It took President Trump just a week to make his intentions clear.

Though patently unconstitutional and incompetently implemented, that first travel ban was an unmistakable signal that the bigotry on which he campaigned would also be a bedrock of his administration. Since then, we’ve seen more of the same: the proposed border wall, a second travel ban targeting Muslim countries, plans to crack down on sanctuary cities and ratchet up deportations. These are dark hours for America’s immigrant and refugee populations.

But in this darkness we’ve also seen glimmers of light: thousands upon thousands of people all over the country marching in the streets, protesting at airports, demanding that our institutions protect the vulnerable, proclaiming to the world that Donald Trump does not speak for us.

In this week’s INDY, we lend our voices to this cause. In the pages that follow, you’ll find stories of those suffering under America’s byzantine and often cruel immigration systemwhich, to be fair, long predates Trumpas well as those fighting back against rising tides of nationalism and intolerance. Our message is simple: no matter your circumstance, you are welcome here.

At its best, America has been a beacon of hope to those yearning to breathe free; at its worst, we’ve allowed or perpetuated unthinkable horrors. Now, at this crossroads in our history, we must decide what kind of country we want to beand whether we have the resolve and the vigilance to stand up for what’s right.

Table of Contents for the Immigration Issue

Will America Ever Become the Mother of Exiles?

The Story of North Carolina Is the Story of Immigrants

Lilian Cardona, a Pregnant Mom Who Has Called North Carolina Home for Twenty Years, Could Be One of Trump’s First Immigration Victims

With a Crackdown Looming, Undocumented Immigrants Fear that Any Interaction with Police Could Lead to Their Deportation

How Undocumented Immigrants Can Avoid ICE

Wildin Acosta’s Detention Sparked a Community Into Action, But He’s Still Not Free

Local Schools Try to Be Safe Spaces for Undocumented Immigrants

G.K. Butterfield on Resisting Trump’s Attacks on Immigrants and Refugees

Evangelicals Overwhelmingly Support Trump. Not All of Them Support His Refugee Policies.

How Weather, Chance, and War Brought Twenty Thousand Persecuted Vietnamese to North Carolina

A Half-Century Ago, Gail Phares Went to Nicaragua. She Came Back a Radical.

When They Arrive, Refugees Get Three Months’ Assistance. What Happens After That?

The Restaurant Industry Depends on Immigrants? What Happens If We Lose Them?

Local Nonprofits Serving Immigrants and Refugees

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