Earlier this week, when news broke about the Haitian immigrants at the border of Del Rio, I couldn’t comprehend it, just in terms of the sheer numbers of people. When I saw images of people being chased by DHS officials on horses, I couldn’t process it. Then I saw Bernice King’s tweet, pictured below, and I finally had to stop trying to cognitively run from it.
I teach a policy class each fall, and while I have set things I always talk about (TANF, Social Security, child welfare policies, etc) I also try to be responsive to the political and social issues that are unfolding throughout the semester. I do this not to be reactive, but to be intentionally responsive and show students in multiple ways that policy (and implementation of policy) affects people. Policy can constrain rights or expand them; it can facilitate access to resources and supports or it can limit them. Policy shows what we value, what we will permit, what we will promote, and what we will prohibit.
Today at the end of class I asked them to tune into this topic over the weekend, and that Tuesday we would talk about some of the policy implications of this, both current and historical.
Here are some of the sources I am using in my pondering and preparing. I kind of dread it; it will be complicated and messy…but I think it is important.