Indivisible: Unity Statement Among Filipinos/as/xs of Conscience On the Immigration Executive Order and the Muslim Ban

FAI NEWS
February 21, 2017

Indivisible: Unity Statement Among Filipinos/as/xs of Conscience On the Immigration Executive Order and the Muslim Ban

Los Angeles –We are workers, youth, students, activists, scholars, and artists of Filipino descent and of conscience. We vary in gender, faith and ability. We are in organizations and we are concerned individuals.

We join together to vehemently oppose the fascism and the extremist agenda of Trump and his white supremacist, corporate cronies. The consolidation of power and the authoritarian swiftness of Trump’s executive orders recall for us the dark shadow of the Marcos dictatorship. Now, as then, we are called upon to summon our courage, strategize, form broad alliances, and seize every opportunity to resist. We will not be pitted against each other as “good” or “bad” immigrants, criminals or model citizens, without or with legal documentation. While some in our community breathe relief about Filipinos – for now – not being added to the Muslim ban, we never have, and never will, throw our Muslim brothers and sisters under the bus. Furthermore, given the recent mass arrests of undocumented people across the nation by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, we bear the harsh reminder that those undocumented, regardless of their presence on the Muslim ban list, have never been safe.

Unity Among Filipinos

Division in our community between Muslims and Christians is a construct of colonization in order to break our ranks and separate our communities. Historically, colonizers (Spain, U.S.) used Christianity and the need to “civilize” as an excuse to exploit the people and natural resources of the Philippines. Christian Filipinos were taught they were superior to Muslim Filipinos, and effectively pitted against each other. We reject this continued attempt to divide and conquer us. We viewed the prospect of a ban of Filipinos from the “Southern Philippines” as an attack on all of us. We view the deportation of undocumented Filipinos as an attack on all of us. We will not be divided.

Reports of including the “Southern Philippines” in the vile and racist Muslim ban came as no surprise. We do not view ourselves as “safe” from this possibility in the future. The U.S. has long treated Muslim Filipinos from the Southern island of Mindanao with contempt. Mindanao has been the target of U.S. military occupation and bombings since the so-called War on Terror declared by George W. Bush. The Muslim resistance to U.S. colonization, continued resistance against land grabbing by U.S. mining and agricultural corporations, and the unity of Muslims in the South with progressives throughout the archipelago threatens U.S. domination in the Philippines – and by extension, U.S. domination in the Pacific. We see through the blatant destruction and disregard of our people’s well-being. We will defend our right to land and life.

The threat of this administration deporting up to 300,000 Filipinos is not surprising, either. This act of hostility can be traced back to U.S. colonization, to anti-miscegenation in the 1930s, to the detainment and detention of 261 Filipinos on Angel Island in 1934 (http://fanhs-national.org/…/what-filipinao-american-histor…/), to the exploitation of Filipino farmworkers and cannery workers, to the mistreatment and lack of recognition for Filipino World War II veterans, and to the labor and sex trafficking of Filipino migrant workers today. The U.S. has always wanted Filipinos’ backs and hands to labor for them while trampling on Filipino dignity and sovereignty.

Unity With Our Black and Brown Relatives

We will not be divided from our Black and brown brothers and sisters either. Without question and without compromise, we extend solidarity to our Muslim brothers and sisters from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen – and indeed all Muslims who are in the crosshairs of this fascist administration. We are aware that these seven countries are sites of U.S. war and occupation – that after decades of devastating airstrikes, bombs, sanctions and other imperialist tools, this Muslim ban is the latest act of violence upon the sovereignty and dignity of Muslim people everywhere. We are aware that as this travel ban is debated in the courts, the U.S.-backed Israeli regime announced a new settlement in the West Bank, inflicting further violence upon the Palestinian people.

We are aware that Trump’s orders have already created undue risk, stress, and hardship on bodies, particularly those disabled and chronically ill, whose special needs cannot possibly be met during long hours of detainment and may go unprovided for in the country where they are deported. Disabled, women’s, Queer and trans bodies too face greater threat at the hands of chauvinist and violent law enforcement.

Without question and without compromise, we extend solidarity to our Black brothers and sisters who face greater risk of state-sanctioned violence through police and surveillance, through mass incarceration and detentions. A report from the Black Alliance for Just Immigration shows that Black immigrants are twice as likely to face deportation due to a criminal conviction compared with immigrants from other regions, and more than three times as likely to be detained while their cases are pending. We view Trump’s emphasis on “law and order” as fundamentally and virulently anti-Black. In the face of jeering white supremacists, we continue to demand that All Black Lives Matter: Black Muslims, Black immigrants, Black transpeople, Black disabled folks, Black women.

Without question and without compromise, we extend solidarity to the Sioux Nation facing down water cannons, teargas, and hired goons to defend water and ancestral land at Standing Rock. We extend solidarity to all Native communities whose resistance lays bare the hypocrisy of bans and walls on stolen land. For centuries, Native people have resisted and survived genocidal violence at the hands of the US government. Yet they have never surrendered the struggle to protect land, water, and their culture. Further, we denounce the corporate greed and destruction to Mother Earth inherent in the U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s selling of sacred stolen land for drilling purposes.

Without question and without compromise, we extend solidarity to our Latino/a/x brothers and sisters who are forced to leave their homelands due to economic and political violence, only to be confronted with the prospect of increased militarization and detentions at the border. The border wall is the epitome of arrogance, a heinous insult to people who built this country. We recognize that the U.S. government has played a pivotal role in the creation and deterioration of the economies and social infrastructures of these migrants’ native countries via policies like NAFTA and CAFTA, allowing U.S. corporations to dump corn and other agricultural products into Mexico and Central America, forcing rural families off their land when they cannot compete. Women’s and human rights organizations in Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras, for example, have reported a clear correlation between violence against women and public expenditures of U.S. foreign aid for security and counter narcotics programs. In other words, they are here because U.S. imperialism is there.

A Call to Action

We call on all Filipinos/as/xs of conscience to align themselves in solidarity with Muslims and all oppressed peoples.

Organize and build communities of interdependence and intersectionality.

Transform our society based on principles of mutual support, mutual cooperation, bound liberation, and building social relationships based on human rights, human dignity and sovereignty.

Defend and protect basic rights that have been won through organizing and people’s struggles for human dignity (DACA, immigration benefits to refugees and trafficking survivors, family reunification, collective bargaining rights).

Create a humane, just immigration reform that recognizes the rights and dignity of people. This includes: path to legalization, demilitarize all borders, protect and uphold workers rights, extend services and benefits to those who have been forced to migrate due to wars, environmental destruction and economic insecurity.

Demilitarize all borders! No ban no wall!
End deportations and detentions!
Refugees are welcome here!
All Black Lives Matter!
No to U.S. war and occupation!
No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!

***

Organizational Endorsements (list in progress) / Mga Sumusuportang Organisasyon:

AF3IRM
DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association
Filipino American Democratic Club of New York
Justice for Filipino American Veterans – San Francisco
Kabataang maka-Bayan or KmB / Pro-People Youth, Los Angeles
Raised Pinay
Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro)
The Journey of a Brown Girl
Ugnayan Youth for Justice and Social Change

Individual Endorsements (list in progress) / Mga Sumusuportang Indibidwal:

Paulina Abustan
Noel Aglubat
Jill Aguado
Levi Aliposa, CircaPintig
Desireena Almoradie, Almoradie Media LLC
Leani Auxilio, AF3IRM- NYC
Marie Avetria
Camilla Bacolod, Ugnayan Youth For Justice and Social Change
Kim Baglieri
Ana Liza Caballes, Ugnayan Youth For Justice and Social Change
Olivia Canlas
Sandra Chan
Johanna Chang
Katrina Cortes, Anakbayan NY
Lorial Crowder
Nico Dacumos
E.J.R. David, Alaskero
Aries Dela Cruz, President, Filipino Democratic Club of New York
Marisa Diaz
Chevy Evangelista, Former Chair of Ugnayan
Rebmevon Flandez
Justine Fonte, Raised Pinay
Eddy M. Gana, Chair, Kabataang maka-Bayan or KmB / Pro-People Youth, Los Angeles
Arturo Garcia, Justice For Filipino American Veterans (JFAV), Alliance-Philippines
Mary Rose Go
Maria Gonzales
Karen Hanna, University of California, Santa Barbara
Mary Rose Isaguirre, Ugnayan Youth For Justice and Social Change
Mai-Len Kennedy, Ugnayan Youth For Justice and Social Change
Evelyn Landow
Maria Cruz Lee, MCL & Co
Cecilia Lim, Ugnayan Youth for Justice and Social Change
Athena Magno, Ugnayan Youth For Justice and Social Change
Angela Mascarenas, CIRCA-Pintig
Isi Miranda, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Lily Mendoza, Center for Babaylan Studies
Kevin Nadal, Asian American Psychological Association
Melissa-Ann Nievera-Lozano, De Anza College, San Francisco State University
Linda Oalican, DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association
Leah Obias
Anthony Ocampo, Cal Poly Pomona
Kathlyn Oco, APIs for Black Lives Boston, MGH Institute of Health Professions
Sarah Mae Olivar
J Orpilla, MsJProductions
Ago Pedalizo, Justice for Filipino American Veterans – San Francisco
Christine Peralta, University of Illinois
Veronica Porter
Ivy Quicho, Chair, AF3IRM
Steven Raga
Christopher Ramos, Duke University
Melissa Reburiano, United Neighborhood Houses of NY
Robyn Rodriguez, Asian American Studies, UC Davis
Stephanie Sajor, KmB / Pro-People Youth, Los Angeles
Mark Sanchez, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Nenita Sta. Ana
Victor Sta. Ana
Jana Lynne Umipig, The Journey of a Brown Girl
Diane Valencia
Ed Vergara, Committee For Philippine Issues, Chicago
Iris Zalun, Chairperson, Pilipino American Unity for Progress (UniPro)

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