Ed. note: This is a guest post by Juliana Britto Schwartz. By day, Juliana is a student at University of California, Santa Cruz. By night, she is a Latina feminist blogger at Julianabritto.com, where she writes about reproductive health justice, immigration, and feminist movements in Latin America.
Human beings have been migrating for the entirety of our existence. It’s natural and inevitable and removing the immigration debate from its historical context is manipulative and misleading.
This is the basis of Migration is Beautiful, a movement of artists and activists fighting for humane immigration reform. So far, the movement has collected the signatures of over 100 artists who support it, including Alice Walker, Margaret Cho, Chuck D, Rosario Dawson, Junot Diaz, the Roots and the Indigo Girls among others. This is what they have to say:
“Immigration policy in this country has become incoherent and inhumane. In recent years over a million deportations have divided American families, often separating parents from children. Some immigrants have waited almost a quarter of a century to be reunited with family members. With federal policy in tatters, states have passed immoral laws of questionable constitutionality that profile, isolate, and criminalize immigrants. A broken and unjust immigration policy is bad for us all—it erodes the social fabric and undermines our shared values of equity and empathy.
We believe that this predicament reflects not only a failure of policy but a failure of imagination….. Walt Whitman said that America could be “strong, ample, and fair,” and that it was capable of “containing multitudes”—a multitude of stories, told in a myriad of ways, by many different storytellers. We urge you now to act with that vision of American diversity and freedom in your hearts.”
Migration is Beautiful has published a short list of things they believe should be included in comprehensive immigration reform:
- End the detentions and deportations that cause separation and suffering for families;
- Preserve families by expediting the visa process and retaining longstanding policies that reunite and stabilize families;
- Ensure all immigrants have basic workers’ rights;
- Provide equal immigration rights to LGBTQ individuals and families; and
- Create a clear roadmap to citizenship that includes all 11 million undocumented immigrants.
The site is full of beautiful art work and action steps for you to take.
When you visit, be sure to sign the statement and tweet some of your lawmakers that you believe that #migrationisbeautiful. There’s even a template for you to make your own pair of #migrationisbeautiful wings (modeled here by their creator, the incredible Favianna Rodriguez) and sticker kits to order.
Lastly, if you want to learn more about this movement, the politics and the artists behind it, check out this video series from iamOTHER.