In Light of DACA Controversy, a Simple Way for Buddhist Communities to Be of Service


Buddhist teacher Mushim Patricia Ikeda has what she thinks is a great new way for Buddhists to be of service — by getting their various communities to offer a simple item that helps them assert their rights and feel less vulnerable. She explains:

I live and teach in California, which is home to more than 25% of the 800,000 young DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) recipients. As a Buddhist teacher and a resident of Oakland, one of the most diverse urban areas in the U.S., I keep front-and-center in my practice that making refuge as well as offering practices of non-fear are always of vital importance, and now more than ever.

If you are a Buddhist teacher or leader, you are important and you can help the immigrant communities in your area and their non-immigrant allies.

Something you can do quickly right now is order a bunch of these wallet-sized Know Your Rights red cards from the Immigrant Legal Resource Center and give them out for free at your Buddhist temple or center. [The red cards are free to nonprofits in California’s Bay Area only. Otherwise they can be ordered from a union printer. I’ll bet the price is reasonable.] ILRC says that all people in the United States, regardless of immigration status, have certain rights and protections under the U.S. Constitution. These bilingual cards (Spanish/Hmong/Chinese and English) help people assert their rights and defend themselves in many situations, such as when ICE agents go to a home.

For information about ordering (or printing your own) cards, visit: