Resource Guide

This resource guide offers tools to help individuals and groups delve deeper into the histories and concepts discussed in the book. Please feel free to contact me for more information or to suggest other tools that would be helpful for you or your group. I also welcome collaborations with organizers and activist groups for teach-ins, reading groups, webinars, and other activities.

The interactive timeline helps visual the many events and periods of U.S. immigration history that have led us to the current moment.

The maps section includes a video narrating the spatial relationship between NAFTA and increased migration from Mexico to the United States. As the site grows, it will also include maps of sanctuary cities and other resources.

The discussion questions cover key concepts of the book overall and of each chapter.

Under more resources, you’ll find videos and additional readings that examine key concepts, as well as videos of the author speaking about the book.

Under take action, you find links to social justice organizations mobilizing on multiple fronts that you can support with funding and time. Please contact me to add your group!

The Book

Days after taking the White House, Donald Trump signed three executive orders—these authorized the Muslim Ban, the border wall, and ICE raids. These orders would define his administration’s approach toward noncitizens. An essential primer on how we got here, Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary shows that such barriers to immigration are embedded in the very foundation of the United States. A. Naomi Paik reveals that the forty-fifth president’s xenophobic, racist, ableist, patriarchal ascendancy is no aberration, but the consequence of two centuries of U.S. political, economic, and social culture. She deftly demonstrates that attacks against migrants are tightly bound to assaults against women, people of color, workers, ill and disabled people, and queer and gender nonconforming people. Against this history of barriers and assaults, Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary mounts a rallying cry for a broad-based, abolitionist sanctuary movement for all.


Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary contextualizes our current reality in a long legacy of racial exclusion in America. If we are to realize a healthy, multiracial democracy in the United States, we must face and learn from this history—understanding it can help us make meaning of the cruelty of our current era in immigration policy and can ultimately put an end to it. We cannot continue on this path. This book reveals a generational opportunity to turn the country in a new direction toward a more just, equitable, and inclusive future for all Americans.”

—Ai-jen Poo, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance and Cofounder of Families Belong Together

“If you have wondered ‘how did we get here?’ Naomi Paik has an answer for you. This short but powerfully written book shows how the Trump administration’s reliance on raids, bans, and physical barriers builds on a longer history of immigration restriction. Alongside this painful history is an equally long history of pro immigrant activism, and Paik reminds us of the many ways people of conscience have also shaped immigration policy. This is an essential read for those seeking clarityon one of the most divisive issues of our times. The book will be important long after the current electoral cycle is done.”

—María Cristina García, author of The Refugee Challenge in Post–Cold War America

Bans, Walls, Raids, Sanctuary provides a much-needed historical analysis of our current political moment. It lays outs the policies and intentional decisions that were in place long before Trump and that paved the way for his attacks on immigrant communities. The book invites us to explore abolitionist sanctuary as a counter to the current administration’s attacks.”

—Arianna Salgado, organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations

“In my organizing work with undocumented communities, I have a lot of difficult conversations about criminalization and the history of racist, xenophobic laws in the United States. Naomi Paik’s book has helped me through these conversations. I could not wait for it to be published so that I could point to it as a resource for people to read and understand that racism and xenophobia are part of this nation’s history. Now I can share it as part of our organizing work.”

—Irene Romulo, organizer with Organized Communities Against Deportations

I am available for workshops, teach-ins, class visits, and lectures. Please contact me for more information.