Six participants who are mothers and fathers will begin a hunger strike having exhausted all other routes to see their children released from the detention centers they’re held in pending imminent deportation unless ICE uses its discretion in their cases as it’s instructed to do.
Sometimes tactics and strategies are planned far in advanced, developed and premeditated, other times it comes from a place that cannot be designed. In this case it comes from a mother’s will and community desperation, an expression of suffering and willingness to do anything to keep a family together.
Most undocumented families in the United States have already lived through the risks of getting here and the dangers of the work we do. We’ve lived through days of unplanned hunger and now accept it willingly.
Starting on Monday February 17th on Presidents Day members of our communities will have our last meal and start a hunger strike.
We’ve watched the debate in public and suffered in private. We have gone to bed with our arms empty, aching for our loved ones, and now it is time to make that suffering known to the world. Politicians may tell us to be patient. Advocates may say that our tactics threaten the debate. But if there is not room for us, mothers who miss our sons, at the center of this conversation, than we hope our empty stomachs change that conversation.
We may not have formal education but we have learned that change happens when we face power and draw a line in this moral dilemma. We have spent years appealing to politician’s hearts and minds and still they are closed. If they have not opened on their own, we will make them open.
As long as we keep our suffering to our kitchen tables and half empty beds, they will keep their policies the way they are. Our sons’ imprisonment hasn’t been enough to get them to act. We hope our hunger strike will. If not, what happens to us will be on their hands.
#NOT1MORE #HUMANCOST @PUENTEAZ