January 2024 Immigration Update
America benefits economically and culturally when immigrants are celebrated for their contributions.
From philanthropy and coalition-building to arts and activism, we use a range of tools to help ensure that aspiring Americans can fully contribute to our national prosperity. Based on our belief that immigration is a key national asset, we develop strategies to remove barriers to opportunity, and work with community partners to advance commonsense solutions to systemic problems.
5 Questions With EC Immigration
Questions and answers
How does the Immigration team’s work support Emerson Collective’s overarching mission of pursuing an equal and just America?
An equal and just America cannot exist without recognizing the dignity and worth of every person. That’s why creating a path to full citizenship for those who are undocumented continues to be our team’s North Star. But securing citizenship isn’t enough. We also push for a more inclusive idea of what it means to belong in America, and for the necessary policies—at all levels—to bring that idea into practice. By strengthening our identity as a welcoming nation of immigrants, we strengthen America’s foundation of opportunity, justice, and equality.
Managing Director, Immigration, Emerson Collective
Why is a path to citizenship for the 11 million undocumented people in the U.S. a central goal for EC?
A path to citizenship would have a massive impact on the ability of 11 million people—plus their families, their communities—to live without constant fear of deportation with little to no protections. It would also spur economic growth and ensure greater fairness for all Americans. Dreamers, TPS holders, and farmworkers—many of them undocumented—have been on the frontlines of the pandemic, and there is no true recovery from COVID-19 if we leave these very people behind. Creating systemic change that enables more opportunity for more people is at the heart of EC’s work. A path to citizenship for the 11 million would do just that.
Executive Director, Immigration Hub
How is EC engaging states to help lay the groundwork for immigration reform?
We work to build state-level examples of how policy that includes immigrants doesn’t come at the exclusion of any other group, and ultimately benefits everyone. Our approach understands the importance of getting state government actors to think strategically about how their systems can be more inclusive of immigrants. As we saw during the pandemic, states have a lot of flexibility to deliver timely support to the people they serve. There’s so much possibility for state governments to continue that type of innovation for immigration reform, fostering communities where everyone can thrive—our team is pushing them to do it.
Director, Immigration, Strategy & Policy, Emerson Collective
What distinguishes the Immigration team’s approach to federal policy change from that of other organizations?
We focus not only on policy change, but also on convening immigration partners to accelerate federal reform. This builds a center of gravity for the broader immigration movement. Our team, made up of former congressional staff, executive-branch officials, and immigration policy experts, is well positioned to bring diverse voices together for critical conversations on policy. Because we are both champion and connector, regardless of federal leadership shifts, we can continue to build collective momentum toward meaningful policy change for millions of immigrants.
Deputy Director, Immigration Hub
How does EC partner with immigration organizations and what does success look like in those partnerships?
We recognize that no one organization—nor just one type of organization—can achieve the sweeping structural change needed to protect and empower immigrant communities. This is why our partners work on everything from legal representation to policy. We offer long-term, flexible operating support coupled with capacity building opportunities so partners have the resources to advance their unique visions. Because of the range of their work, success can look different: elevating personal stories to shift public conversation, expanding access to justice for immigrants, and/or catalyzing pro-immigrant policy change through campaigns.
Senior Director, Philanthropy, Immigrant Justice, Emerson Collective
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