(This page is a work in progress.)
I am currently developing IRRSA’s project plan, so a more specific description will arrive later, but hopefully a parsing of the name I’ve chosen should describe our purpose well:
- Involuntary Remigrants: Commonly referred to as “deportees”, involuntary remigrants are people who have been forced to leave a country and return to one of origin against their will. I prefer to not use the term deportee because it implies criminality (In 2013, over 44% of ICE deportations were noncriminal), and even in cases where crimes had been committed, I feel the label boxes people into an identity that is hard to break out from. “Involuntary remigrants” is cause agnostic, just as IRRSA plans to be. We aim to provide tools and services to people regardless of the reason why they were forced to leave America so that they can be empowered to use their own skills to become productive members of their new communities.
- Refugee: A refugee is a person without a country, who has usually fled from violence or threats of violence. They will receive whatever support and assistance we can provide.
- Support: The specifics will be elaborated later and will vary from country to country based on need and preference, but the longterm goals of IRSA include in part:
- Physical community centers in regions with large number of involuntary remigrants. The centers will have resources specific to the needs of this community.
- Activities, job trainings, and language and culture training working in collaboration with the local communities to help with not just reintegration but with meaningful employment.
- A focus on mental and physical health
- Advocacy: We will also work with the families and friends of remigrants stateside to lobby for a more human system and in support of polices such as earned citizenship and DACA.
- Network: The goal is to create a worldwide network of IRRSA centers which can coordinate to share best practices and support new involuntary remigrants and refugees in a sustainable way.