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Maura Toro-Morn

Mentor Department



The immigrant rights movement is a social movement that has been active in the United States for many decades and adopted as well as changed focus over time. There are many social movement organizations working within this social movement but one of great interest to my research is Never Again Action (NAA). NAA is a national Jewish protest group, which has called for the end to all deportations and the abolition of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). NAA is primarily working from a position of an ally to migrants in a social movement with the aim to further rights for this group. What is unique about this case is NAA’s use of cultural frames to mobilize their social movement organization which juxtaposes the plight of immigrants in the United States with that of Jews in the Holocaust. Cultural frames are a theoretical understanding of social movement mobilization which focuses on how organizations utilize cultural frames, or broadly belief systems, to mobilize individuals into action to support a social movement (Snow and Benford 1986). From my initial research I see NAA heavily utilizing a specific culture frame called the Holocaust Framework, which is a frame that uses the Holocaust as a metaphor, usually juxtaposing current events with that of the Holocaust (Stein 1998). NAA’s own rhetoric points to use of the a Holocaust Frame, specifically their use of metaphor creating, calling ICE ‘detention centers’ concentration camps, and the use of Never Again as their name, which is a common phrase in American Jewish communities. My research asks the following questions: what are the motivating factor for individuals to join NAA, how does NAA use cultural frames to motivate individuals to join their organization, How does NAA and individuals negotiate their roles as allies to a wider immigration rights movement, and how is NAA participating in social movement action in the midst of the COVID-19 crisis? I plan on answering these questions through a qualitative study, which will utilize participant observation, interviews, and analysis of materials, specifically their social media accounts. My research is in the beginning phase however, there seems to be evidence which shows significant use of a Holocaust frame from NAA’s rhetoric. This research will further the study of social movement and understanding of how and why individuals mobilize into action.