Every house a sanctuary
Fighting displacement on all fronts in Sunset Park, Brooklyn
Published in Issue 2.1 // Updates
Keywords: gentrification; displacement; immigration; rezoning; Brooklyn
The right to housing has been a key focus for both immigrant rights and anti-gentrification activists in the United States. In this update, I highlight the ways in which these come together in the neighborhood of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, New York. In 2019, the neighborhood was specifically targeted in a series of raids by the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement resulting in a rapid mobilization of existing anti-gentrification networks to protect those vulnerable. I argue that this mobilization and its success highlights contradictions in liberal, pro-immigrant rights discourses that ignore the increasing threat of gentrification in “sanctuary cities.” Recognizing and exploiting this contradiction provides a way forward for thinking about secure housing as a requirement for sanctuary.