itsourcommunity

About

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

~Margaret Mead

Immigration: It’s our community is a project of the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) that was launched in January 2009 to help shape and develop an equitable and just conversation on immigration.

The idea for this blog grew out of our weariness with an immigration debate which pitted “us” against “them” as if U.S. citizens and immigrants were at war with one another. We knew that this rhetoric did not represent the realities of communities across the country; that is to say, that our communities suffer from increased raids and hate crimes, that our communities often struggle to find funding for ESL programs in schools and/or to find common ground between what are often great cultural differences, and that ultimately our communities benefit from cultural pluralism in our schools, workplaces, and faith communities. We also knew that to speak of these realities as if we were at war only tears our communities apart economically, socially, and politically.

Immigration: It’s Our Community operates from the basis that when speaking about immigration we are fundamentally speaking about our communities. Our hope is that this blog can help develop a common language around immigration that is based in equity, justice, and respect.

The blog format was chosen for this project because it provides an interactive forum through which this discussion can take place. In exploring the pages of Immigration: It’s Our Community, you will find posts on current immigration news and issues, stories about immigration from communities across the country, and links through which you can take action to influence immigration policy in Congress. We hope you will take part.

Immigration: It’s our community

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The Friends Committee on National Legislation, a Quaker lobby in the public interest, was established in 1943 with the mission to advocate social and economic justice, peace, and good government. Working on legislative priorities and policies set by a General Committee of some 220 Quakers from around the country, FCNL’s work is guided by four vision statements:

We seek a world free of war and the threat of war

We seek a society with equity and justice for all

We seek a community where every person’s potential may be fulfilled

We seek an earth restored

  1. I just discovered your blog. Its perspective, that immigrants are members of our communities, is the one I encounter in daily life amongst all kinds of people. The one I rarely encounter is the “them-us” perspective. As we now know, there was an enormous disconnect between “the Bush perspective” and what (most of) the rest of us really think. I am waiting for the moment when we turn our national attention to the disconnect between how Americans really feel about immigrants and how they tell us we feel. I look forward to reading your blog.

  2. Thanks for your comment!

    I agree that within our communities, many people recognize that immigrants form a core part of our communities. The “them-us” perspective that I talk about has grown from our experience of working immigration issues on Capitol Hill through the last three congressional debates over comprehensive immigration reform. We saw congressional offices receive–literally–hundreds to thousands of calls and letters A DAY telling their members to “keep immigrants out” or to “stop the invasion.”

    We knew this was not the reality that most people experienced in their communities, as you said in your comment. We also knew that this perspective was hardly represented on Capitol Hill…and still isn’t even after the Obama administration has had 53 days in office (even though we are encouraged by the work they are doing to move forward). Our work is dedicated to trying to shift this debate to what we see as more of the reality of our communities.

    And there is still alot of work to do. I hope you’ll join us.

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