Impacted refugees, asylum seekers, TPS recipients, religious leaders, refugee serving agencies and immigrant rights groups launch national campaign to combat continued anti-refugee, Muslim and immigrant policies
A recording of the press call is available here.
NATIONWIDE – On January 25, faith leaders, Muslim-American community members, refugees, asylees, Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients and advocates announced a “We Are All America” campaign week of action in opposition to President Trump’s hate and anti-Muslim bigotry. A recording of the national press call is available here.
Events will take place in Arkansas, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, Wisconsin, and Washington, DC. Additional information is available here.
To speak with affected individuals, communities, or advocates in specific regions, please contact Stephanie Stephens (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Maria Rodriguez, Executive Director, Florida Immigrant Coalition, said, “We are honored to announce the launch of the We Are All America campaign, with over 60 events in 22 states, including the District of Columbia. Over the past year, we have seen attacks on refugee resettlement, asylum seekers and the rescinding of DACA and TPS protections for hundreds of thousands. These are not just attacks on our immigrant and refugee families. They are also attacks on our entire value system of protecting and welcoming people that are fleeing violence, persecution, climate disaster and man-made disasters. And sadly, Congress is complicit and is doing nothing. Through this launch on Saturday, we are demanding that our Senators and Representatives hold the Administration accountable at all levels – local, state and federal.”
Hans Van de Weerd, Vice President of US Programs, International Rescue Committee, said, “The President’s discriminatory and false statements about refugees, and more importantly the cruel policies introduced by his Administration have deeply undermined the global protection of refugees. This is happening during a time when more people are displaced than ever, with war raging in Yemen and South Sudan. With Rohingyas being persecuted in Myanmar, with the Syria displacement crisis unabated. The Trump Administration is making history for the wrong reasons… We are closing the door to the most vulnerable.”
Yanira Arias, National Campaigns Manager, Alianza Americas and a TPS recipient from El Salvador, said, “A solution is in the hands of Congress, yet they have failed to act – for decades. For nearly 30 years, Congress has failed to take the steps to update this intentional ‘stop-gap’ measure into a permanent immigration program.
They now stand by as the Trump Administration dismantles the rest of the immigration and refugee resettlement system. [We stand] with the majorities of Americans who call on Congress to stay true to our country’s values, do the right thing in building permanent pathways for TPS holders, DACA youth, and supporting other immigrants and refugees.”
Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director, South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), said: “One year ago, the Trump administration made good on its campaign promise to sign into law a Muslim Ban. This institutionalized Islamophobia has had profound and deadly ramifications nationwide. In a forthcoming report, ‘Communities on Fire,’ SAALT documented 302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at Muslim, Arab, and South Asian communities in the U.S. between election day 2016 and 2017. An astounding 82 percent of these incidents were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. This is unacceptable. The Muslim Ban doesn’t make America great, it makes Americans afraid.”
Wilmot Collins, former refugee from Liberia and Mayor of Helena, Montana, said, “I live in a very conservative state. I'm a former refugee. I'm an African American. Where I live we have 92 percent Caucasian, 5 percent Native American and 3 percent "others," and I fall within the "others." I think the country as a whole can take a few pointers from Helena, Montana. When I decided to run for Mayor, my neighbors did not see a refugee. My neighbors did not see someone coming from another country. My neighbors saw a person who was an integral part of the community. My neighbors saw a person who had contributed ... and was ready to lead. As a proud new American, I am honored to join the We Are All America campaign with my refugee brothers and sisters across the country to reclaim support for this vital program that protects and saves human lives.”
Bishop Michael Rinehart, Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, said, “Hundreds of years ago Puritans, Pilgrims and Presbyterians immigrated to this country, religious people seeking religious freedom. They were followed by other religious people: other Protestants, Catholics, Jews, Muslims and more. This is America. It is in our DNA. I meet regularly with religious leaders of every faith in Houston, and we don’t agree on a lot. But one thing we do agree upon is that our religious traditions require us to love the Sojourner, to welcome the stranger, to treat the immigrant with fairness … As Christians, we are called--as a demonstration of our faith in action--to speak out boldly and stand up for the just treatment of our refugee and migrant brothers and sisters.”
Scott Cooper, Director, National Security Outreach, Human Rights First; Founder of Vets for American Ideals; Marine Veteran, said, “Over the decades, we have lived up to our ideals and brought millions of refugees to safety. But this wasn’t out of pure altruism. By welcoming refugees, we revitalize our democracy and our economy, and we help preserve or restore stability in volatile regions of the world.”
About We Are All America
We Are All America aims to uphold and strengthen our nation’s commitment to welcome and protect those seeking freedom, safety, and refuge in the United States.
We Are All America Steering Committee member organizations include: Alianza Americas, America’s Voice, Church World Service, Human Rights First, International Rescue Committee, Islamic Relief USA, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, National Partnership for New Americans, Refugee Council USA and Welcoming America