This week the nation's direction changed. Donald J. Trump was elected president, defeating Hillary Clinton, with an unapologetically anti-immigrant and anti-refugee platform. We send our love and solidarity to you, we ask for your support towards our Protection Fund, and we invite you to join our movement in planning to protect our communities at the National Immigrant Integration Conference, December 11-13 in Nashville, TN.
We are heartbroken for our community, for undocumented, Mexican, Muslim, and refugee friends and family members, who are the targets of so much hate. If President-elect Trump keeps his promises, 750,000 undocumented youth whose lives were changed by DACA will lose it; we will no longer resettle refugees fleeing horrendous violence; a "deportation force" will destroy millions of families; and we will build a wall along our border with Mexico.
At NPNA we believe America's success is rooted in our ongoing commitment to welcoming and integrating newcomers into the fabric of our nation, and to upholding equality and opportunity as fundamental American values. We must not forget the beautiful aspirations of our nation, enshrined in our founding documents and on our monuments. America has always been a place of refuge, with an instinct to welcome and include-- not alienate and oppress. New Americans are central to what has made this country great for generations. Our network will stand up for these values and fight against forces that threaten them.
In the past year, our communities have gained so much strength: nearly one million eligible immigrants applied to become citizens, over 8,000 immigrant women were trained to be Community Navigators, mayors and unions joined our coalitions to serve, defend, and integrate immigrants and refugees. As we chart our course forward with you, our partners and allies, we will work harder than ever to organize, defend, advocate for, express solidarity with, and love our communities. And to reach the tens of millions of our neighbors who want to work towards a more vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all.
Our Plan: We are launching a Protection Fund that will be used primarily to regrant to our member organizations and support the following key NPNA interventions during this time:
Permanent Protection: Promoting and supporting naturalization among the 8.8 million eligible to apply for the only form of permanent protection from deportation. Also a strategic intervention that will help grow the electorate for 2020.
Refugee Protection: Organizing and advocacy to protect refugee communities who will be at risk if a ban is enacted, and may be at risk of backlash locally. We will build community support for our refugee and Muslim neighbors.
Deportation Protection: An estimated 15% of the undocumented are eligible for various forms of legal status. All immigrants need to know their rights. Community education, through our Community Navigator training program, is essential. We will share mental health and legal resources; assist with "Other Forms of Relief" education; and expand our "Know Your Rights" community education and deportation defense.
We need your support more than ever. Please consider making a contribution to our Protection Fund.
We also want to invite you to the National Immigrant Integration Conference . Over 1,000 leaders will gather at the largest immigration conference in the country, for unity and for strategic engagement. We have a wonderful lineup of thought leaders joining us, including but not limited to:
- Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (IL)
- Ambassador of Mexico to the United States Carlos Sada
- Executive Director of Center for Community Change Deepak Bhargava
- General Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights, and Diversity at UNITE HERE Maria Elena Durazo
- President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee David Miliband
- Commissioner of the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs Nisha Agarwal
- National Organizer of the Black Alliance for Just Immigration Tia Oso
- Executive Director and Co-Founder of United We Dream Cristina Jimenez
This will be a critical moment to come together, sharing plans and strategies to support our nation's New Americans.
With love and in solidarity,
Steve Choi and Eva Millona, Board Co-Chairs
Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director
Tara Raghuveer, Deputy Director