Living in Mississippi, you sometimes get the feeling that being an immigrant is the equivalent of perpetually screaming into the void.
This doesn’t mean that no one is organizing around immigrants’ rights in the state, but as I will never get tired of mentioning, most people who get paid to do this work tend to be white. And, as I will also never get tired of mentioning, many journalists in Mississippi who cover immigration tend to be white people who quote white experts. Even great allies don’t experience the world the same way.
That means that as immigrants, we are usually unable to control your own narrative or find storytellers like who’ve walked in our shoes. If you’re an undocumented immigrant or have Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), there are few storytellers out there covering your story that also understands it.
No one seems to understand you, or so I’ve heard.
I don’t understand you either. My family are mostly people who were born in the U.S. or who became naturalized because of laws signed before many DACA recipients were born.
Over the past few years, I had the chance to meet or correspond with several organizers for immigrants’ rights. Everyone on this list had a different journey, and some were even directly involved in the negotiations, direct actions, and lobbying efforts to make sure DACA came into fruition. Others have worked tirelessly to help people in their community understand the program, find scholarships, and have accurate information.
Others tweet about their experiences in a way no paid expert will ever truly know. Understanding the theory behind someone else’s journey isn’t the same as going through it too. So yes, many people on this list probably live in a bigger, cooler city, but they’ve been where you are. A few people are actually not undocumented anymore, but they have been.
So take solace in knowing that if you haven’t yet found your community in Mississippi, at least some people who tweet about DACA at SCOTUS are actually living—sometimes thriving—during these uncertain times, or they have been where you are now. Below are lists of people you can follow on Twitter who don’t just talk, they also walk the walk.
Post may be updated later.
Hashtags #HomeIsHere #HereToStay
Many leaders and other DACA recipients are tweeting their stories on Twitter and Instagram, as well as other social media, using these two hashtags.