WHAT IS IMMIGRANT HERITAGE MONTH?
Immigrant Heritage Month -IHM- is an opportunity to support the immigrant community, and to share the invaluable contributions of immigrants to the American fabric – in business, labor, culture, community and politics throughout the United States. Now more than ever, IHM must be an opportunity to address issues that matter to immigrant communities, advocate for a more-inclusive America, and demonstrate why immigrants are integral to the success of this nation. Here’s what we can do together:
OFFER, PROMOTE & SUPPORT SERVICES THAT BENEFIT IMMIGRANTS.
Since January 2017, our resources and legal support have been directed to Citizenship Services, New Immigrants Support, and Safety Plans for vulnerable members of our communities so Kansas immigrants can achieve their dreams of citizenship, and live more stable, secure, and successful lives in the United States. This focus will continue during #IHM with events that benefit the immigrant community, in addition to celebrating our immigrant heritage.
SHARE IMMIGRANT STORIES.
Only our stories of success, resilience and valuable contributions can negate the current demonization of immigrants. Only when we put names and faces to our stories, can we humanize the immigrant experience, thus change hard hearts and minds. Immigration reform will only be possible if we can educate mainstream America about how our current immigration system is unworkable, creates insecurity, tears families apart, either by deportation, or by forcing them to endure decades-long separations waiting for visas to become available. Change doesn’t happen on its own, and IHM is just one more opportunity to make a measurable difference.
PLEDGE TO VOTE.
Voting is how we exert our power in a representative democracy. We encourage our U.S. citizen clients, members and friends to never give up their power by failing to vote. For those already engaged and involved, a reminder to reach out to family and friends to do the same builds exponential people power – so get involved today.
BECOME A CHAMPION FOR IMMIGRANTS’ RIGHTS.
Our dysfunctional immigration system harms immigrants, their families, employers, our communities, and our local, state and federal governments. Join IAN to advance our advocacy work, or get involved with another community organization engaged in the immigrant rights movement. Through collective advocacy, public education, voter participation, policy changes, capacity building, and litigation (if necessary) we can move closer to a just and inclusive America where everyone, including immigrants, can equally benefit from, and contribute to the American dream.
Sandrine Lisk, Esq., Director of Advocacy
Free Naturalization Orientations on June 1, 9, 16 & 23: FREE Community Presentations on How to Become a U.S. Citizen, the benefits of naturalization and requirements. These presentations will include free initial Attorney Consultations and information about naturalization fee waivers. REGISTRATION REQUIRED.
Welcome New Immigrants: Free Educational & Cultural Awareness Seminars for new immigrants adjusting to life in the United States. These seminars are offered on-site to various area organizations serving new immigrants and refugees. (Various Dates).
Immigrant Heritage Reception (Rescheduled to 9/23/2017): A keynote message about Faith & Conscience informing the immigration debate. This event will also feature immigration updates, helpful guidance, a Q & A session, food, fun, music and valuable prizes. Tickets available at: https://donorbox.org/ihm2017reception
#IHM2017 Citizenship Day (Sat. June 24): A Naturalization/Citizenship workshop for Lawful Permanent Residents eligible to apply for naturalization. The event fee includes materials, refreshments, and information about becoming a U.S. citizen; professional assistance to fill out the Application for U.S. Citizenship in a group setting, study materials for Kansas Residents, and the filing fee waiver if eligible. An Immigration Attorney will also be present to answer questions, and review applications. REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED and participants must attend one of the Free Orientations for a screening.