Jewish Group Draws Inspiration from Jewish Texts Towards Acting for Immigration Justice
Building off the Shavuot tradition of Torah study, the Tennessee chapter of Never Again hosted a text study that included both traditional and secular texts related to immigration. Never Again is a national, Jewish-led organization that mobilizes around immigration justice and works to dismantle the deportation system. Never Again Tennessee has been active for over two years and has worked both at the national and local levels to address immigrant rights.
At the text study, participants noted the overlap between the saddest text in Jewish tradition, Lamentations, and the current immigration system. As the separation of parents from children is both a strong theme liturgically and is a key component of too many immigrant stories in the United States. Participants discussed loneliness and betrayal as a theme in Lamentations and how this relates to the need for meaningful allyship.
Participants discussed the relationship between the importance of being allies and the importance of ending Police-ICE cooperation contracts, also known as 287g agreements. These contracts deputize police to act as ICE agents, emboldening police to target those who they suspect to be immigrants. Nashville no longer has a 287g agreement, thanks in part to work by local Jewish activists, but they are still active in other parts of Tennessee, including Knoxville.
Never Again Tennessee will continue to focus on ending 287g contracts throughout July, culminating in a delegation traveling to Washington DC for direct action on July 25th. Interested community members should reach firstname.lastname@example.org.