ideastream, Nov 29, 2021
Excerpt from the article:
By sharing these stories, OPAWL Co-Director Tessa Xuan hopes to uplift stories of Midwest immigrants.
“We do want more Americans to wake up to the reality that our immigration system doesn’t work the way they think it does. There’s not a simple line that people can get into and it’s causing so much heartbreak and pain and trauma that doesn’t need to happen,” Xuan said.
In addition to sharing stories, OPAWL is pushing for action in Washington to improve the experience for immigrants. OPAWL has urged lawmakers to pass immigration legislation that has more empathy for immigrants. “Love Has No Borders” includes a letter writing campaign to encourage citizen support for this political push.
OPAWL wants Congress to support changes in immigration law, most notably to create a pathway to citizenship for roughly 11 million undocumented immigrants, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients and those with Temporary Protection Status (TPS) in the United States.
“In the year 2021, we really need to think about whether that’s the immigration system we want, whether or not that reflects our values. We don’t have to have racist immigration laws anymore. We can change the laws to reflect our ethics and our values as a country, believing that families belong together and that immigrants make us stronger,” Xuan said.
Love Has No Borders features immigrant stories of Americans from all over the globe including Tanzania, Mexico and Nigeria, but all share one distinct storyline: people looking for a safe and secure home.
“Everybody deserves a place to flourish,” Gonzales said. “I just don’t understand why it has to be that complicated to just live a better life.”