Immigration is a huge topic right now, especially with kids being separated from their parents on the border of the U.S. and Mexico. As a young individual who may not have a ton of power and influence, it is easy to feel as if there is nothing you can do. However, even the smallest act can make a huge difference. So, here are the ways you can help immigrants right now!
1. Contact your politicians
Your politicians are supposed to represent all of their constituents, regardless of their political party. Whether it is a member of Congress or a local politician, contact your representatives to express your views on immigration. Their contact information, from phone numbers to emails, can be found on their websites. This is one of the most effective ways you can help immigrants!
2. Get out and vote
Voting is an essential way to ensure that your voice is heard. It may not feel like it matters, but one vote can change the outcome of an election. Make sure you are registered to vote at your current address and know your polling location. Read up on the stance each candidate has on immigration and choose the one that best matches your views.
3. Start or sign a petition
This no longer requires printing a piece of paper and going door to door to collect signatures. There are websites that allow you to generate petitions online and share them out to people using social media and email. Many online petitions have gone viral and have helped shape government rulings on legislation.
4. Get involved with organizations making a difference
There are many organizations working to make a difference when it comes to immigration. Raices is one of the key players in the current immigration crisis. ACLU has taken legal action in former crises and is currently taking action. This is one of the best ways you can help immigrants; there is strength in numbers!
5. Write an op-ed or blog post to educate others about the issues
There is a lot of truth in the saying, “There is power in numbers.” While one person can make a difference, having an army of people who are educated and working together towards a cause can help so much. Write an op-ed for a campus publication or a blog post for a digital platform or personal blog to educate others on the issues and how they can get involved.
6. Reach out to campus organizations who are working to make a difference
Many college campuses have organizations that are interested in taking political action on hot topics of the day. There are also some that have organizations that are geared towards immigrant students. If you are in another organization, see if you can team up for an event to help make a difference in the current immigration crisis.
7. Support businesses who support immigration or are owned and operated by immigrants
It is at least partially true that money talks. People who are against immigration tend to not support businesses that support immigrants, so go out of your way to support local businesses owned by immigrants. Talk to them and get to know their stories. Also, if a chain store supports immigration or organizations helping with the current crisis.
8. Stand up against hatred and incorrect fact on social media
Whenever controversial topics arise, there always seems to be an onslaught of opinions coming through social media from both sides of the issue. Many of these opinions are fact-based, but some may be based on incorrect facts and pure hatred. Do not be afraid to reach out to the creator of a post that is speaking out of misinformation and hate to respectfully correct them and express your views. This is definitely one of the easier, yet very effective ways you can help immigrants!
9. Find a local protest
Again, while one person can make a difference, people coming together to express their collective voice on an issue can make even more of an impact. There are a lot of protests rising up on the current issue. Find a local protest to join, and if there are none near you, organize your own.
10. Hold a conversation on campus about the issues
Holding conversations about issues can be productive, especially when it comes to creating change and expanding your mind as to opposing views. Talk to student organizations and professors across a variety of fields of study to sit down and hold a panel discussion on the current immigration crisis and what can be done moving forward.
Are there any other ways you can help immigrants that we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below!
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Ashley is a recent graduate from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA with her Bachelor's in journalism. She love writing articles about music and Philadelphia. Ashley would love to pursue a career in journalism in New York City.