refugees,
and organizations you can support, including bond funds and legal representation for detainees. Start your week with action!