the ice man cometh

This weekend, the current administration has plans to raid our communities in search of unauthorized immigrants to deport. This will inevitably mean that the families of some of our neighbors will be split and splintered. This means that good people who have integrated into our communities, who contribute to society, many who build our homes, care for our children, cook our food, clean our hotel rooms and homes, harvest our crops, package our meat, and who pay billions in taxes, will be torn from their loved ones and their homes. This means that people, some who have lived in this nation for decades, many who have American wives, husbands and children, and whose children are dear to our own, will be forcibly taken, put into detention and face deportation, their only offense having been to flee hunger and danger, to seek a better life for themselves and for their families, to have claimed asylum.

Keep in mind these ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) agents will likely not be targeting undocumented European or Canadian immigrants. Why? Because this is a racist policy put in place by a racist administration targeting Black and Brown people who fled from nations south of "our" border. This is an example of White Supremacy. Beware, American citizens will also be swept up in these raids because of the color of their skin. Like this administration's proposed census question, its neglect of Puerto Rico, and its Muslim ban, racial profiling will be at work.

Once again, I am reminded of fascist Germany's Nazi raids of homes like mine, in the kidnapping and detaining of disabled, infirm children before going after other "undesirables"—Jews, homosexuals, Catholics, non-White Europeans. It can happen again, even in this nation, lest we forget our government's internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Like some Jewish American activists are doing, we should be protesting these seizures and detentions of refugees. We should be shouting, "never again!"

And when it happens, these immigrant and blended families will be left in shambles. Their breadwinners and caregivers will be arrested, detained, deported. Their children will be orphaned. Their communities will be shaken. Their families may never be reunited. We should imagine their fear as our own, and condemn this administration's actions.

Keep in mind these immigrants and refugees who, study after study show, make our communities safer, have committed no crime by claiming asylum on land that was stolen from its natives by many of our White ancestors, its prosperity largely built by slaves stolen from their native lands. These immigrants and refugees are not "illegals." Ironically, their ancestors may have lived in what is now Texas, California, Louisiana. These people are human beings. They love and toil and grieve and bleed just like the rest of us. We have room for them. We'd do better, be better, if we welcomed them. Remember the quote at the foot of our Statue of Liberty:

Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore, Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!

Yes, the ICE man cometh. He will wreak havoc, tear wounds in our communities, rip apart families with his sanctimonious contempt for those he sees as threats to his privilege. But know that he is ignorant. Know that he stands on the wrong side of history. Know that his power is withering, his reign limited. Still, beware his acts of desperation. Shelter, if you can, these innocents from the ICE man's chilling grip.

Photographer unknown

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