‘Nothing about us, without us’ — Madres Sin Fronteras (Mothers Without Borders)

by Gia Del Pino – Community Organizer

Over this past year we have seen nationwide attacks on our communities. Under the Trump administration, arrests have risen more than 40 percent and deportations from the interior of the United States have spiked 34 percent.

In January, ICE fanned out to 98 7-Eleven stores in 17 states including Florida, which was the largest operation targeting employers.

In March, ICE arrested 271 immigrants across the state of Florida, including neighboring counties such as Volusia and Duval.

In April, we saw the largest single workplace raid since the Bush era. With a surprise blitz of a meat-processing plant in rural Tennessee, the large-scale militaristic workplace raid needlessly shattered families, left children without parents, and sent hard-working immigrants back into the shadows.

Just in the past two weeks, we’ve experienced an increase in Customs and Border Patrol Activity in the area.

This is a sign the Trump administration is carrying out its plan to aggressively ramp up enforcement this year. This is set against the backdrop of the upcoming elections where Republicans are running on an anti-immigrant platform.

Many of you stepped up and engaged in one of the biggest civil rights issues of our time, during the “Keep Families Together” march. You protested against the separations of families at the Southern Border.

The reality is they are separating families everywhere, even in our own community. They are picking up parents dropping their kids off at school, families on their way to hospitals, they are waiting outside of court houses, and attacking our leaders and organizers.

They claim they are only cracking down on criminals, the “bad hombres,” the “MS-13,” but they’re not. ICE is going after anyone and everyone. Their dragnet operations are sweeping across entire communities, especially those who do not collaborate.

We need you today to reaffirm your commitment to keeping our communities safe and to protecting our families. We are building infrastructures to resist these targeted operations, and the mean-spirited and racist anti-immigrant policies that come with the high cost of human suffering.

We, Madres Sin Fronteras (Mothers Without Borders), are a local grassroots immigrant-led organization that works to protect the rights of immigrant families in our community and to ensure that all are treated with dignity and respect. We work to build to develop, educate, and empower our communities to protect and defend our families and ourselves.

Our ethos is “Nothing about us, without us.” Being in solidarity entails being able to take direction from those who one claims to be in solidarity with. Learning how to take direction, as to what is it that those we are in solidarity with wish us to do, is a huge aspect of shifting the relationships of power between the oppressed and oppressor.

Madres Sin Fronteras is working together with the Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County (HRCAC). We are urgently fundraising for the Faith Action ID program, a community ID program for any and everyone who faces the challenge of not having a valid form of ID.

We are also fundraising for our Bail/Bond fund whose main objective is to bond out those detained so they can fight their cases from their communities instead of behind bars.

If you really want to be in solidarity with the affected community here, please reach out to msfgainesville@gmail.com. If you are interested in donating or sharing with your friends and networks, please donate by going to our website https://hrcalachua.com/.

Together as a community we need to remain steadfast in our values of inclusion and united in solidarity until justice is found for all.  

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