Ripped from his car after a synchronized, harmonious day dropping off his daughter at school, Romulo Avalencia was kidnapped by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on March 23rd, 2017. Arturo’s daughter was now only left with a video recording of her father being stripped away from their family.
This story, one of many, punctured the heart of the Undocumented community with fear, anger, and malice against the current administration. The kidnapping of Romulo, one of many to follow, set the tone and gave us an insight into agent orange’s administration's’ stance on immigration policy. The act of deportation and legality in the united states is rooted in the very nature of settler colonization, genocide, exploitation and occupation on the land of Indigenous people. Imperialist policies and tactics that destabilize countries’ economies, governments and sovereignty are variables that cause migration.
Settler colonization is responsible for this painful journey of leaving your homeland to go and attempt to survive in a nation-state that has destroyed yours. Forced migration is not beautiful, it rips us from our land, our culture, our identity and places us in survival mode. This is something that gets left out of the conversation when discussing the migration of people to this nation-state. Undocumented people do not not leave from their home out of curiosity or seeking of adventure, but rather they are forced to move.
Forced migration, an act rooted in movement, economic displacement, and tearing of families has been romanticized throughout the years by the united states  government and mass media organizations, erasing and romanticizing the reality that comes with the “immigrant” experience of arriving to the united states. Both (yes, both) Republicans and Democrats, a beast with two heads, have used the smokescreen of immigration “reform” and the Dream Act  for nothing less than political gain. An unfortunate reality that Undocumented people face is that their realities are nothing but a pondering game for politicians during election season.
In the year 2014, eleven million undocumented immigrants were recorded living in the united states and 79 percent of these “immigrants” came from either Mexico, Central America, South America, or the Caribbean. The concept of nation-states and militarized physical borders was introduced and developed after the colonization of Turtle Island  by the europeans after 1492. These structures have attempted and continue to erase and eliminate Native peoples on this hemisphere. A prime example to that has been what we have been describing: the labeling of Indigenous people as illegal to the lands they were created and originated.
Many migrants are Indigenous peoples of this continent. But beyond this, no human being on this planet should be labelled “illegal,” especially by powers that have been illegitimately established. Many of us forget that the united states is a power which continues to oppress and erase people who they define as disposable. So as police and ICE continue to inflict violence on the bodies and mental health of peoples deemed illegal, it is up to our gente to struggle against these realities. For far too long we have endured this burden of violence, grassroots organizations such as Union del Barrio battling those structures on the ground.
From the ivory towers of academia to the barrios of East LA, organizing must take place and students must be with the community. With the repealment of DACA and pressures to hold accountable those in power, this historical present must be recognized as the wheels toward acknowledging the united states as a structure that must transform, or be dismantled.
We implore students to engage organizing efforts.
Amika amo tlapuale! (NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL)
Axcana ceyoctlalli ipan in cemanahuac! (NO MORE BORDERS ON INDIGENOUS LANDS)
 Historically, the united states of amerikkka, as a settler colony, has been an active participant and continues to perpetuate oppression, subjugation, and imperialism. For this article, we will not be capitalizing this “proper noun” to disrupt the power in text. We will also not be capitalizing proper nouns such as: european, spanish, etc. Rather, we will be capitalizing nouns that are not considered “proper” such as: Indigenous, Native, etc. This is to honor and give power in text to marginalized communities that have been historically demeaned and made subpar by those in power.
 The DREAM Act, an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Minors is a bill that was first introduced in 2001 (and reintroduced various times, each time failing to pass) that would provide undocumented immigrants (primarily youth) in the united states relief from deportation, conditional residency, and after meeting a rigorous displacement.
For this article and our future work, we will use the term Turtle Island to refer to the Americas. We believe that the term “Latin America” is problematic as the root of this term is rooted in the colonization of europeans and erases Indigenous people, culture, and history. The term Turtle Island refers to the creation story of the Indigenous Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) people.
Joel Calixto and Kristian Vasquez
Indígena Scribes is our writing side-project parallel to our overarching podcast of Xicana Tiahui. Here we post our writings of thoughts we have, essays we have written, poetry, social commentary, news reports, polemics, and our zine periodical available for purchase. We hold it valuable to our hearts the written word in the spirit of the huehuetlahtolli, and we aspire to be intellectually on point as well as accessible to our gente from the barrio to the academy.