Letter to Our Undocumented Fam

On Friday night, we watched the countdown to midnight, the beginning of a Republican-led government shutdown. Democrats appeared to stand their ground that they would not vote on the spending bill until a clean DREAM act and funding for other vital social programs were included in the bill.

Not three days later did we see Democrats slither back into their comfort zone of letting Republicans dictate what needs were deemed important. They showed the public just how focused they were on self-preservation instead of standing by what is right, relying on the promises made by Republicans - the same Republicans who have shown time and again how untrue they stay to their word. This was not a compromise, it was cowardice in its finest form.

We continue to fight, to advocate, to organize, to speak up and out, but it’s okay to admit that you may be exhausted, tired, angry, and disappointed. Many of us have been working day in and day out to host educational sessions, to meet with these congressional leaders, to share our stories, to give empirical evidence, to work together with our community members to keep going; we have been putting in work.

To you, reading this, I want you to know…

That the Democrats’ backslide, from their admission to offering a border wall as part of the attempt to avoid the shutdown in the first place to not even maintaining their ground on their proposed principles for a weekend...

This is not a reflection of you, of us, of our work, or of our effort. It is not a reflection of our worth or of our level of deservingness.

This is a reflection of spinelessness, cowardice, and racist, oppressive holds on power. And while we are disappointed by this recent outcome, we are not shocked at all by how Congress  put their seats in office ahead of the lives of people.

You are strong and resilient, even in your vulnerability. We are inherently worthy and deserving. You do not have to explain to anyone why you deserve to be treated with humanity and grace.

This is the time to call on our strengths and resilience, but also to lean on our support systems. It is important you remember that taking care of yourself, and each other, is priority - your physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual selves - especially to avoid burnout. We cannot keep the fire going if the kindling is exhausted.

This is the time to feel your anger, disappointment, resentment, frustration, whatever emotions you may be experiencing, and to process and understand them. Know what they are, how they feel, and then make good decisions about your needs so that you can thrive. Though it can feel like it, these emotions and feelings do not have to stunt you or affect your progress. Because though we are tired, we cannot release our hopes into the atmosphere; we must hold them tightly and maintain them.

So to you reading this, please know, you are enough, you are inherently worthy and deserving, and you are not alone. If there is any way we can be of support to you, to connect you, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.

With a full heart,

Gabrielle Jackson

UndocuBlack Network