About Us

Who You Callin’ Illegal – Coast Salish Territories – Seattle
Campaign for Total Freedom from Incarceration and Deportation
Who You Callin’  Illegal – Coast Salish Territories –Seattle is a grassroots anti-colonial migrant freedom group with leadership from people who are facing incarceration, detention, and deportation. We are an all volunteer group; none of us are paid.  As a movement for self-determination that challenges the ideology inherent to immigration controls, we believe that there are no illegal or undeserving human beings, only inhumane and immoral laws.  We strive and struggle for the freedom to remain, move, and return.We seek an end to detentions and deportations and the violence of all forms of control. The popular conception is that people who are criminalized and labeled illegal are being expelled because they have failed the appropriate legal channels. However, most migrants are prisoners of passage, criminalized because they were economic displaced. U.S. immigration policies serve to consolidate the development of the U.S. Empire, using free trade to open borders to capital, while exploiting the people – many of them women – whose free movement it regulates through displacement, deportation, and the creation of hyper-exploitable labor on which the economy of the US is based.We oppose exploitative temporarily worker programs and demand freedom for all those who have been labeled illegal. Undocumented migrants are forced underground and endure extreme poverty, inadequate access to health care and education, low wages, dangerous working conditions, and the constant fear of deportation. The threat of deportation is inherent to what makes migrant workers and non-status people extremely vulnerable to abuse.  Border imperialism serves US industries that depend on exploitable and indentured labor in order to reap high profits while driving down the wages of all workers and busting unions.The US Empire was built off the genocide of Indigenous and African peoples through massacres, enslavement, displacement of people from their lands into reservations,  torturous boarding schools, and assimilation. This present system of incarceration, detention, and deportation is a continuation of the genocidal foundations of this country.  We Honor and thank the First Peoples of this land, acknowledging the government does not recognize and oppresses their struggles through the labeling of people as “documented” “undocumented” and “citizen” and by torturing the land they have stolen.

The violent systems of oppression this government was founded on continues today simply with a different name. The slave labor endured in the 18th and 19th century is present today through the policy enforced “criminal justice system” and in the form of exploitative labor in which “undocumented” workers have their status used as a threat to keep them working immensely long hours and in horrible conditions. Even folks considered “documented” and  “citizens”, who experience the criminalization of this racist system, endure prison labor and equally oppressive labor once released from jail because of their criminal record. People labeled “documented” and “undocumented” face the multiple traumas of being criminalized, exploited, detained, and deported, separated from their family and loved ones.

The US incarcerates more people than any other country in the world; one prison house of many Nations.

We aspire to workers control over their own production, not corporate wage -slave conditions that commodity human beings, especially women.  Women of color are particularly over-represented in work characterized by low wages, irregular hours, and lack of unionization and stability, such as garment work, domestic work, home support work, cooking, and dishwashing.  Women are increasingly subjected to prison labor as well.

People are not simply worth their value in capital or labor.  Such ideas of worthiness are based on domination that has justified the dehumanization and genocide of peoples across the world.  The US and its economy are built on the theft of Indigenous lands; exploitation of labor especially slave, migrant, and reproductive labor; and the global exploitation of the earth.

Government and corporate involvement in military occupations, most recently through the War on Terror and land takeovers facilitated by free trade agreements such as NAFTA continue to be a prime reason for the repression, destitution, and migration of millions of people. Locally, colonial forced migration policies like Native boarding schools, anti-Chinese ethnic cleansing, Japanese internment, and gentrification have forced entire communities into oppressed racial castes.

People have the right to remain in their homes in the face of global displacement due to land theft, military and settler occupation, environmental destruction, and other capitalist and imperialist forces. People should be free to move in order to flourish with dignity and autonomy. People also have the inherent right to return to the lands of why have been violently dispossessed due to persecution, poverty, and imperialist forces.

This ongoing apartheid reality instituted through reservations, incarceration, deportation, and slave labor is one that must be radically uprooted and re-created. We place ourselves within the broader movement for global liberation struggling against capitalism, homophobia, imperialism, military and settler occupation, patriarchy, poverty, racism, misery, exploitation, and all other forms of domination because we recognize that these are interconnected systems of oppression.

We envision and actively strive for a humanity where everyone has the freedom to self-determination to provide for ourselves and each other and are able to live meaningfully in relationship with one another and honoring Mother Earth that sustains us all.

The Total Freedom Campaign strives to attain concrete victories for our friends and family who are facing the trauma of apartheid incarceration, detention, and deportation. We organize from the basic principle that directly affected communities and individual lead their own struggles, and those of us who participate as supporters do so from a position of solidarity not charity. There is strength in our unity. Our liberation comes from co-creating a self-determined world free of these oppressions through organizing, fighting, acting, learning, and growing.


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