Category: Immigration

May 9, 2019 Nicole Melaku

On Motherhood and Movement Work: Women leaders approach both with ferocity and love

As I sat on the beautiful island of Puerto Rico for a retreat with fellow immigrant rights leaders from the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), I couldn’t help but be […]

The 60 most dangerous days for Floridians: When their legislators gather

Thomas Kennedy

I once heard the Florida legislative session referred to as the sixty most dangerous days of the year for people in the state. At the end of the 2019 session, […]

Deportation force harasses Florida’s hard-working immigrant families

Thomas Kennedy

Almost two years ago, I wrote a story published in the HuffPost about the silent raids that are disappearing people from our community in South Florida. I am sad to […]

Transforming Pain into Power a Year After a Mass Raid

Isaias G

Around 150 people were gathered and said “Presente” after the names of each of person deported a year ago was read out loud. This was a gathering in early April […]

Immigrants make their voices heard in Florida’s capitol

Thomas Kennedy

Last week, over three hundred immigrants and other community members mobilized to Florida’s capitol in Tallahassee to defend and protect our communities from Republican lawmakers who are once again attempting to pass […]

Voices of Everyday Leaders

Melissa Chadburn

Today, the James Beard Foundation announced its 2019 slate of finalists. This “short list” of nominees honors the year’s outstanding restaurants, chefs, and food-centric journalism, books, and broadcast media. Community […]

No papers. No fear. New House bill could create a road map for citizenship.

Isaias G

More than two dozen immigrants chanted “Sin Papeles, Sin miedo, No Papers, No Fear” as they stood on the podium at the Capitol in DC before starting the press conference […]

Children belong with family, not caged in for-profit detention centers

Thomas Kennedy

As the Trump administration continues to make it as difficult as possible for people fleeing extreme conditions to seek asylum within the United States, thousands of migrant children are sent […]

Everyday Leaders: Reflections after the 2019 Selma March

Isaias G

“My name is Isaias and I am Undocumented and Unafraid.” This is the usual greeting for many undocumented immigrants in meetings to assert our presence. The whole room applauded in […]

My Sister: A Domestic Worker. And My Hero!

Sulma Arias

The movie Roma has received all kinds of recognition and acclaim, including three Academy awards. Its  star, Yalitza Aparcio, a first-time actor who portrayed the lead role of a housekeeper […]

How to stop another nightmare government shutdown

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

We – “we” meaning all Americans who still believe we are united as a nation that cares for our own – face an apocalyptic nightmare scenario. In Hollywood, the apocalypse […]

Trump address to the nation is more anti-immigrant xenophobia

Thomas Kennedy

Donald Trump presented no solutions during his first oval office address to the nation to end a more than two-week long government shutdown that has left 800,000 government workers working […]

En la Florida los votantes estan activos por Gillum

Elizabeth Nazarett

En la Florida los votantes estan bien activos. Este 6 de noviembre muchos dicen que van a unir el voto por Andrew Gillum para gobernador. Dicen que van a votar […]

Trump’s “public charge” rule puts immigrant families at risk

Mikka Macdonald

In early October, the Trump administration proposed changes to the “public charge” rule which would prevent immigrants on the path to citizenship who use some government benefits from gaining permanent […]

What the War on Citizenship Means to Your Vote

Elizabeth Fernandez

After 35 years in the United States, my father Joaquin Fernandez finally decided to become a citizen for one reason: He wanted to vote for the first woman president. From […]

As a social worker, my heart breaks for the children in our detention camps

Cassandra Little

For 18 years, I worked in the Child Welfare System. I witnessed firsthand the trauma and harm children who were separated from their parents suffered from. Today, when I see […]

Young voters in Florida state why they are voting this November

Elizabeth Fernandez

I’m speaking to voters at a candidate forum for young voters in Miami on why the November 2018 elections matter to them. Check them out. Be inspired. Let’s unite the […]

Floridians must come together in voting

Topacio Marrero

The 2018 elections are crucial and we are uniting communities of color to cast their ballot for equality for all. I decided to walk around my neighborhood asking people if […]

Citizenship Question on the U.S. Census Hurts Immigrant Families

Mikka Macdonald

A Muslim ban. Family separation at the border. Ending Temporary Protected Status. And now, a question on the 2020 census asking each household a question about citizenship that is designed […]

From zero tolerance to zero harm: steps for mending shattered migrant families

Esther Calzada

By Catherine LaBrenz, John Sullivan and Esther Calzada We’ve all seen the excitement in a child’s eyes when they play with their parents in the park, or the calm that […]

Immigrants, not France, are the real World Cup winners

Thomas Kennedy

After weeks of suspense, France emerged the winner of the World Cup with a resounding 4-2 victory over Croatia. What is clear to anybody who watched the tournament from the […]

This is what #AbolishICE really means

Thomas Kennedy

Growing up, most of my friends and neighbors did not know what the acronym ICE stood for. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency which oversaw the detention and deportation of […]

Private prisons make more money the more people they keep incarcerated. In Florida, activists are working to stop the practice.

Thomas Kennedy

As Americans we believe deeply in freedom and fairness. We believe that we should be free to pursue the American dream, no matter your station in life or where you […]

Separating children from parents continues America’s painful history of criminalizing immigrants

Mikka Macdonald

Toddlers crying after they are torn from their parents’ arms. Mothers, sitting in chainmail cages, using foil blankets for warmth. A father who committed suicide after being separated from his […]

How to Measure What We’re Losing: As this country moves further away from its humanity, who will be left to fight for what’s right?

Elizabeth Fernandez

Wednesday was World Refugee Day. It’s supposed to be a day to bring awareness to the struggles faced by displaced people across the world. A day to reaffirm our commitment […]

Bringing the Community Together, One Business at a Time

Sebastian Medina-Tayac

Bounce Milwaukee closed on May Day in observance of Voces de la Frontera’s “Day Without Immigrants” strike and rally.

Immigrant justice and criminal justice reform go hand-in-hand

Thomas Kennedy

In the Trump era, efforts to curtail the aggressive criminalization of immigrant communities have largely focused on the fight over sanctuary cities. Sanctuary cities are localities that welcome immigrants and […]

After Trump’s fake deadline on Dreamers passes, immigrant youth still in limbo

Thomas Kennedy

In the aftermath of the Parkland shooting, the focus of lawmakers has largely shifted from finding a solution for the thousands of Dreamers who have been left under threat of […]

Militarizing our schools leaves immigrant youth vulnerable

Thomas Kennedy

After 17 children were shot dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is the answer to preventing gun violence in America arming teachers? Across the country, we have seen rhetoric […]

Trump’s efforts to keep immigrant families apart hearkens to our racist immigration past

Mikka Macdonald

Our country’s modern history of immigration is built on white men’s attempts to create a whiter nation. Donald Trump’s efforts to tear at family reunification in the name of ‘ending […]

Their voices matter: Meet the #HumansOfDACA

Nancy Treviño

Six months ago, President Trump broke a commitment when he ended DACA, a program supported by a majority of Americans and which gives 800,000 young people a chance to achieve […]

Voting to protect our families is not a privilege; it’s a necessity.

Kica Matos

There is a line in the opening scene of Goethe’s play Faust that reads, “A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart.” It is a sentiment […]

Xenophobia is not foreign to America

Mikka Macdonald

After the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, advertisements for “Jap Hunting Licenses” hung in store windows. Life Magazine ran the article, “How to tell your friends from the Japs.” […]

A Year of Fighting for our Families and Friends

Cristina Rayas

The Center for Community Change, in its work with the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), has been standing steadfast against attacks against our family and friends. Even in the face of Trump’s non-stop barrage of hateful immigration policies, FIRM and its members did not hide in the shadows. FIRM members showed up countless times this year at rallies, at Congressional offices, held hunger strikes and never let their voices be silenced. And we are determined to continue to push forward in the year ahead.

Taking the bus now dangerous if you are an immigrant

Thomas Kennedy

The Greyhound bus company is currently in the midst of a public relations disaster due to a series of videos which were released on the internet by the organization I […]

Trump’s War on Families Intensifies

Thomas Kennedy

After a 17-year journey, my parents will no longer be undocumented. This was no easy feat to accomplish, I lived 11 of those years without papers along with them, and […]

We Are Unafraid. We are #HereToStay.

Cristina Rayas

Call 1-866-575-9410 to tell Speaker Paul Ryan to stand with immigrants and pass DREAM Act legislation that provides a permanent solution for dreamers without adding money to Trump’s deportation force.

Florida Lawmakers Are Taking Anti-immigrant Bias To New Heights And Preparing To Hurt More Families In The Process

Thomas Kennedy

Early in 2017, Donald Trump signed an executive order threatening to rescind federal funds from local municipalities that refuse to criminalize immigrant communities. The executive order has suffered numerous legal […]

Who are the DREAMers?

Mikka Macdonald

Dreamers are the nearly 800,000 people whose immigration and work statuses are protected by DACA.

Raising their voices at the Latin Grammy Awards with Alejandro Sanz for #DreamActNow

Cristina Rayas

30 young leaders came together at The Latin Grammys to spotlight the urgent need for the Dream Act.

CBU freshman ‘had a breakdown’ when she learned of DOJ plan to end DACA

Rebekah Marie Yearout

Chantel Barcenas had an identity crisis when learning she was not a U.S. citizen. An Obama-era policy helped her find a sense of purpose — all now in flux

Florida Hotline Offers Immigrants A Lifeline

Thomas Kennedy

Since the election of Donald Trump to the presidency, the daily lives of undocumented immigrants in this country have become nerve wracking. The hateful rhetoric espoused by Trump during his […]

I’m Not A Dreamer Or Immigrant, But We Share Common Values

Darryl Lorenzo Wellington

My encounter with Dreamers last month happened by chance. I was sitting in my local library when an employee tapped me on the shoulder, and asked in hush-hush please speak […]

South Florida Immigrants And Communities Of Color Still Struggling To Recover Post-Irma

Thomas Kennedy

In the last couple of weeks, Floridians have struggled with Hurricane Irma and its aftermath. Foreseeing the impact that this storm would have on low-income communities, a coalition of various […]

Criminalizing Immigrants Puts Them At Risk During Hurricanes And Other Disasters

Thomas Kennedy

In the midst of the tragedy that befell the people of Texas during Hurricane Harvey, I wrote an article detailing the hardships endured by the undocumented immigrant community of Houston […]

Let ‘dreamers’ live in the US — their home

Jamilah Sabur

I woke the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 29 to the sound of my mother crying on the other side of the wall. I was paralyzed as I listened to her […]

Almost 1 Million Immigrant Youths Are Realizing The American Dream. Don’t Steal It From Them, Trump.

Marcella Vitulli

DACA has allowed DREAMers, who were brought to this country as children, to be spared from deportation while also allowing them to work and attend college.

We Could Have Avoided The Deaths Of The Undocumented Immigrants In Texas

Thomas Kennedy

This article initially appeared on the Huffington Post. When my parents came to the United States almost two decades ago, they did not think that they would spend all those […]

Despite Promises, Florida Police Are Acting Like Immigration Agents And Separating Families

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post. Driving without a license can be a daily nerve wrecking experience for a lot of undocumented immigrants living and working in the […]

Art Gives Voice To Young People Hurt By Trump’s Deportation Machine

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared in the Huffington Post. Growing up undocumented, one of my biggest fears was being separated from my family. I remember the anxiety and worry I felt […]

Let’s Stop Donald Trump From Wielding His Budget As A Weapon Against Hardworking Immigrant Families

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post. For a big chunk of my childhood, teenage years and early adulthood, my parents and I were undocumented immigrants in this country, […]

We Will Continue To Fight The Hate Deep In The Heart of Texas

Thomas Kennedy

This article first appeared on the Huffington Post. In 2011, the Florida legislature attempted to pass an Arizona-style “show me your papers” law at the behest of Republican Governor Rick […]

Immigrant Children Are Trump’s Collateral Damage

Thomas Kennedy

All these actions by the administration put our children and their families under threat more than ever before.

Trump’s Hypocrisy On Full Display: Bomb Syria, But Don’t Let Syrians In

Thomas Kennedy

Over 400,000 Syrians have been killed since the outbreak of the Syrian civil war, yet the Trump administration has done nothing about it.

The GOP’s Anti-immigrant Agenda Is Forcing Children To Live in Fear

Thomas Kennedy

Our President’s actions will unfortunately shape the formative years of some of our most vulnerable youth.

In this battle over Muslim immigration, we are all family

Wendi C. Thomas

Because of our history and heritage, black Americans should recognize the humanity in their struggle

As Trump Inauguration Looms, Immigrants Stand Up To Private Prison Industry

Thomas Kennedy

All across the country in dozens of cities, communities are gearing up for January 14th, a national day of action where people will link arms and stand up against the […]

Supreme Court Immigration Ruling Could Stop the Intimidation of American Citizens

Kica Matos

Written by Kica Matos, Center for Community Change Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, and Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director for America’s Voice, an immigration reform group. Teenaged […]

Our Pilgrimage for Immigrant Rights Remains Strong in the Face of Adversity

Raunel Urquiza

Photo via We Belong Together. There was a lot going on last month with the pope’s visit to DC. The pope addressed a joint session of Congress and spoke on […]

UFCW Leading the Fight for Immigration Reform

Andi Ryder

In 2014, there were 8.1 million undocumented immigrants employed in the United States. These hard-working men and women live in constant fear of arrest and deportation which would rip their […]

The Politics of Hate

Kica Matos

This piece was originally published on The Hill. Last week was one of those moments in history when the politics of hatred seized hold and as a nation we fell […]

MLK and the “Beloved Community”

Ronnie Galvin

On Friday, January 16th, Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change, delivered the keynote address at the Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum’s 30th […]

Why Every Day Should Be National Voter Registration Day

Erick Pleitez

Today is National Voter Registration Day; a day when organizations across the country reach out to their respective communities encouraging them to register and turn out to vote. In light […]

Crossing Over: An Eye-Opening Read

Abby Marco

After finishing the book Crossing Over by Ruben Martínez, there was one story that I couldn’t get out of my head. The nonfiction book follows the journeys of many immigrant […]

Darkest Before the Dawn

Rudy Lopez

Originally posted on Fox News Latino. Rudy Lopez, Senior Organizer at the Fair Immigration Reform Movement, participated as a core faster in the Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration […]

Of Love And Politics, And Jeb Bush’s Surprising Statement

Kica Matos

This post originally appeared as an op-ed in Fox News Latino. It was the immigrant and Latino vote that helped President Obama win the White House in 2008 and 2012 because […]

Why I Fasted

Emily Gelbaum

Last Wednesday, March 19th, I participated in the Women’s Fast for Families, a national fast organized by We Belong Together, in which women choose 24 hours to fast for immigration reform. At […]

America the Beautiful

Abby Marco

Coca-Cola’s infamous 2014 Superbowl ad, titled “It’s Beautiful,” proves a couple of things in its role as the most controversial commercial of the night. First of all, its rendition of […]

Meeting Brenda Ortigoza

Amanda Sands

On Wednesday, I had the opportunity to shadow kids who were taking part in the “Keeping Families Together: Youth in Action” events on Capitol Hill as they made their way […]

Behind the Scenes Heroes

Tori O'Neal

Before we met Joyce Dickinson, a retired home care worker in Florida, she didn’t know that she could pick up the phone and call her member of Congress. Ms. Dickinson […]

House Republicans- Where Are Your Priorities?

Shikun Sun

Late last week, the House passed a bill to restore regular federal funding to border security during the shutdown. This bill, called the Border Security and Safety Act, would ensure […]

Time to Do Something About Our Broken Immigration System

Shikun Sun

For anyone who does not think our immigration system is broken, here is the story of Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta, an immigrant and father whose attempts to be a U.S. citizen […]

“My Family Is Not Illegal.”

Shikun Sun

 It vividly occurred to me at the October 8th rally outside the U.S. Capitol Building that it’s time to discuss immigration legislation now and to grant undocumented immigrants a chance […]

October 5th, 2013: Join the Fight!

Robin Curran

  On Saturday, October 5th, more than 80 mobilization efforts are planned to take place across the country to celebrate the National Day of Dignity and Respect. These efforts will […]

Preparing for Mass Mobilizations Across the Country on October 5th

Petra Falcon

Thousands of families across the country will mobilize on streets across the country on October 5th, and here’s why: Although we’ve sent out a very clear message at the polls, […]

GOP: Stop Pandering and Start Acting

Jordann Lee

This week, House Republicans released a video in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month. Prominent House Republicans, including Speaker of the House John Boehner and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lauded Hispanics for […]

What I’ve Learned

Kris Kelkar

To be honest, I didn’t know what I was signing up for when I accepted my internship at the Center for Community Change. I wanted to work on immigration reform […]

A Story Worth Covering

Ricardo Ramirez

A so-called “rally” with Republicans’ leading anti-immigrant spokesman, Rep. Steve King (R-IA), flopped big time this week. While the event was widely publicized as a national kickoff to stir up […]

Why I Was Arrested

Deepak Bhargava

I was arrested for Oscar Alfaro. Oscar came to the U.S. to escape poverty and make enough money to support his family. Now, he fears being deported and separated from […]

Face Our Families!

Erin Brock

Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) groups and allies will rally across the country on Saturday calling for the House GOP leadership to step up and support comprehensive immigration reform that […]

Another House Political Smoke and Mirrors Trick—The KIDS Act

Erin Brock

As the House Judiciary Committee begins its review of the KIDS act, proposed by Representative Eric Cantor, its inadequacy is already becoming clear. The act is part of the House […]

Licensing Fairness

Kris Kelkar

I don’t know what I would do without my driver’s license. Being from Los Angeles, I find driving to be an essential to getting my way around. But my license […]

Putting Faces on the Immigration Debate

Erin Brock

Inside Out photo project has come to DC to take on immigration reform.  The group, who uses large portraits taken in their mobile photo booth as art installations around the […]

The People Behind the Issues

Erin Brock

In the five years that I have volunteered at schools in Tegucigalpa and Talanga Honduras I’ve been exposed to the reality of many things.  The beauty of simple human interaction.  […]

House Republicans: Our Deadline is August 2nd

Jingru Huang

As House Republicans debate whether or not they will act on immigration reform, they should remember the deadline of Aug. 2nd that the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) has set […]

Voice of a (New) American

Jingru Huang

One of America’s treasures is the freedom we enjoy, the absence of restraints on our ability to think and to act. We the people, who live in this country, live […]

Mapping the Impact

Adam Isaacson

Today I stumbled across this interactive map, which charts the impact of immigrant students, workers and entrepreneurs in every American state. The project, known as Map the Impact, is informative […]

The Fight Continues

Jingru Huang

Last Thursday, the Senate voted to pass the bill 68-32, and focus shifted to the House of Representatives as they work on their version of the bill. It has been […]

America’s Invisible Farmworkers

Erin Brock

With summertime comes fresh produce lining farmer’s markets tables and grocery store shelves, and as families sit down to enjoy the feast of fresh, colorful food I’m going to guess […]

Progress, But Not Victory

Kris Kelkar

On Monday and Tuesday of last week, I was discouraged. The Supreme Court had ruled on cases dealing with affirmative action and the Voting Rights Act of 1965 – both […]

The LGBT Provision: Too Much to Lose

Kris Kelkar

UPDATE: As of today, the “risk” that including the LGBT community in comprehensive immigration reform posed to the Senate bill’s passage is no longer an issue.  The Supreme Court’s decision […]

Rubio’s Amendment: Just Another Roadblock

Erin Brock

Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has proposed an amendment that would require immigrants to pass a level-3 English proficiency test in order to receive a green card for permanent residency in […]

A Special Day for Me

Jingru Huang

This week, Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) leaders went to the House Judiciary Committee to voice their disapproval for the SAFE Act, a bill that takes the extreme measure of […]

Obstruction of Justice: The SAFE Act

Adam Isaacson

This week, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Strengthen and Fortify Enforcement (SAFE) Act, with Immigration Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) leading the charge. With the bill’s extreme policies, […]

DACA’s One Year Anniversary

Jingru Huang

A year ago, President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program for young people who were brought to the U.S. when they were children by their immigrant […]

Immigrant Families Tell the GOP to Remember November

Erin Brock

FIRM, CASA de Maryland, SEIU and Bend the Arc Jewish Action, as well as the families they work with, today sent a message to House and Senate Republicans who do […]

Remember November

Deepak Bhargava

It’s been seven long months since Election Day. It’s been seven long months and there is still no immigration bill in the House of Representatives. We need more than just […]

Immigrant Rights Leader Gives Riveting Testimony at Senate Hearing

Donna DeLaCruz

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 22, 2013 Contact: For English language Media: Donna De La Cruz, [email protected], 202-339-9331, 202-441-3798 (cell) For Spanish language Media: Ricardo Ramírez, [email protected],  202-339-9371, (202) 905-1738 […]

Congress must move quickly on immigration

Kica Matos

What does it take to get Congress to listen? On April 10, more than 100,000 people from 31 states descended on the nation’s Capitol to send a strong message that […]

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