America is hungry...
... for immigration reform. A recent Gallup poll found that Americans are very supportive of providing a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants in our country. We're looking for a change and we're looking to Congress for leadership. See the report here. But why do americans support a pathway to citizenship?
It would be easy to say, "because it's the right thing to do". But you know, I think polls like this give us all an opportunity to dig a bit deeper than that...
What unites us in support of immigration reform? Any advocate can tell you that folks plug-in to the movement for diverse reasons and self-interests. Polls like this remind us that as we all work towards similar goals for comprehensive immigration reform, we must also work to find common ground and build effective coalitions across our diverse self-interests.
A case in point: Just a few weeks ago I attended a briefing on Capitol Hill coordinated by a unique alliance of supporters for comprehensive immigration reform. One of the panelists in support of CIR was the president of UNITE Here, a national union, the other was a representative from a national association of restaurant owners. As the moderator of the panel noted, the briefing was certainly a rare opportunity to see union and business at the same table.
We're redefining the phrase- united we stand, divided we fall.
In order to find that common ground we have to sit down with eachother in our homes, places of worship, schools, and governments and DISCUSS and DEBATE! That is one of the most exciting aspects of this movement. Immigration reform demands that we engage one another in a process of bi-partisan exchange in order to succeed in improving our communities. FIRM is working to provide the analysis and materials necessary to help advocates around the country engage in those debates (Get resources here)
This poll begs another question: Who are immigrants rights supporters and allies? We're teachers working to improve the opportunities of our students, we're police officers looking to ensure the public safety, we're elected officials working to better our communities, we're human rights activists, we're farmers, we're business leaders, we're mothers, fathers and children who value the unity of our families, we're democrats, we're republicans... there's no stereotype of an immigrants rights advocate and that's just another strength of our movement!
We've got a big table- and everyone is invited to sit and engage.
What are you hungry for in immigrant rights? Why? -- This is the space to share that story with other advocates across the country...