One JVP Staff Member’s Family Immigration Story – #KeepFamiliesTogether


By Sonya E. Meyerson-Knox
Media Manager, Jewish Voice for Peace

Like many of you, I was excited to hear Trump signed an Executive Order ending family separations at the border. It’s a big win! But he’s still jailing families, and that’s a huge problem for anyone with a heart.

I’m descended from immigrants who fled violence and discrimination in search of safety.

My heart broke hearing all the stories of families being forcibly separated, and of children being held by law enforcement in cages – but they now they’re caging entire families together.

That’s why I am so glad Jewish Voice for Peace joined the fight to #KeepFamiliesTogether.

Find an action near you here to keep the pressure on.

Like so many Americans, some of my ancestors entered the U.S. with the proper papers, and some without.

It was luck that, when my teenage great-grandfather was smuggled into the U.S. from Mexico, fleeing prison in Tsarist Russia for his political activism, he wasn’t caught and imprisoned.

My grandmother’s family was less lucky in their immigration to the U.S. from the Ukraine. Her grandmother was forced to leave behind her youngest child when she immigrated; U.S. rules wouldn’t allow in anyone ill, or disabled.

She never saw him again and, after the Holocaust, never heard from him, or his children, again.

U.S. borders have always been places of tragedy and violence. Let’s be really clear about what Trump’s Executive Order does and does not do. It still criminalizes refugees and asylum-seekers.

We must stand up now, or we will be complicit in our silence. People should not be criminalized for seeking safety, for seeking the better life that so many of our own ancestors sought.

Please join me as a proud member of Jewish Voice for Peace on the streets on June 30.

Find an action and download a poster here. And, if you have a personal story about migration, we invite you to share it on our new website.

P.S. Now’s the time to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with allies. JVP is a partner in the Families Belong Together national coalition, an endorser of Mijente’s Action, and one of over 80 Jewish organizations signed on to Declare a State of Moral Emergency.


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