Excerpt from Mujerista Theology

“Our participation in the act of salvation is what we refer to as liberation. It consists of our work to transform the world. Liberation is both cause and effect of the struggle to have a love relationship with others, including God. Now, there can be no salvation without liberation, though no single act of liberation can be totally identified with salvation in its fullness. As Gustavo Gutierrez has said, ‘Without liberating historical events, there would be no growth of the Kingdom…we can say that the historical, political, liberating event is the growth of the Kingdom and is a salvific event; but it is not the coming of the Kingdom, not all of salvation.’ …

To struggle against oppression, against alienation, is a matter of an ongoing personal conversion that involves effective attempts to change alienating societal structures. This personal conversion cannot happen apart from solidarity with the oppressed. But why are the poor and the oppressed those with whom we must be in solidarity? Why does overcoming alienation demand a preferential option for the oppressed? The reason is not that the poor and the oppressed are morally superior. Those who are oppressed are not personally better or more innocent or purer in their motivations than the rest of us. The preferential option at the heart of solidarity is based on the fact that the point of view of the oppressed, ‘pierced by suffering and attracted by hope, allows them, in their struggles, to conceive another reality. Because the poor suffer the weight of alienation, they can conceive a different project of hope and provide dynamism to a new way of organizing human life for all.’ This contribution, which they alone can give, makes it possible for everyone to overcome alienation. The preferential option for the poor and the oppressed makes it possible for the oppressors to overcome alienation, because to be oppressive limits love, and love cannot exist in the midst of alienation.”

Source: Mujerista Theology by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz (Orbis Books, 1996), pages 90-91.

Regulations on Export of US Weapons

Administration Eases Regulations on Gun Exports

America's guns: Made in the US, killing in Mexico

Urge Congress to Stop Arming Human Rights Abusers

Compilation summary of above articles: The Trump administration is looking to shrink regulations on the export of US weapons abroad by shifting responsibility from the State Department to the Department of Commerce. Many fear this will further promote human rights violations in Mexico and places like it, as previously seen with US weapons in Ayotzinapa and Nuevo Laredo. Alianza Americas is calling on US citizens to inform their elected representatives of their discontent with this proposed shift in responsibility and ask them to support limits of US gun exports to Mexico.

Trump's New Ally in Mexico

“Mr. López Obrador’s administration, which came into office saying it would not cooperate with Mr. Trump’s anti-immigration agenda, has gone along with it on several fronts, including accepting women and children despite earlier promises to take only adult male asylum seekers." This article explores the ways in which the Mexican president, called "AMLO" for his initials, is collaborating with and furthering the reach of Trump's policies on migrants.

Trump's Dangerous Scapegoating of Immigrants

On February 5, President Donald Trump delivered his second State of the Union address. Journalist Eric Lach writes that, over the last two years, the president has learned to dress up anti-immigrant rhetoric in the bureaucratic language of federal policy. However, during his remarks, the president “offered unfiltered immigrant scapegoating” blaming immigrants for almost “all the sins” of the United States. The president claimed that “working-class Americans are left to pay the price for mass illegal immigration” including the problems of “reduced jobs, lower wages, overburdened schools and hospitals, increased crime, and a depleted social safety net.”  

Months-Long Church Service Comes to an End

After 2,300 continuous hours of service, the Tamrazyan family has been granted temporary protection under Dutch law. Hundreds of pastors from the Netherlands, Germany, France and Belgium participated in the protest against the deportation order issued to the Armenian family in October 2018. Under Dutch law, police are forbidden from disrupting a church service to make an arrest. Incredibly, the Dutch government has now agreed to review hundreds of cases of young migrants whose asylum applications had been rejected due to lack of cooperation with deportation orders. 

Loss of TPS and Economic Impact

When the Trump administration terminated Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for hundreds of thousands of migrants from El Salvador, Honduras, and Haiti (among other nations), it placed TPS holders at risk of being deported and separated from their families in the United States. It also set the stage for disruptions in the workforces of several states where the economic contributions of TPS recipients are significant. This article discusses those economic impacts.

Trump’s New Wall to Keep Out the Disabled

This article explores the disenfranchisement of disabled immigrants under the proposed public charge regulation. Due to the fact that private insurers don't cover meal preparation, household care and help with bathing, eating or dressing, most disabled people receive these services through Medicaid. Under the proposed regulation, the use of Medicaid would jeopardize an immigrant's legal status.

Court Blocks Citizenship Question on U.S. Census

A federal judge in New York has blocked the Commerce Department from asking respondents of the 2020 Census if they are U.S. citizens. In addition to providing vital information regarding population size and income, census data is utilized in the apportionment of seats in the House of Representatives and disbursement of federal funds. Including a question of this nature may induce fear and discourage participation of noncitizens which could lead to the exclusion of millions of U.S. residents from the process. 

Challenged About the Wall

In this fascinating and easy-to-absorb piece, the author recounts being challenged by a Trump supporter to make a solid case against building a border wall. Her response is a practical, eleven point list of reasons that the wall is impractical, ineffective, and full of damaging consequences. What makes her list unique, however, is that she drew these conclusions from analyzing all conservative or right-wing data! Because she spoke with the language of her challenger, her points were impossible to refute. For those of us who struggle to know how to converse with someone whose priorities seem so different from ours, this article gives helpful language to begin conversations!

How Latinos Are Shaping America’s Future

This article explores the rising influence of Latinos communities across the United States. From the sleepy, rural town of Wilder, Idaho to urban hubs such as Los Angeles, American cities  have been shaped by generations of Latinos who interweave Hispanic and American traditions into their communities. Stunning photos, personal stories, and an exploration of "Latinidad", or shared cultural identity of Latinos of different races or natural origins who live in the United States, make this article from National Geographic a compelling read. 

Communities in Crisis

This 2017 study conducted by the Kino Border Initiative (KBI), the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS), and the Office of Justice and Ecology (OJE) of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States uses surveys of 133 deportees and their family members to explore and examine the United States deportation process and the personal, emotional, and community effects it has on those who are affected by it.

When a Nation Erased Birthright Citizenship

In 2010, the government of the Dominican Republic called a constitutional convention to exclude the children of anyone “residing illegally in Dominican territory” from the birthright citizenship clause which mainly targeted people of Haitian descent. In this article, the author draws parallels to the rhetoric and efforts of the Trump administration to end place-based birthright citizenship. 

Latina Social Justice Leader Reflects

Read this moving interview with Mireya Reith, Executive Director of the Arkansas United Community Coalition. Asking herself the question "What would our politics look like if our politicians looked like the people they represented?" spurred Reith to become an activist and social justice leader for families and Latino communities in Arkansas. She espouses the belief that true salvation requires all members of a community working together and respecting the role of each individual's ability and need to be part of the solution. 

Stop Saying ‘Migrant Caravan’

This easy-to-read piece explains the importance of language regarding the Central American exodus happening right now, and encourages us to more properly name it a refugee crisis. "There is no migrant crisis," she writes, "There is, however, a refugee crisis. That crisis is the effect of at least a half-century (and, arguably, twice that) of calamitous US political intervention in Central America."

Responding to Anti-Semitic Violence With Solidarity’s Sacred Power

In this piece, Rabbi Brant Rosen reflects on the tragic antisemitic massacre at the Tree of Life synagogue and concludes that "[m]oments such as these must remind all targeted minorities that we are always stronger when we resist together."