Mother Of Exiles
For solidarity and humanity, Debra Schrishuhn for Alan, Dan, Mike F., Mike H. Janis, Dr. Bill, Kim, Bryan, and Shayna—your PDA National Team
On the eve of the Thanksgiving holiday, we reflect upon the quintessentially American mixed messages it represents: thankfulness for harvest, home, and country, yes. But also aware that our society is still plagued by the racism, intolerance, and violence that have stained this land since European settlers first began their brutal colonization. This complex and too-often horrendous history is too much to contemplate in just one email. So I choose to confine today’s remarks to immigration.
Once again, Donald Trump and his complicit Republican Party used vile, divisive, and outright racist stereotypes about supposed hordes of so-called “illegal aliens” as criminals and terrorists intent on invading and overrunning or infesting the U.S., all for the cynical purpose of boosting turnout among their base voters. In too many cases, this demagoguery worked.
Equally disgusting, while sounding this false alarm with outrageous and dishonest rhetoric, the administration enacted further draconian measures to violate the rights of asylum seekers and legal immigrants—including birthright citizenship.
This week, as we give thanks for all we have, Progressive Democrats of America (PDA) will not forget those who have so little to be thankful for. Please support our ongoing efforts to uphold U.S. and international law—as well as the basic principles of human rights—that require freeing the children incarcerated by I.C.E., as well as fair and comprehensive immigration reform, including citizenship for DREAMers and all other deserving immigrants.
Here’s where we stand: more than 14,000 immigrant children—an all-time high—are suffering in U.S. government custody; an executive order prevents refugees from making legal asylum requests unless they enter at restricted ports of entry. The so-called President has threatened yet another government shutdown December 7th unless he gets funding for his wasteful and useless border wall.
Meanwhile, DREAMers—young people who arrived in the US as infants and kept their records clean—remain in legal limbo as courts and the administration fight over existing policy. U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services continues to fabricate disingenuous excuses to deport legal immigrants, and new executive orders attack families seeking to sponsor immigrants—the means the current First Lady of the U.S. used to bring her extended family into our nation.
Besides the rank hypocrisy, we note how far we have strayed from the hopeful ideals inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles.
From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “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-tossed to me.
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
— Emma Lazarus, verses inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France
The midterm election is over. Now we must build on our victories and work with our progressive champions and all leaders of good will in the continuous struggle for human dignity and the principles on which our nation was founded.
Please pitch in now to help PDA end racism and promote comprehensive immigration reform, secure citizenship for DREAMers, and especially to free the children incarcerated by I.C.E. We deeply appreciate every dollar you can spare.
Special limited time offer: Donate $10 or more per month to our Support DREAMers and innocent migrants campaign and receive a free bumper sticker! If you can give $5 per month, that’s great! $10? Wonderful! $25? Spectacular! Whatever is good for you is great for us. Thank you so much for anything you can do right now to help us reach our 100 new sustainer goal.
For solidarity and humanity,
Debra Schrishuhn for Alan, Dan, Mike F., Mike H. Janis, Dr. Bill, Kim, Bryan, and Shayna—your PDA National Team
P.S. We’re here to help you make progress in your state and locality! If you need help organizing a new PDA chapter or energizing your existing chapter, please contact PDA Field Coordinator Dan O’Neal. Join the PDA Phone Team making easy, effective calls from your own home with Mike “Phone Guy” Fox. Please pitch in $1000, $100, or whatever you can afford to support our organizing.