Read more about .
Quixote Center's InAlienable program!

Daily Dispatch

April 15, 2019

21 Savage Describes the Uncertainty of Immigrant Detention

Back in February when the world learned that rap artist 21 Savage had migrated to the United States as a child and that he was being detained by ICE, many of his fans were stunned. Organizers from groups such as and banded together for the campaign and he was ultimately .

Despite prior arrests that had put 21 Savage in jail, he described his ICE detention as a harrowing experience because of the uncertainty of the process. From an interview with :

He says that his ICE detention, which lasted for 10 days, was unlike anything he had ever experienced. “The worst thing was sitting in there not knowing what was going to happen, or when it’s going to happen,” he recalls. “Whenever I went to jail before, it was, ‘You’re being charged with this and going to court on this date.’ But immigration ain’t like that. You’re just being held.”

Some Creative Resistance: Where Are the Children?

Local organizers in the DC area are planning to put a national spotlight on the issues of child detention and family separation that have been highlighted as particularly egregious practices to use for immigration enforcement. From the announcement from this coalition of organizations in Howard County, Maryland calling itself

Please join us on International Children’s Day, June 9, 2019  to oppose this injustice.

National Mall in Washington, D.C. between 12th and 14th Streets

We will display hundreds of pajamas hung on clotheslines to represent the separated children. Each pajama is a stark reminder of forcibly separated families and parents spending nights away from their children.

Americans must remember that our government continues to divide families and
forcibly detain children.

The pajama display will be available to other groups wishing to raise awareness in their communities.

Nothing New Under the Sun: Native American Family Separation

As much as family separation shocks the conscience, it cannot be forgotten that this policy of taking children from their parents has been used repeatedly by the U.S. government as a way of controlling populations of people it failed to treat as full and equal members of society.

The National Native American Boarding School Coalition recently announced that it is undertaking a study of how child removal affected Native communities in the United States. From a release on :

Between 1879 and the 1960s, tens of thousands of American Indian and Alaskan Native children were forced to attend boarding school against their parents’ and tribes’ wishes. The goal of these schools was to eliminate the “Indian problem” that the United States had to its westward expansion by removing all traces of tribal existence — language, culture, spiritual traditions, communal and family ties, etc. and replacing them with European Christian ideals of civilization, religion, and culture.

Moreover, while we might like to believe that this practice has ended, it persists in practice:

Although the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (ICWA) was designed to address this form of cultural genocide, Native families continue to face very high levels of child removal. For example, in Alaska, where Native children make up 20 percent of the general child population, they represent 50.9 percent of children in Foster Care.

To read more on this study or if you know someone who might be able to participate in the survey, check out the .