The deportation machine has many layers. We invite you to join us in an action that will bring to light one such layer—invisible to many—that profoundly marks the lives of our friends, our neighbors.
When Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) orders our friends deported, their loved ones can pack one 25 lb suitcase for them. Each day, people in our communities must pack such a suitcase and submit it to ICE for inspection. When they drop off these suitcases with ICE, they cannot see their loved one to say goodbye.
Some of our friends and neighbors are deported to countries they left as children, where they know no one and may not speak the language. It may be a place with little opportunity, where their sexuality is criminalized, where there is war or drought. They often face grave danger.
We are asking you to think about one person—someone you love—and imagine packing their suitcase before they were deported to a country where you might never see them again. The suitcase is everything your loved one will leave with; the suitcase contains the belongings they will start over with. We invite you to think about this choice: what objects, what pieces of clothing, what photos, what books, what letters what would you pack?
Members of our communities, our neighbors, have to make these choices every day. They have to think in these terms. They have to pack one suitcase for their loved ones.
On July 26th, at 5:30 PM, we will gather at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City to honor those who have been deported and their loved ones—and to make visible this form of invisible violence.
We ask that you bring one object you would pack in your love’s suitcase to 26 Federal Plaza, as we shed a light onto the deportation machine that continues to cause violence and suffering on our communities.