Author: Margie Thompson

They’re terrified — but is it “credible fear”?

It’s like being totally lost in a dark forest with enormous twisted trees that are constantly moving and growing, blocking the way. Women mostly from  Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are fleeing horrendous violence in their countries out of desperation and terror for their families and themselves. They come to the U.S. to plea for help and safety with asylum only to be dumped in a cage and passed from prison cells to courtrooms and back by gruff and often hostile Americano guards and judges who may not speak their language.  Their crime? Crossing the US-Mexico border seeking safety and...

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The day after…taking action after the shocking election of Donald Trump as U.S. President

It is shocking. It is appalling. It is despicable. It is scary. But it is most terrifying to the millions of people who face threats to their lives with promises to deport them all, to build a wall, to block them from entering the fortress of the US. It was working class whites – both men and women — who elected Trump. But it is up to the rest of us to step forward as allies and organize, to stand with those who face the threats, to surround them with a wall of strength and love, to use our...

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Not in our backyard: Colorado Senate refuses to acknowledge brutal history of Native Americans

April 20, 2012 The group of young American Indians stood at the back of the Colorado State Senate Chambers, listening intently as several legislators refused to vote for a resolution that acknowledged the brutal history of indigenous peoples in the United States as a form of genocide. The day before, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution on the Holocaust as genocide, and that morning they did the same to recognize the Armenian genocide.  But they refused to give the same recognition to the American Indians with Senate Joint Resolution 12-046, arguing that there were “wrongful acts” by the US government taken against Native Americans but insisted it was not genocide. After considerable debate, the Senators passed the resolution (24-9, 2 absent), substituting “atrocities” for the word “genocide.”  The measure also designates November, 2012 as First Nation Appreciation Month in Colorado. Sen. Suzanne Williams (D-Aurora), a Comanche and only Native American member of the state legislature, was the primary sponsor of the resolution.  She fought valiantly to resist the word change, but in the end capitulated in order to get it passed.  She called it an important step toward passing another stronger resolution next year. But the American Indian students were devastated.  “Our resolution died,” declared Simon Moya-Smith an Oglala Lakota who is a journalist, graduate student in the Dept. of Media, Film & Journalism Studies at the University of...

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U.S. Supreme Court crushes hopes of millions of immigrant families

In a devastating blow to millions of children and their families, the US Supreme Court announced a decision on June 23, 2016 that effectively freezes DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents of Americans), and ties it up in court. This program would provide a legal path for undocumented immigrant parents of US citizen children to remain with their families, but without approval leaves millions at risk for deportation. But despite their pain and grief, many immigrant activists in Colorado are determined to use this as an opportunity to grow stronger as a community, as a movement. “I do not see...

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A Child’s Wish: Listening to Children’s Voices in the Immigrant Rights Movement

It is my wish…that my mom will always be with me…that our family can stay together…that my dad could be with me again…. that I don’t have to be afraid anymore…   “A Child’s Wish,” a PSA from the “This is My American Story” by First Focus   The voices of the children are often overlooked in the debate over immigration policies, and yet they live everyday with the reality of having their families torn apart when one or both parents are deported. “Every day when wait for my mom to pick me up from school, I get scared...

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