is there anything more american...
4 min read

is there anything more american...

...than sending the first black woman vice-president--the daughter of two immigrants--to Guatemala to tell central americans, "do not come."

i have studied politics and history long enough to know that the U.S. empire has always been and continues to be a heart and soulless one, but somehow we still find a way to make me fucking sick.

i want to ground this post in heartache and solidarity con toda la gente en la lucha, to those who have survived and those who have not, to all people who migrate for better lives, as my ancestors once did, as is a human right.

let's start with a reminder from poet Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well
your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats


you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
Warsan Shire: “Home”
no one leaves home unlesshome is the mouth of a sharkyou only run for the borderwhen you see the whole city running as well

first of all, we are the ones who created the conditions causing so many central americans to have to leave their homelands.

For decades, U.S. policies of military intervention and economic neoliberalism have undermined democracy and stability in the region, creating vacuums of power in which drug cartels and paramilitary alliances have risen. In the past fifteen years alone, CAFTA-DR — a free trade agreement between the U.S. and five Central American countries as well as the Dominican Republic — has restructured the region’s economy and guaranteed economic dependence on the United States through massive trade imbalances and the influx of American agricultural and industrial goods that weaken domestic industries. Yet there are few connections being drawn between the weakening of Central American rural agricultural economies at the hands of CAFTA and the rise in migration from the region in the years since. In general, the U.S. takes no responsibility for the conditions that drive Central American migrants to the border.
A Century of U.S. Intervention Created the Immigration Crisis
Those seeking asylum today inherited a series of crises that drove them to the border

shit, we even sold the guns that are being used to threaten their lives at home.

An iron river of illegal guns flows from the US to Mexico, Central America, and across the hemisphere, helping make the Americas the world’s most homicidal region, with 47 of the world’s 50 most murderous cities. Thousands flee violence in the Northern Triangle of Central America - Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala – and seek asylum in the US, adding to the pressure of undocumented migrants.
I researched gun trafficking for four years for my book Blood Gun Money: How America Arms Gangs and Cartels. In the process I traveled from the biggest firearms trade show in the world, in Las Vegas, to the open air drug markets of Baltimore, to the mass graves of Mexico. The investigation left me staggered by the scale of the trafficking and by America’s political failure to take basic measures to stop it.
Between 2007 and 2019, more than 179,000 firearms were captured in Mexico and five Central American countries and traced to gun shops and gun factories in the United States. Mexico’s foreign ministry believes this is the tip of the iceberg, and estimates that more than two million guns crossed the Rio Grande over the last decade.
US-made guns are ripping Central America apart and driving migration north | Ioan Grillo
An iron river of illegal guns flows from the US to Mexico, Central America, and across the hemisphere

and now, we're outsourcing border patrol and violations of international human rights to mexico and paying them to do it.

for a deep dive on how we got here and how this whole thing is tied to a rise in white nationalism here in the U.S., i highly recommend this conversation.

if you'd like to help...

i have personally witnessed the two organizations below make life-changing differences in the lives of immigrant children.

Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services
Home - Free ALAS
Alas creates educational access for youth by training educators to connect undocumented students with legal representation and advocate for students

or you can order our deck. a third of the profits will go to Free Alas to help system involved kids (criminal injustice or immigration system) have a shot at making it.

an abolitionist deck
an abolitionist oracle deck for self reflection & radical education that benefits abolitionist orgs | Check out ‘an abolitionist deck’ on Indiegogo.

as always, i hope this was useful.

if it was and you've got five bucks a month to spare, click here.

with hope,

katie wills evans