From Alex Soto,
Komkch’ed e Wah ‘osithk (Sells)
Tohono O’odham Nation
Reposted from the O’odham Solidarity Across Borders Collective.
To all those unaware of the fine print of Obama’s immigration plan:
First and foremost, it will direct more resources to border security. Meaning…further militarization of Indigenous communities who are divided by the so-called border, such as my home community of the Tohono O’odham Nation. Our O’odham him’dag (way of life) will once again be attacked by settler border politics, as it was in 1848 and 1852 when the so-called border was illegally imposed. Attacked like we were in 1994 when the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was enacted. These borderland policies are being devised and implemented without any settler consciousness to the Indigenous peoples who will be most negatively impacted by such policies. The Indigenous nations who pre-date so called Mexico and the United Snakkkes end up almost voiceless.
Basically Obama’s 2014 Immigration plan = border militarization = 21st century colonization.
So in light of Obama’s latest immigration plan, I’m writing this to say “DON’T BELIEVE THE HYPE”. The plan is anti-Indigenous and anti-Migrant. Please look at the bigger picture (NAFTA). Please see the trade off. Please see the state’s 2014 divide and conquer tactics.
Then ask yourself, what does an anti-colonial migrant/Indigenous response to this all look like? What does a world without NAFTA borders look like? What does collective liberation look like in O’odham lands? Lipan Apache Lands? Yoeme Lands? Kickapoo Lands? Indigenous homelands which are now in the so-called border region?
Where’s the solidarity with Indigenous people facing militarization?
I recognize this is a complex issue. I do not want fellow Indigenous migrants coming from the southern hemisphere to be criminalized by racist laws. I do not want families to be separated, loved ones to be deported, or for them to ever have to walk the hot desert in the first place, just to have a “chance” in this neo-liberal, NAFTA world we are forced to slave in. But at the same time, I do not want my homeland to be a police state. I do not want our ceremonies to be disrupted. I do not want our jewed (land) destroyed by border security apparatus. I do not want our sky to be polluted by more Border Patrol helicopters, cameras placed atop rotating cranes as tall as skyscrapers, or drones. I do not want freedom of movement for O’odham to be granted only to the holders of bio-metric colonial passports. I do not want CANAMEX/NAFTA corridors scarring our lands with freeways (Loop 202/Interstate 11). Ultimately I do not want, in the words of my late grandfather, who saw the Berlin Wall with his own eyes while being stationed in Germany, “an O’odham Berlin Wall” built at the border.
These are just a few thoughts I have at this time. Overall I maintain my hopes we can all get our shit together. We just have to weather the neo-colonial, mainstream migrant rights industrial complex funded by the creator knows who (but is worth a longer analysis), Dream ACTors and at the same time, we also have to weather the settler state, while empowering our own community. Either way, we got this… because we have to.
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