Families for Freedom started in the aftermath of 9/11 when Arab and Muslim men had their civil liberties stripped from them, forced to report to the government on the sole basis of their nationality. Thousands of these people were ripped from their families, locked in detention centers and eventually deported. In the post 9/11 United States, many immigrants who weren’t part of the target population in the “War on Terror” felt they were immune to these destructive policies, fueling an “us vs. them” mentality. FFF focused on overcoming these divides and organized for the rights of all immigrants to stay with their families and communities.
As time progressed, a new division emerged between the “good immigrant” and the “bad immigrant” while much of the national debate focusing on allowing the “hard workers” to stay while deporting those with criminal convictions, even after they served their sentences. Families for Freedom once again stood against this schism, recognizing these divisionary tactics as toxic for immigrant justice.
We believe that the people who are most directly affected by these harmful immigration policies need to be at the frontlines, organizing and educating to keep our families together. For over a decade we have served as a support group for individuals and families affected by detention and deportation and found diverse ways for them to be involved in fighting back, organizing targeted communities to respond publicly to the problem, and advocating with elected officials and the media for the reform of immigration policies. We have held speak outs on corners from the Bronx to the front gates of Louisiana Detention Centers, conducted workshops with detainees in Rikers Island and deportees in the Dominican Republic, and protested from the steps of ICE to Capitol Hill. As long as deportations and unjust immigration policies continue we will continue to fight to keep our families together. familiesforfreedom.org