Mexicans Who Stay Behind: The Other Side of Immigration

We read every day about immigrant individuals and families who come to the United States. Many of them are our friends.

  • But what become of the communities they leave behind?
  • Why do family members and friends remain in Mexico?

Director Roy Germano and his team interviewed over 700 Mexicans living in towns where about half the population came to the United States to find jobs and a new way of life. Through an approach that is described as “both subtle and thought provoking,” he offers a unique view on the issue of undocumented immigrants in his film, The Other Side of Immigration.

Come see it and join the conversation.

Where: Temple Beth Emeth, 2309 Packard Road, Ann Arbor, between Eisenhower and Stadium.

When: Monday August 28, 7 p.m.

The event is co-sponsored by TBE’s Social Action Committee and the Genesis Social Activities Committee. It is free to the public, and so are the refreshments.

Calendar of Social Action Committee Events

Monday, August 28 | 7:-00 – 9:00 | TBE Sanctuary

Film: The Other Side of Immigration

Based on over 700 interviews in Mexican towns where about half the population has left to work in the United States, The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans come to the U.S. and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. Through an approach that is both subtle and thought provoking, director Roy Germano provides a perspective on undocumented immigration rarely witnessed by American eyes, challenging audiences to imagine more creative and effective solutions to the problem.

Saturday, September 9 | 11:30 am-12:30 pm | TBE Adult Lounge

Guest speaker: Margo Schlanger

How will becoming a sanctuary congregation affect TBE’s liability? What legal issues will arise? Will the congregation’s nonprofit status be threatened? The Social Action Committee answers these questions and more in its third Community Conversation. Special presentation from guest speaker Margo Schlanger, University of Michigan Law professor who is part of the legal team fighting to defend Detroit’s Chaldean community in federal court.

Monday September 18 | 7:00-9:00 pm | TBE Sanctuary

Guest speaker: Mary Anne Perrone

Should Temple Beth Emeth become a sanctuary community? What does that mean and how does a congregation do sanctuary? What are the ramifications? Why is sanctuary even necessary and what is its goal? The Social Action Committee (SAC) answers these questions and more with this repeat appearance from guest speaker Mary Anne Perrone, a member of the leadership team of Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) and co-founder of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary (WCS).

Advertisements

Is Sanctuary Coming to Temple Beth Emeth?: Upcoming Events

More immigrant families were deported or torn apart under the administration of President Obama than under any previous administration. The growing sanctuary movement in this country began under his administration, not Trump’s.

But he was a nice guy, he was handsome, he could talk in complete sentences with multisyllabic words, he didn’t embarrass us around the world, and he had what appeared to be a functional family. So he was given a pass by a lot of progressives who feared that attacking him would lead to someone worse.

Image result for "lourdes salazar bautista"

Well, now we’ve got someone worse. Trump and his gang of pirates are so unhinged, the entire world is in hysterics with laughter and terrified with horror at the same time. Immigrant families are being stalked outside churches, outside schools, and outside homes. In Ann Arbor this summer, Sava’s Restaurant was raided by immigration authorities looking for undocumented workers; and long-time Ann Arbor resident Lourdes Salazar Bautista, mother of three U.S.-citizen children, was sent back to Mexico, where she hasn’t lived for over twenty years.

Hearing the Call

Religious congregations around the country are hearing the call. They are drawing from their respective religious teachings, practices, and histories and embracing the sanctuary movement. But what does that mean? How does a congregation do sanctuary? What are its goals?

One congregation that has heard the call and is exploring what that means is Temple Beth Emeth, Ann Arbor’s Reform Jewish congregation. With a unanimous vote by Rabbi Josh Whinston, board president Carol Freedman-Doan, and the board of trustees, TBE’s Social Action Committee (SAC) was encouraged to become active in the local sanctuary movement and educate the congregation about what sanctuary means and how to do it.

In my upcoming article in the September issue of Washtenaw Jewish News, “Birmingham Temple Declares Itself Sanctuary; Is TBE Next?,” I talk about what’s happening at TBE. The article includes interviews with and comments from the board presidents and rabbis of Birmingham Temple, in Farmington Hills, and Temple Sinai, in Washington, DC, two Jewish congregations that already have declared themselves sanctuaries. Please share it widely.

Meanwhile, SAC is pleased to present its first four events encouraged by the board. You don’t have to be a TBE member to attend. All are free. Don’t miss them if you care about social justice and live anywhere near TBE, which is located on Packard Road between Stadium and Eisenhower.

 Calendar of Social Action Committee Events

Saturday, August 19 | 12-1:15 pm | TBE Adult Lounge

Guest speaker: Mary Anne Perrone

Should Temple Beth Emeth become a sanctuary community? What does that mean and how does a congregation do sanctuary? What are the ramifications? Why is sanctuary even necessary and what is its goal? The Social Action Committee answers these questions and more in its second Community Conversation. Special presentation from guest speaker Mary Anne Perrone, a member of the leadership team of Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) and co-founder of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary (WCS).

Monday, August 28 | 7:-00 – 9:00 | TBE Sanctuary (ironically)

Film: The Other Side of Immigration

Based on over 700 interviews in Mexican towns where about half the population has left to work in the United States, The Other Side of Immigration asks why so many Mexicans come to the U.S. and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. Through an approach that is both subtle and thought provoking, director Roy Germano provides a perspective on undocumented immigration rarely witnessed by American eyes, challenging audiences to imagine more creative and effective solutions to the problem.

Saturday, September 9 | 11:30 am-12:30 pm | TBE Adult Lounge

Guest speaker: Margo Schlanger

How will becoming a sanctuary congregation affect TBE’s liability? What legal issues will arise? Will the congregation’s nonprofit status be threatened? The Social Action Committee answers these questions and more in its third Community Conversation. Special presentation from guest speaker Margo Schlanger, University of Michigan Law professor who is part of the legal team fighting to defend Detroit’s Chaldean community in federal court.

Monday September 18 | 7:00-9:00 pm | TBE Sanctuary

Guest speaker: Mary Anne Perrone

Should Temple Beth Emeth become a sanctuary community? What does that mean and how does a congregation do sanctuary? What are the ramifications? Why is sanctuary even necessary and what is its goal? The Social Action Committee (SAC) answers these questions and more with this repeat appearance from guest speaker Mary Anne Perrone, a member of the leadership team of Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights (WICIR) and co-founder of Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary (WCS).

Ann Arbor Embraces Local Muslim Community

Amazing open house yesterday at Ann Arbor Mosque from 3 to 5. Young and old of many religions celebrate solidarity with the Muslim community in response to Republicans’ incitement to hatred. Arrive a few moments after 3:30 expecting to park in the lot, go inside, mingle, meet members, express my solidarity, and leave. Instead, I am turned away by a traffic cop who tells me the lot is full. I park at the lot of an adjacent business complex. Warm greeting at the mosque door, asked to take off shoes, as is customary. Glance at the heels of my socks and am relieved to find that I had grabbed a pair that didn’t have any holes.

Formal program taking place in what looked like a reception hall. Chairs all filled. Standing room only. Not able to take notes while squeezed as we were. But I did manage to secure a piece of baklava from the dessert table. I’m happy to see Temple Beth Emeth well represented, including rabbi and more than a handful of congregants. Not sure how many speakers there were altogether. Arrived to hear last three, including Mayor Taylor.

The overriding message: We are all one. We’re all in this together. America’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” means from many, one. And the expected joke: Donald Trump brought us together. It was a light moment for a serious affair.

Talk with mother of four children, from Jordan, in country five years. She notes that Americans read more than Jordanians. I ask her if I can shake her hand, offer my hand but cautiously so as to not offend. She smiles. Says no with no unnecessary explanation. We both laugh. I say I’m a hugger.

Members of mosque community acknowledge that they should have done this sooner. I agree but that goes for all of us.