BY JOSÉ ARNULFO CABRERA | November 13, 2020 

en español

I was Facetiming with my baby sis, Karina, when I got a text from my partner.

“MSNBC CALLED IT!!!”

Like a deer in headlights, I stared at the message. I couldn’t believe her—while at the same time I completely believed her. The whole week I’d done the math over and over again knowing Biden had a clear victory after winning Michigan and Wisconsin. I was glued to CNN, The New York Times, the Washington Post, and the google search “U.S. election result.” I hadn’t slept for three nights until Friday night when my body let out and I crashed the moment my face touched my couch pillow. 

a new administration

I desperately went through my phone looking for multiple confirmations. It was true. I yelled at Karina, who was still on Facetime. “Trump lost!”. I hung up and sat on my living room floor. Overwhelmed with emotions. Was his reign really over? Would I really stop living in my nightmares? Am I safe now? Is my family safe now? Is my community safe now?

For the last four years we, migrants, and especially black and brown migrants have lived in utter fear of an anti-immigrant, racist, and lying Administration. Through policies like Remain in Mexico, Muslim Ban, Public Charge, budget increases to CBP and ICE, family separations (in detentions and mix-status families), increasing numbers of deaths in detentions and at the border, ending DACA and TPS, and so much more we’ve felt the weight of this oppressive Administration. For me, it seems that my whole professional career as an organizer has been working in the defense against the Trump Administration.

The more it sank in, the more I cried. Something inside of me allowed me to let it all out. Let out all the pain I witness my undocumented community endured, all the pain I’ve endured. All the emotions I’ve held inside of me.  All the trauma I have. I yelled so much and so hard that my throat hurt for the rest of the day. 

I don’t believe the Biden Administration will be the saving grace of black and brown migrants. I personally wasn’t excited of the Biden-Harris ticket, but I didn’t have a choice, nor do I get to choose. In 2008, my mom and I overjoyed for the Obama Administration and his promise to give us Immigration Reform. Even my little sisters, 8 and 6 years old at the time, would spend their evening canvassing with a family friend telling people that Obama would make sure their family won’t be separated. The Trump Administration would later put Obama’s deportation machine on steroids. And under the Trump Administration, the world would see children in cages; a practice immigration advocates all seen during the Obama years. 

I will say, though, from everything I’ve seen in the Biden Administration’s plan on immigration within its first 100 days, I’m quietly overjoyed. And to be honest, I’m not sure if these plans are what true immigration progression looks like, or if the Trump Administration immigration policy was just that spine-chilling. I think it’s the latter.

As we all prepare for this transition, I fear the most that more and more people will look away if we see injustice in this Administration. I fear that people will be content because this isn’t the Trump Administration or isn’t the GOP. We must always work towards justice, regardless of who the president is. Our immigration system has been changed so drastically that we will feel the effects well beyond either of these presidencies. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to be steadfast, more than ever.

3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Dr.Cajetan Coelho says:

    New people arrive with fresh ideas to serve humanity and the Planet. Wishing them well in all their people-oriented endeavors is a life-time opportunity.

    Reply
  2. Avatar
    Cindy Avenell says:

    I appreciate the description of your relief after hearing the news of a new President-Elect. As an immigrant, I truly appreciate that you wrote about the implications for immigration under a Biden-Harris administration. For several months, I have been reading, watching, listening and praying for what following Jesus looks like in the face of awful and deep-rooted US racial injustice. I think your conclusion is right on:
    “We must always work towards justice, regardless of who the president is. Our immigration system has been changed so drastically that we will feel the effects well beyond either of these presidencies. We have a lot of work ahead of us. We need to be steadfast, more than ever.”

    Reply
  3. Avatar
    RJ Andes says:

    Technically most people are a product of some form of immigration especially from past generations. The current immigration policy has you know was a issue going back to Obama’s presidency and it was never perfect by any means.

    Illegal immigration is dangerous and unfortunately involves criminals that benefit from peoples misery and desperation this is the main problem because it’s a way to finance other activities that do have a drastic affect on the US and other places. Not everything is a fairy-tale.

    Immigration is a essential part of modern living that brings cultures together but only if it’s done the legal way, this will not change under Harris…Sorry meant Biden he has just done the research to see what areas the big votes want and made that is vocal point to guarantee is win whilst Trump failed to adapt.

    It will be hard for Biden to place certain policies in place has he will most likely concentrate on mending fractured relationships abroad like China, France, Germany and certain middle east nations…will he be fair with other country’s like UK, Palestine , North Korea because of the biased beliefs he has.

    I will wait to form my opinion but at the moment I don’t see how a person that has a weak persona and the way he is can fix anything and yes that includes immigration.Maybe I’m wrong or maybe you are only time will tell us. But I do not support any form of illegal immigration has I’ve seen the consequences domestically and abroad.

    Reply

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