Here’s How You Can Help Welcome New American Neighbors

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Many in the community have asked us how they can help welcome their new American neighbors and fight against the backlash of hate that has resulted from new restrictive immigration policies. In response to that, we have listed below ways you can help welcome refugees and immigrants, fight against hate and help immigrants understand their rights in uncertain times.

Call your U.S. Senators and Representatives

Tell them immigrants and refugees are valued contributors to our communities, and that our country should live up to its values and remain a welcoming place. Depending on where you live on Long Island, your representative is Peter King, Lee Zeldin, Thomas Suozzi, Katherine Rice, or Gregory W. Meeks. New York’s senators are Kirsten Gillibrand and Chuck Schumer.
Here’s how to contact them as well as other officials.

Write an Op-Ed

Write an op-ed for your local newspaper opposing the Executive Order and sharing how refugees are important contributors to your community. Here are tips for writing an op-ed.

Thank Your Local Officials

Call and thank your mayor and other local officials who are supporting immigrants and refugees, or, for those who do not support immigrants, urge them to do so. Here are templates for you to use:

“I am your constituent from [City]. Thank you mayor/county executive/local leader for standing up for immigrants and refugees. I am proud to live in a community that is welcoming and stands up for the most vulnerable in our community. It’s not only the right thing to do but our community is vibrant in part because of the diversity of thought, culture and experiences that immigrants and refugees bring to our neighborhoods.
Thanks again and know that you can count on my support.

-[Your Name]”

 

“I am your constituent from [City]. I encourage you to stand up for immigrants and refugees. I am proud to live in a community that is diverse, and hope you stand up for the most vulnerable in our community. It’s not only the right thing to do but our community is vibrant in part because of the diversity of thought, culture and experiences that immigrants and refugees bring to our neighborhoods.
Thank you for your time.

-[Your Name]”

Tweet

Tweet how you and your community welcomes refugees and immigrants, using #WeAreAllAmerica. Use social media to connect with members of your community to share information, events, and support those in need as well as contact your local elected officials.

Host a Community Dialogue

In a supportive and safe environment, participants can express their concerns and fears. Dialogues are a great way to bring those with different opinions together, understand other points of view, reflect on their own perceptions, and help you strengthen your community for everyone. Many local organizations are hosting town halls and forums, which you can find on our calendar or you can plan a community dialogue of your own.

Change the Message

At a time when many people are feeling unwelcome and unsafe, we can help you reaffirm shared values and support all your neighbors. Start this critical discussion today by downloading these resources:

Support Local Organizations that Help Immigrants and Refugees

They need your help more than ever. Volunteer, donate to Long Island Wins, or support a refugee family. Find volunteer opportunities here.

Help People Learn Their Rights

United We Dream and the National Immigrant Law Center have excellent resources to help immigrants and refugees understand their rights in uncertain times. Here are more local options from the Immigrant Local Resource Center.

Fight Back Against Hate

The Southern Poverty Law Center outlines 10 principles for communities to fight hate, along with a collection of inspiring stories of people who worked to push hate out of their communities.

Share The Stories Welcoming Cities With Your Local Elected Official

Send an email to your local elected official sharing the stories of Nashville and towns in Nebraska – places that have been transformed by the welcoming movement – and ask how your city can follow their lead in becoming a welcoming city.

Organize A Neighborhood Get-Together

“How to welcome is something we need to help people with. Bringing people together with food creates a platform for international exchange where they are able to interact on an equal footing,” said Veena Prasad, Potluck for Peace Co-Organizer. Take some tips from this Potluck for Peace event, which brought together diverse neighbors over food, music, and conversation.


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