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The Knotted Line

Evan Bissell, Author

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2007: Incarcigration

2007: Latinos are the largest ethnic group in federal prisons at 40%, nearly half of whom are in on immigration charges. By 2011 the majority of charges are immigration-based, and Latinos make up over 50% of the federal prison population.*

Actions for Self-Determination:
  • 1983: Father Roy Bourgeois is sentenced to 18 months after entering Ft. Benning (dressed as an officer) and playing Archbishop Oscar Romero's last homily outside the Salvadoran barracks. He later starts School of the America's Watch, which calls attention to the role of the United States military training center in disrupting democratic governments in Latin America.
  • 2006: The Great American Strike on May 1st, in which immigrants boycotted U.S. schools and businesses, and the March 25th protest of anti-immigrant legislation are some of the largest immigrants rights marches in U.S. history. 
  • 2008: Occupation of San Francisco ICE offices to raise awareness about and halt increasing raids in a “sanctuary city."
  • 2012: Colorlines continues its call to drop the "I-Word" because it normalizes racial profiling and criminalization of immigrants.

Discussion Questions:
  • How do those who benefit from the cheaper labor of undocumented immigrants also benefit from the incarceration of immigrants? How does increased policing make it easier and more profitable to have more immigration?
  • What would force you to leave your home and family? What would you take with you?
  • For one week, make a note of every way that immigrants help or benefit you. Make a note of every way that they hurt you.
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