A call for vigilance, a call to organize
I attended a vigil last night calling for a stop to JB Librojo’s deportation. It was an eerie reminder of a similar vigil which took place in front of the San Francisco ICE office for the Cuevas family in 2004. They, unfortunately, were deported.
The family’s case made national news. Well before Jose Antonio Vargas made his revelation, the Cuevas family’s deportation was amongst the first cases highlighting the impact of ICE’s stepped enforcement campaigns on the Filipino immigrant community in the wake of 9/11.
I was troubled by the fact that some of the people attending the vigil last night didn’t know about the Cuevas case despite the media attention it got in the Bay Area at the time in large part due to the tremendous organizing efforts of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns. How quickly we forget! Yet there are so many families who face the plight that the Cuevas family did, who face the plight that JB and his brother face now but whose suffering will go unnoticed if we don’t remain vigilant as a community. To be vigilant is to be on alert, to be watchful. Vigilance allows us to anticipate problems before they happen. Vigilance requires that we organize ourselves.
As research we did in the Critical Filipino/Filipina Studies Collective’s Resisting Homeland Security report indicates, deportations will not decrease anytime soon.