We have proudly served immigrants from over 115 countries and counting. But two of these groups have been very visibly targeted for years, and certainly under the current administration: Muslims and Latinos. As I wrote over a year ago when the divisive 2016 campaign was still heating up, the time for a strong alliance between these two communities has long since past.

I don’t mean to say there aren’t efforts to do so. But we need more. Too many folks on one side aren’t familiar enough with the parallel struggles on the other side. As lawyers who serve both, we see the genesis and execution of these policies up close and personal.

We need to see these policies as starting from a place of hate, and understand the “evil genius” process that goes into engineering these policies for maximum impact. Time spent identifying these parallels – whether between Latinos and Muslims, or any number of other communities – has a unifying effect on otherwise disparate channels of resistance.

We need visible examples of the commonality of the struggle for rights between groups. Actually, we need to make the examples visible.


Muslims​CommonalityLatinos
NSEERSA way to target people based on being a member of a certain class (forced registration or coaxed registration)DACA revocation
CARRPA way to delay/deny immigration benefits when there is no evidence of wrongdoingKnown gang member, criminal alien
Syrian Refugees​Maligned and mistrusted; political punching bags; sometimes rolled into super Latino-Muslim bogeymanNorthern Triangle Asylum Seekers
Deny in-state tuition​DACAmented and TPS holders are in both our communities (TPS countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Syria, Yemen, Somalia)​Deny in-state tuition
​Deny driver’s license, 287(g), S-Comm​A trigger of the deportation machine​Deny driver’s license, 287(g)S-Comm
Mosque surveillance​​Create deportation land mines in everyday unavoidable aspects of lifeWorkplace raids
Islamophobia, Inc. (SIOA,CSPJihadWatch, etc.)A well-funded industry to dehumanize and create fearFAIR/NumbersUSA/CIS
Heightened scrutiny, less favorable discretionProcedural roadblocking; less due processHigh denial rates, denial of due process
Anti-sharia billsLaws based on misinformation and fearFamily detentionlandlord/employer sanctions

How we approach resistance to these policies is as important, if not more, than the substance of the resistance itself. ​The White House seem to have a much clearer idea of what they want to do, though they have definitely suffered a series of humiliating setbacks.

But if we assume the White House is a “unitary actor” then much of the rest of the population are highly fragmented multiple actors. That’s less “diversity” and more ” disorder” – lacking a common vision, and hence unable to focus. Certain segments are called out, perhaps, more than others (or at least each group is made to feel like they are being called out more than others.) Muslims complain of Islamophobia, Latinos about anti-immigrant sentiment, Jews anti-Semitism, etc. etc. Everyone in their own tidy category.

Believing you have it worse than others inhibits collaboration and communication. Whispers that “it might not be so bad” if you just “give him a chance” similarly inhibit collaboration. Inter-immigrant bigotry, racism, and misogyny also inhibit collaboration.

The fact remains, it’s hard to unify disparate classes. People do feel more comfortable with people like them. But rallying around “not Trump” will take you nowhere – you can’t expect your GPS to navigate if you put in a place you don’t want to go.

So to everyone on the ground, my colleagues who were at the airports, the folks tirelessly working with elected officials to protect due process, the folks at high-level meetings, the rally organizers, the marchers: please take a moment to remember that while another community’s fight might seem different to you, it’s usually not.

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