Recognizing Immigrant Heritage Month
Updated: Jul 3, 2021
June is Immigrant Heritage Month--a time when we raise up the voices of immigrants, look for ways we can better serve our immigrant friends and neighbors and recognize the many powerful ways that immigrants make our communities stronger, more vibrant places.
(Image from Unsplash)
We are a nation of immigrants. Our country was founded out of colonialism, enslavement, and the displacement of native populations. As a result, the majority of us trace our ancestry to other nations of the world. As each wave of immigrants arrived on these shores, they added to the collective culture of this place we call America.
We hope you will take a few moments to watch this video, created by the organization I Am An Immigrant. In it, the message of “Out of many, we are one,” is beautifully illuminated by immigrant voices. You can watch it here:
America is America because of the creativity, fortitude, and hard work of immigrants. Immigrants bring so many talents, gifts, and important perspectives to our communities. The idea that America is a melting pot, or that immigrants need to lose their culture and language to fit some kind of American ideal is ridiculous and damaging.
Our country is great because of immigrants, not in spite of immigrants. Immigrants commit fewer crimes*, they bolster our economy**, and bring with them innovation and creativity***.
Immigrants face many uphill battles as they come to our country, including prejudice fanned by the flames of xenophobic rhetoric that has set up shop in certain political circles. Fear tactics and scapegoating have created roadblocks in our immigration system, particularly for asylum seekers.
While things are changing, we need to be aware of the issues at hand, listen to immigrant voices, and raise our own voices on behalf of compassionate immigration reform.
The American Immigration Council recently released a special report titled "Tracking the Biden Agenda on Immigration Enforcement" analyzing the progress the Biden administration has achieved in their first 100 days with regards to immigration. You can read the report which includes recommendations the administration should prioritize for more compassionate and humane immigration enforcement, here.
We hope you will take a few moments to explore the “Out of Many, We Are One” collection on the I am an Immigrant website. This collection includes the voices of artists and activists, those who are immigrants or who share their background with immigration. As you listen to the various perspectives we hope you will be inspired to share their stories and examine what you can do to help support immigrants and encourage compassionate immigration reform. You can find the collection of videos here.