Our strategy right now is to get ready for the worst, and hope that the Republicans in Congress don’t give Trump the resources to carry out threats he made during his presidential campaign.
When we have an ideal that is unquestioned—the home, the family, country life, at the turn of the last century—it creates a weapon for use against anyone who seems to challenge those structures.
The religious politics of the immigration issue are clear: if comprehensive immigration reform is ever to pass, increasing the level of support (or at least decreasing opposition) among evangelicals, Catholics, and Mormons will be essential.
You can point at that map and see that the ebbs and flows are not just related to the desires or needs of people from other parts of the world emigrating to the United States. The shape of the map is driven by US policies, and whether they were welcoming or not welcoming to groups of immigrants.
In the United States, the descendants of immigrants are culturally obsessed with proving our Americanness. In Brazil, it’s completely different. People use immigrant designations over generations and generations.
It should encourage us to take seriously the continuation of the cycles of poverty, unemployment, and uneven development—often stratified along lines of class and race—that drive ordinary people to leave behind everything they have ever known in search of something better.
The 2014 documentary film, Flucht und Heimat, by Father Alfred Tönnis and Lukas Hoffmann, captures the vexed position of asylum seekers in Syria, Egypt, and Germany.