Lawyer and Santa Fe Dreamers founder Allegra Love is furious. About the detention of migrants and immigrants, about the current political landscape, indeed about America itself. But Love is also organized, fired up and ready to talk about the issues at her upcoming appearance for the Confinement in the Land of Enchantment series, organized by the Santa Fe Public Library (4:30 pm Monday Nov. 5. Free. LaFarge Branch, 1730 Llano St., 955-4860). The month-long event series focuses on the past, present and future of migrant detention in New Mexico, and we can't think of a better riler-upper when it comes to the topic than Allegra Love.
What specifically is this event going to be like?
We're here to sort of talk about what the detention of immigrants is like in our state—how it's unfolding in our state and some of the forces that are creating it. For example, it's not just simply that ICE is evil or Trump is evil, but the corporate price, the conditions of detention, who is making a profit—and where we, as citizens of New Mexico, can take action in terms of resisting corporate detention and government detention. Most people have heard me scream about ICE in this town but they may not have heard me screaming about CoreCivic, which runs the detention center outside of Cibola. It's insane—they're making money off migrant bodies—just generating money. I'm going to educate people about the facts, what our options are, but also power.
Am I crazy, or does it seem like the detention of immigrants has seemingly left the news cycle?
You're not crazy, that's absolutely right. I can't tell you why journalists have stopped covering it. Media coverage is absolutely essential to sustaining the rage we have about it. In June and July, New Mexicans were saying they were ready to die for this cause, and I filled up a church with 500 people in June—the other night, three people came out. I can't explain to you why we have such a limited attention span, but I think it has to do with what the media's covering or not. There are some spectacularly awful things happening, and people pay attention to what they see on their news feeds. The problem with immigration issues is that it requires an immense amount of attention, and immigration—I'm not sure there's anything you can learn about it from a tweet. There's still a lot of faith and hope in these midterm elections that they'll kind of course-correct, and I don't really believe that. I think a lot of people are waiting to see if there's going to be some sort of shift in power, but I think there's a big question mark for me that's, 'What are we ready to do?' If Nov. 7 happens and there isn't a shift, what do we do? How do we start talking about more radical civil disobedience?
What are some real, doable steps everyday people can take if they want to support the cause?
First of all, show up at the lecture at the LaFarge Library, and we're doing one at the downtown branch as well later in November. I would say start paying attention to the Detention Watch Network. The other thing we have to do is to start with our newly elected officials. We don't have to accept the detention of immigrants and migrants in our state as a condition of having immigrants in this state. We have the right to say we don't want women and children and trans migrants detained—we can stand up against it. We also have the right to ask our politicians to explain if they're going to keep these places open. We have the right to have them explain to us why they're supporting this. Not a single migrant has to be detained, and when you look into it, that's when you start to see the money. If right now I was going to give money to anyone, I would look to organizations like Al Otro Lado [alotrolado.org] and … one of the parts of the discussion we're having [at LaFarge] is how to send money, and who to send money to.