Love Has No Borders
A call for justice in our immigration system
The 2021 Love Has No Borders storytelling campaign aims to uplift Ohio & Midwestern immigration narratives and shift public support for comprehensive immigration reform that will reunite and keep families together. In this campaign, diverse storytellers who have been impacted by the U.S. immigration system share their immigration stories via photography, short-form video, podcast episodes, personal essays, and poetry on social media and a digital gallery. All immigrants deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and to have a permanent place to call home.
The Love Has No Borders campaign aims to:
- Empower, educate, and equip Ohioans to reflect on the cruel impacts of our legal immigration system and take action to make sure our immigration system is rooted in empathy, justice and love;
- Challenge, disrupt, and change harmful narratives about immigration;
- Build solidarity between immigrant communities of color and between communities impacted by different immigration issues;
- Create healing, visibility, and belonging for immigrants in Ohio and beyond.
Creating My Own Narrative
In this video, Bella talks about their family’s life after immigrating from Mexico, the struggles they faced growing up in a mixed status family, and how they found joy in burlesque and were sustained through seeing their mother’s strength through adversity.
In this video, Jenika shares her story about immigrating from the Philippines to reunite with her mother and the long-lasting impact of being apart from her siblings.
Our Resources Are Not Scarce
In this video, Mai Lor talks about how the Secret War in Laos started her family’s journey as refugees that brought them to the U.S. when her aunt sponsored their visas, and how this experience motivates her to serve her community.
Emily Hanako Momohara
Never Again Is Now
VIDEO & BILLBOARD
Artist, activist and educator Emily Hanako Momohara shares art she created in response to her Japanese American family’s incarceration during WWII and the current jailing, abuse, and deportation of immigrants in U.S. detention centers.
In this podcast recording, Eunice talks about the impact and complexities of the American immigration system on her and her family members.
Building Community Wherever We Go
Kanyinsola Oye shares how her father was able to sponsor her family to immigrate to the U.S. from Nigeria after years of long distance relationships, and how her uncle was deported when she was 15 years old.
When We’re Together, We Can Take Care of Each Other
In this piece, Hsa Win shares the story of his family’s relocation from the refugee camp where he spent the first 11 years of his life to the United States, and the ongoing challenges of family separation due to annual limits in the American immigration system.
It Doesn’t Have To Be This Way
Alwiyah shares her family’s story about the impact of being harassed by ICE agents and living apart from each other after her father’s self-deportation in 2019.
Have We Arrived? and My Accent
Houleye Thiam, MPA, MS is a social worker, organizer and Mauritanian Community Activist. She is president of the Mauritanian Network for Human Rights in the US, fighting to restore justice for Black Mauritanians who have been victims of racial discrimination, deportations, slavery, and human rights abuse.
Doing It the Right Way
This anonymous essay recounts the challenges that faced an Asian scholar and her family as she and her institution went through the difficult process of getting her green card.
Everyday Heritage + Gratitude
In this essay, Jing writes about the stories that old photos of her parents tell about their Filipino American family immigration story.
This storytelling campaign was created by OPAWL – Building AAPI Feminist Leadership in Ohio with financial support from the Value Our Families coalition. OPAWL is a statewide grassroots member-led community that organizes for social justice. OPAWL elevates the voices, visibility, and leadership of progressive Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and nonbinary people in Ohio. Together, we are building collective power, solidarity, and progressive leadership for Ohio AAPIs.
First, we’d like to thank each and every one of the storytellers who agreed to participate in this campaign. Your courage and vulnerability have inspired us, and we are so grateful to have your trust and partnership in sharing your families’ precious stories with dignity.
This project would not have been possible without the time, talent, and energy of the following OPAWL members: Suparna Bhaskaran, Hannah Mee Eun Girman, Jenika Gonzales, Kelly Hill, Joon-Li Kim, Jing Lauengco, Mai See Lor, Catherine Manabat, Emily Hanako Momohara, K. Christine Pae, Bhumika Patel, Jessica Tjiu, Jyotsna Sreenivisan, Eunice Uhm, Li Vogelsberg
Thank you to Reiya Bhat, OPAWL’s immigration organizer, for working to coordinate our project team’s efforts over the past several months, and for your commitment to ethical storytelling and advocacy for immigrant families.
Paid creative services were provided by Anita Kwan and Eli Hiller for several of the stories featured in this digital gallery. Thank you to Anita and Eli for your artistic gifts and the professionalism you exhibited while working with our storytellers.
We are grateful for the financial and policy advocacy support from the Value Our Families coalition, including Vivian Chang, Megan Essaheb, Daishi Miguel Tanaka, Reshma Shamasunder, and NAKASEC which administered the grant to OPAWL.
And a special thank you to Tan Nguyen at Hyphenate LLC for working with our team to design and develop the Love Has No Borders digital gallery!