Advocacy

The Current Situation

Over 110 million people around the world have been forced from their homes, 36.4 million of them are refugees*, and over half of them are under 18 years old. According to the State Department, the U.S. has set a goal to settle 125,000 refugees this year**. 

“Refugee” is a legal term that refers to people who have been persecuted or fear they will be persecuted on account of race, religion, nationality, and/or membership in a particular social group or political opinion. According to the U.S. Department of State, “refugees are screened more carefully than any other type of traveler to the U.S.” They are screened by the National Counterterrorism Center, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, and the Department of State, as well as the intelligence community.**

All-Hands-In Advocacy

At Neighbor to Neighbor we work on systemic barriers at the state and local level as part of our work of advocacy. This work is always linked to a bigger story, usually one told through relationships with our immigrant newcomer friends. 

For one such story, watch “Welcoming Neighbors with Friendship,” a talk given by N2N Executive Director Andrea Cramer at the 2022 Studebaker Talks

For more examples of Neighbor to Neighbor’s advocacy, check out our News & Events page. 

Million People Forced
From Their Homes*
Million
Are refugees
Million
Asylum Seekers

U.S. has set a goal of

refugees to be
settled this year**

* Statistics as of 5/2024 from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) website

** State.gov report to Congress for Fiscal Year 2024

What Can I Do?

Everyone can do something! 

Take a peek at our suggestions here and see what resonates with you. 

Listening and learning are essential to effective and empathetic advocacy. None of us is ever finished learning. Here are some good ways to increase your understanding about issues related to immigrant newcomers:

  • Read and Watch: Books, articles, and films are fantastic options for learning on your own. For a list of ideas, check out our Staff Picks for Learning Resources below.
  • Listen: Be curious, not judgmental. Ask your friends to tell their stories, if they are comfortable, and listen with empathy using active listening skills. 
  • Stay Informed: Get your news from fact-based news sources that report on immigration issues. Some suggestions are AP News, the BBC, CNN, and Boundless.
  • Follow: Like and follow the social media pages of immigration-minded advocates. Two we recommend are We Choose Welcome  (Instagram | Facebook) and Welcome.US (Instagram | Facebook). 

Calling and writing your local, state, and national government officials is one great way to advocate for your immigrant newcomer neighbors, and believe it or not, it can be effective! 

Start by finding out who your elected officials are (just a quick Google search will turn up sites to help you). Then call or write with respect and clarity, sharing a personal story if possible. Make your request clearly known. 

You can also show up in person at the official’s office, especially if they are local. 

We might be biased, but we think rubbing shoulders with immigrant newcomers and people who are supporting them is one of the best ways to advocate. It’s the whole reason Neighbor to Neighbor came into being! 

For more information about volunteering with N2N, visit our Volunteers webpage. 

Non-profits like Neighbor to Neighbor rely heavily on individual donations to keep the lights on and continue doing their work. Visit our Donate webpage to give as you are able.

Don’t have a lot of money to give? Then consider holding your own fundraiser on behalf of N2N or another of your favorite immigration-based non-profits. This is an age-friendly option — we’ve even had kids raise funds for N2N! 

 

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