Affirming Dignity

January 12, 2018
By Avi Rose

In light of flagrant racism and vulgar disrespect shown toward refugees, immigrants, and the countries they come from, we at JFCS East Bay are proud to reaffirm our admiration and support for those who have come from all over the world to join us here in our community. We salute their courage and resiliency. Many of us also call to mind the strength of our own ancestors who dared to leave home and make their way here in previous generations, facing all kinds of difficulties, including the ignorance and bigotry of those who claimed we didn’t belong.

Further, as a family service agency, we confirm our support for family reunification. In this country, the majority of us have long championed the principle of people being able to reunite with their spouses, parents, grandparents, children, and other family members so they could build their new lives together with freedom and opportunity. In fact, that is how many of us got here.

Recently, the administration has attempted to recast family reunification as “chain migration.” This is a deliberately dehumanizing term, designed to frighten and mislead people. It is also particularly offensive, given that many people were in fact brought here in chains.

Needless to say, refugees and immigrants are not chain links; they are human beings who have fled war, violence, persecution, and deprivation. We will continue to honor their dignity and perseverance, and we will continue to mobilize our enthusiastic and generous community to welcome them with open arms.