Valeria Alvarado, 19, kept her undocumented family members and friends in mind when she voted for the first time in the 2016 presidential election, and while Hillary Clinton’s loss stunned millions across the nation, the Monterrey native isn’t giving up in the fight against Donald Trump’s xenophobic administration.
Within his first days in office, the nation’s 45th president vowed to publish a weekly list of crimes committed by “aliens” as a means to validate his executive order aimed at defunding sanctuary cities unwilling to cooperate with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s efforts to detain undocumented immigrants.
In response to this, I’ll be starting a weekly list of accomplishments by undocumented immigrants. DM me if you’re interested in helping. https://t.co/ZiGZvLCmka
— Valeria Alvarado (@valvarad7) January 26, 2017
“I could not believe my eyes when I first read Trump’s plan to publish this list,” the Villanova University student told Remezcla. “This ‘crime list’ idea is not new. The Nazis used to publish a list of Jewish crimes before the genocide started. The RTML radio in Rwanda used to convince people that Tutsis were to blame for the crimes of the few. I am not trying to homogenize these situations with each other, but it is unbelievable that we are repeating history’s same mistakes.”
In the wake of constitutional crisis, Alvarado is gearing up to launch an interactive platform titled “We, Too, Are America” on Monday (Feb. 6), which will include a weekly counter-list that highlights the various achievements of undocumented immigrants.
“The whole executive order is a ‘them versus us’ narrative,” she continued. “[Donald Trump] identified undocumented immigrants as not a part of ‘us’ as a nation, but instead an external group: ‘them.’ He is convincing people that the US needs a wall and 10,000 more immigration officers to keep ‘them’ out. Why? Undocumented immigrants pay taxes, they contribute to our economy, and they work everyday to make this country great. Undocumented immigrants are not a ‘them;’ they are ‘us.’ When we proudly say as a country, ‘immigrants are the fabric of this nation,’ this includes the undocumented community.”
Stay up-to-date with “We, Too, Are America” here.