Not your usual Mother’s Day

by Dennis Chin, guest blogger

Like many families across the United States, my family took the time yesterday to honor all those who do mother’s work .  My mother is a magnificent woman.  And she is an immigrant.   My mother and father were able to immigrate to the U.S.  from Hong Kong when our government expanded its immigration quotas in the 1960s.    Part of this expansion included priority sponsorship for highly-educated professionals, scientists and artists.  My father, a practicing doctor, was able to use this as his ticket to the States.  And since family reunification was a significant part of this expansion, my mother was able to gain a path towards citizenship a few years later.

Lyndon Johnson signing the 1965 Immigration & Nationality Act that allowed my mother and father to immigrate to the U.S.

My family’s story shows what good immigration policy in the modern day ought to mirror. Immigrants like my parents have contributed enormously, both economically and culturally.   Is it too much to ask that good policy ought to recognize these contributions and keep these families together?

This Mother’s Day, I was reminded of how much family means to me. (It hasn’t always been a big part of my life growing up but that’s another post for another blog)  But in particular, I was reminded of the work of my immigrant mother, who built and nurtured my family life, that made me who I am today.  And I was reminded of many others that do mother’s work, keeping families of all kinds together to strengthen our communities.

We owe it to our mothers that gave us and the world a vision of what love looks like in practice. And I’m not talking about that romantic comedy variety of love.  I’m talking about love in context.  Love that is critical. Love that calls us to be our better selves.  Love that motivates loving action.

This Mother’s Day, mothers all across the United States are fighting for love. They are fighting against policies that stand in direct opposition to all that do mother’s work.   They are standing up against the emotional and physical violence inflicted daily on our families and communities – SB 1070, congressional inaction on CIR, ICE raids, racism…

This week, I’ll be blogging about groups that are fighting for immigrant families in honor of Mother’s Day. Many mothers are at the forefront of these groups.  They are often the most vocal and the most passionate about this work.

And we’re lucky to have them in this fight because you know nothing’s going to stop them when they have a goal in sight.    I know I can’t stop my own mother once she knows she’s right.

Good thing these mothers are right.

Stay tuned!

PS — Feel free to share your immigrant mother’s story in the comments!

UPDATE:  Check out this beautiful moving video from a friend of mine, NYC-based artist Taiyo Na.   And thank your immigrant mother for holding it down for all of us.

Photo:   LBJ Library and Museum

One response to “Not your usual Mother’s Day

  1. Pingback: Notes from a NYC jail « Reform Immigration For America

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