By Heath Montgomery
Today we got up at 7 in the morning and headed to USCIS. We went there to advocate for the disabled immigrants who are coming to America for health care and a better life. We demanded that they be let in and given a chance for a new life and not put in cages, especially children. We chanted “No cages, no walls, free our people now!!” The energy was pretty high and I enjoyed listening to Tony Brooks talking about how he started a new life when he came here from Ghana. I got a little hot here and there but it was mainly OK. After that, we marched to Senator Mitch McConnell’s office and we demanded that he cosponsor DIA and make Money Follows the Person permanent. My mom and I stayed away with the other folks who didn’t want to get arrested and then we waited for the people who got arrested outside. Danielle got arrested for the first time. We headed back home around 8 pm and we got back to the hotel at 9 pm. I had fun joking around with Sophie Poost and talking smack talk. I ate McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets even though technically I’m a vegetarian. I guess I broke the rules this week! I ate in the lobby with my buddies. Tomorrow, we don’t know where we will go but it will be an adventure to be discovered. Free Our People!
By Jordan Sibayan
ADAPTs demonstration at the USCIS building to denounce the harmful public charge rule was very moving. Denying access, refuge, and entrance to our country to anyone seeking opportunities and a better life is wrong, and to expand upon it to discriminate against people with disabilities is deplorable.
Being from Colorado, I have lived my life surrounded by conversations both social and political on immigration. I went to a school in which all announcements and materials were equally shared and distributed in English as well as Spanish. That is just how it was.
The idea of immigrants and their children and families being locked in cages for the crime of seeking a better life in our country makes as much sense as being locked in institutions for the crime of being disabled.
No more Cages…no more Walls. We must tear down the walls of oppression by denouncing the practice of incarceration of migrants at the boarder and the treatment they get and the public charge rule that specifically calls out disabled migrants and refugees and asylum seekers.
People with Disabilities in those detention centers…often separated from their families and care givers…are in extreme danger of further risks to their health and quality of life. Further…those who go through the traumatic experience of gaining citizenship may develop disabilities and worse more severe conditions.
This Public Charge rule also endangers those who already are here receiving life sustaining and saving medical treatment and attendent services. They are in danger of being sent back to their country of origin or to somewhere else entirely. This puts them in danger of further injury and death.
We urge the administration to say NO to this rule. Do the right thing and stop endangering our people…the world’s people. What happens to them can happen to us. Our lives are linked…our experience all…and all are one.
By Liam Dougherty
I got up this morning at 7am and after going to McDonald’s we all lined up and marched for the first time in this action. We went to the immigration and naturalization services building which was about an hour march away. We did some theater and chanting there outside the building and made our demands to them about the accommodations and discrimination of immigrants with disabilities.
Then we went over to the Senate office building, up to Mitch McConnell’s office. We wanted him to hear our demands around accessible housing, nursing home transition, and community integration. Around 30 of us were arrested in his office room and processed in the building.