COMING TO AMERICA

#ICESurveillance #Immigration #MeltingPotAmerica

Moving is almost never an easy process. One of the most difficult moves to make is from one country to another. With a hectic red-white-and-blue appearance, this sculpture by DeWayne Barton gives the viewer a visual representation of this difficulty. The piece invites you into the turmoil of a difficult move, and the hardship of a reality that often isn't quite as we imagined.

Content compiled by Nathan Koerschner

COMMUNITY BUILDING

Immigrants play a huge role in making everyday aspects of our community thrive. This is especially the case with the tourism and agricultural economies of Western NC. The 2016 American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that over 40% of restaurant owners in the US are foreign born. See statistics for your local area


An article from the Asheville Citizen Times detailed the concern of restaurant owners when in July 2018 ICE started raids to arrest illegal immigrants in WNC. 

"The top three Latin American countries immigrants are now coming from are Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. Their reasons for coming are even more unique and vary cases by case. For those emigrating from Guatemala it is discovered that their reasons are more economic than those coming from El Salvador and Guatemala who flee because of violence in their country (Hiskey 2017)." Read more from Gracen Morris's response to Coming to America.

IMMIGRATION POLICY

"The US first enacted immigration regulation with the Chinese Exclusion act in 1882. Since then the US has changed its immigration policy in a number of ways, including new bans on immigrants from certain nations. See the complete list of immigration policy changes under President Trump here.

One of the most controversial aspects of the current US policy is the treatment of children of illegal immigrants. Many feel that these people should not be deported when they did not play a role in their illegal migration, but the policy reflects another viewpoint. The activist organization United We Dream stands to provide services and support for these undocumented youth. 


Internationally, organizations such as Migrant Help UK are helping people to seek the lives they envision for themselves in new places. Religious institutions everywhere provide services to aid immigrants in their move. In the Asheville area there is a large portion of Latino immigrants, so services tend to focus on these immigrants in particular. Some examples are The Catholic Social Services of Asheville.

Be wary of these people, that they will somehow sabotage our way of life and the ideals that define America. Therefore, we persecute these people unjustly. This must stop. We must acknowledge that we are all after the same goals, and discrimination is not the way to treat people who are different from us.” ~~ Read Trevor Little's analysis of the "Coming to America." 

"While striding amongst five foot images of Gandhi and MLK . . . the trash sculptures made from items discarded as disgusting or useless communicate the multifaceted importance of the issues at question. One of those issues, immigration, exhibited in 'Coming to America', shows how the problems of immigration even impact the children of immigrants as they are constantly insulted by 'the native population' because of their ancestry." Read Alex Erchinger-Wise's analysis of "Coming to America."

STORIES FROM THE GARDEN

Individuals everywhere can support immigrants by being welcoming neighbors. Get involved with CIMA Sanctuary City.

Buncombe County Sheriff's office will no longer detail for ICE those suspected of illegal immigration: "It is vital that members of our immigrant community can call the sheriff's office without fear when they are in need of assistance from law enforcement."

Video by Trevor Little and Alex, UNC Asheville students, related to "Coming to America" and touring Burton Street Community Peace Gardens.