In 2011 the Indiana General Assembly accepted laws that harmed the safety, economic stability and overall prosperity of our undocumented communities because they believed that we did not deserve equal access to higher education or the opportunity to earn a living wage. These laws were not successful in pushing us out of the community and state we live in. We will continue to remain part of our communities despite the uncertainty and fear caused by the most recent Presidential election.

The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance committed to serve the community as a youth-led organization when our families were targeted by our state legislators four years ago. Time and time again we have witnessed the driving force to our organizing being the strength in our families and communities, and this past week was not any different. In fact, we are reassured that our undocumented community is not isolated and our families are not alone.

To our communities…

There is a strong history of resiliency in our communities, and even though fear has been a strategy used to control us, we will challenge this fear by empowering ourselves through the strength of our voices and knowledge of our history.

Despite what lies ahead of us, we will continue to organize and demand to be treated with dignity and respect. The change in administration should not push us into the shadows but rather energize us to continue to empower our communities while remembering the sacrifices that have been made in order for us to be here. We encourage the undocumented youth presently uncertain or fearful of their future to step away from the shadows and find strength in our family’s sacrifices. Allow for whatever inspires you–our hardworking families, our accomplishments, our history–to encourage you to speak up against injustice in our community.

You are not alone.

IUYA recommits to continue to provide resources for all UndocuHoosiers and to advocate for all other marginalized groups. The journey we are about to embark will not be an easy one, but together, we are resilient enough to endure it.

To our allies…

We have been contacted by many community members and organizations in the last few days and this has been inspiring. At this time IUYA must be intentional about putting our energy, efforts, and resources into preparing and empowering our communities that will be directly impacted by swift and emboldened anti-immigrant actions. IUYA cannot do this work without our allies and community partners. As our allies, we expect you to use your privileges and resources to stand alongside the undocumented community and take their lead on what actions and changes are necessary. In solidarity, we are all stronger.

To our political leaders…

The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance expects Hoosier hospitality values from our elected leaders, regardless of their party affiliation. The role of our political leaders is additionally important to IUYA after witnessing the Obama administration disregard our communities and separate families through deportations and implementing unjust policies that have forced families to leave their communities. In the following years IUYA commits to hold our elected officials accountable.

We place hope in our community and not in our political leaders.

IUYA is poised to demand that our elected officials fulfill their role of serving all of their constituents through legislation, policies, and practices that protect undocumented immigrants and other disenfranchised and marginalized groups. Additionally, we are prepared to remind political leaders and public servants, such as local police departments of their role in state and federal law enforcement.

We will not tolerate any abuse of power.

As we move forward as a targeted population, IUYA encourages us to not sit back but instead take action in the following ways: connecting with local nonprofits that serve underrepresented communities, using social media as a way to disseminate actions and resources, sharing your skills with IUYA, and to donating to IUYA so that we may continue to provide financial and educational resources.

The shift in President values and platform implies many changes in our lives as undocumented people, but does not change our strength and ability to persevere past all injustices.

 

Sincerely,

The Indiana Undocumented Youth Alliance