As we pile around a dinner table groaning under the weight of too much food, surrounded by family and close friends this Thanksgiving weekend, we reflect on what this holiday means to us. Its messy and complicated beginnings aside, we primarily celebrate being close and spending quality time with our nearest and dearest. We are thankful for bountiful harvests that provides more food that we could ever consume. We are thankful for our health and that of our loved ones. We are thankful for our dogs (and cats). We are thankful our parents were able to emigrate to this country just one generation ago leading us to this very celebration.
But one year after the election, and with just 10 months of this administration, we are struck that we have more to be worried about than ever before. Does this country embrace its previous values–that which enabled our parents to escape their particular circumstances and come here as immigrants and refugees? Currently, our Dreamers are at stake and vulnerable, as the fight for DACA heads to the Supreme Court. Those from certain countries are now banned from entering this country. We are told that certain humans are illegal and should be deported as tens of thousands are taken to camps. As a result, detention center populations are booming. Considering we are giving thanks for this melting pot we live in, these new tactics seem everything but great. Inspired by these current events, we have created a reading list, the purpose of which is to raise awareness and evoke empathy towards immigrants and immigration (illegal and otherwise) into the United States.