7 Things You Can Do Right Now to Be an Ally to Immigrants and Refugees
Posted February 2017
President Trump's executive orders targeting immigrants and refugees have sent shockwaves across the United States and the world, immediately affecting the lives of real people and provoking widespread condemnation. These sweeping executive orders are an affront to our history as a nation that welcomes immigrants and offers hope to refugees, regardless of nationality, race, ethnicity, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.
Our courts have acted as an initial check on the President’s overreach, and ensured that, for now, people seeking refuge here will not be turned away; families separated by these discriminatory policies will reunite. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals' decision is both a reflection of the power in civic action and a reminder that no one, not even the President, is above our Constitution.
But our work is just getting started. Most of President Trump’s executive orders remain in effect and threaten the lives of millions who have been contributing to American communities for years. Here are concrete actions you can take today to show your support for all immigrants and refugees, and force our government to understand that we the people are watching and we demand better.
1. Show immigrants you support them.
Right now our administration's actions are undoubtedly fueling xenophobia and hate toward immigrants. Now's the time to show your support. Document your experiences at peaceful protests, volunteering, or contacting representatives and then share your stories on your preferred social media channels to help garner more support.
2. Use social media to contact your representatives...
Despite what's happening in the Courts, we can't let members of Congress off the hook. Social media gives us a powerful and quantifiable way to publicly call on (and call out) your representatives - today and every day. On Twitter and Facebook, ask your representatives to stand up to Trump and demand he rescind these executive orders.
Here are some suggested tweets and talking points:
- .[@yourrep], reject @POTUS's calls for a massive deportation force that will tear families apart. #HereToStay
- I call on [@yourrep] to demand rational policy on immigration. Reverse @POTUS's executive orders now. #NoBanNoWall
- We should be opening doors for immigrants and refugees, not locking them out. [@yourrep], stand up to @POTUS. #NoBanNoWall
- No hate. No fear. Immigrants are welcome here. [@yourrep], end shameful executive orders on immigration now. #NoBanNoWall
I’m a constituent from [City, State] and I'm asking that the Congresswoman/Congressman does everything in his/her power to see the executive orders reversed. Communities are being harmed and vulnerable refugees are being scapegoated. We can respond to the world's largest refugee crisis with urgency and compassion while also maintaining the highest levels of security for our country. It is not an either/or situation.
3. ...and thank those elected officials who are taking a stand.
Several officials are vocal about their opposition to the executive orders, and it's up to us to show them we've noticed and we're grateful for it. Tweet your representatives to say "Thank you" for speaking out.
Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham, former CIA Directors Leon Panetta and Michael Hayden, former Secretary of State John Kerry, and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice are just a few of the experts and legislators who have made their voices known. We've also seen bold and important action from dozens of business and tech leaders who oppose the orders.
4. Show up.
The public's response to the "Muslim Ban" - peaceful protests at airports, the White House, and other sites - has once again proved that there is immense power in showing up. Keep a close eye on social media and follow local civil rights activists and organizers to see where peaceful local demonstrations and rallies are being held.
Powered by United We Dream, TogetherForImmigants.com keeps a running list of events happening across the country, and the #HereToStay Network invites individuals to pledge their support for immigrant communities.
You can always peacefully protest your members of Congress at their home offices and use social media to make your presence known. Visit usa.gov/elected-officials to learn more about who represents your home district.
5. Support the agencies doing critical work.
To do the urgent work of advocating tirelessly on behalf of these vulnerable populations, local and national immigrant rights groups, refugee resettlement agencies, and legal services providers need resources. Here's a list of just some of the experts we know and trust - learn more about them, and how you can help.
Organizations focused on justice for Arab, Middle Eastern, and Muslim communities
Organizations focused on protecting DREAMers
Refugee and immigrant support organizations
- Refugee Council USA
- The UN Refugee Agency
- International Rescue Committee
- Church World Service
- Urban Justice Center
- Welcoming America
6. Sign petitions.
Below we'll keep a list of petitions launched by groups we trust - it's important we collectively and explicitly demand rights and liberties for refugees fleeing extreme violence, warfare, and terror. Read more about the petitions and sign on.
- Do Not Stop Refugee Resettlement, from MoveOn.org
7. Volunteer your skills.
Have skills to lend? Local agencies could certainly use an extra set of hands right now, particularly in the areas of law, social work, administrative work, and tutoring. Now's the time to research and get involved.
- Here's the State Department's list of local refugee resettlement organizations by state
- This list includes local immigrant rights' and services organizations
Don't miss our guide to immigrant rights
All immigrants in this country are entitled to specific rights and liberties. You can help to ensure that immigrant communities understand their rights and know where to turn for support - share our list of post-election resources now.