5 Active Groups That Protect & Advocate for Immigrants

Uprooting your life and family and moving to a new culture can be a difficult experience. Luckily, there are plenty of organizations dedicated to helping immigrants succeed. The groups listed here assist people in different ways, from providing legal counsel to teaching English as a second language to rolling out the welcome wagon. This video was made with Ezvid Wikimaker.

5 Active Groups That Protect & Advocate for Immigrants

Organization Location Mission
Immigrant Defense Project New York, NY Lay the groundwork for a day when the criminal and immigration laws of the United States respect and uphold the human rights of everyone
Welcoming America Decatur, GA Build a more welcoming America through diversity, equality, and inclusion
Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc Silver Spring, MD Embrace the Gospel value of welcoming the stranger by promoting the dignity and protecting the rights of immigrants
Immigrant Learning Center Malden, MA Help immigrants and refugees become successful workers, parents, and community members through direct service programs and public education
American Immigration Lawyers Association Washington, DC Promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of members

8 Great Movies About Immigrants & Immigration

  1. In America (2002)
  2. Dancer in the Dark (2000)
  3. An American Rhapsody (2001)
  4. A Better Life (2011)
  5. For a Moment, Freedom (2008)
  6. An American Tail (1986)
  7. The Visitor (2007)
  8. America America (1963)

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In Depth

Becoming an immigrant and succeeding economically and socially is becoming increasingly difficult in the United States. Mass deportations, family separation, and hate crimes have become commonplace. Luckily there are many nonprofit organizations standing up for immigrants in America, each with their own unique approach. In no particular order, here are five organizations fighting for immigrant rights in America.

#1 on our list is the Immigrant Defense Project, also known as IDP. The organization aims to end the current "era of unprecedented mass deportation," and abolish the current criminal legal and immigration systems in America. The current systems, it believes, not only violate basic human rights, but tear away thousands of immigrants with convictions from their families, homes, and communities every year.

In order to do this, IDP trains immigrant defenders, challenges unfair laws, engages in advocacy, and empowers communities through education and alliance building. On the website, immigrants can access information about their rights and what to do in the case of an ICE raid. IDP has various volunteer opportunities, ranging from podcast production to legal representation. Interested individuals can also donate and sign up for the newsletter if they wish to stay involved.

Interested individuals can also donate and sign up for the newsletter if they wish to stay involved.

Coming in as #2 on our list is Welcoming America, a nonprofit pioneering a movement of inclusive communities across the United States. The organization helps inspire and guide communities to become a place of belonging for all people, including immigrants. Welcoming America believes that when multiple perspectives and backgrounds participate, an environment for success emerges. The organization provides resources online for places that wish to become more welcoming.

Since its launch in 2009, Welcoming America has increased the number of Welcoming Communities significantly. One in eight people now live in a Welcoming Certified community. People who are interested in taking action can donate or create a fundraiser for the cause. People can also call their U.S. senators and representatives, host a community dialogue, help people learn their rights, or post a photo using their "I'm a Welcomer" sign.

#3 on our list is the Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc, also known as CLINIC. The nonprofit works with a committed network of community and Catholic immigration programs to protect the rights of immigrants. Interested organizations can join the network by becoming a CLINIC affiliate. By doing so, the organization gains access to resources and benefits, such as expert attorneys who can answer questions on immigration law or specific immigration cases.

By doing so, the organization gains access to resources and benefits, such as expert attorneys who can answer questions on immigration law or specific immigration cases.

On the website, CLINIC keeps a close watch on the U.S. government's immigration policy. When changes occur, the organization updates the page and provides resources and analysis. The website is also home to fact sheets that provide information on family separation and how to help others. People can also find "Know Your Rights Cards" that they can keep in their pockets in case they need them. The organization was featured on Charity Navigator, where it was given four stars. For those who wish to get involved, CLINIC accepts donations and encourages people to educate themselves on immigration issues using the website.

Next on our list at #4 is the Immigrant Learning Center. The center runs three programs that seek to give immigrants a voice. The first is the English Language Program, which provides free English classes to over 900 refugee and immigrant adults. The second is the Public Education Institute, which helps people learn about immigration through webinars and workshops. And the third program is the Institute for Immigration Research, which collaborates with George Mason University to do research on immigrant economic contributions.

Since its founding in 1992, the center has won various awards, including the Community Quarterback Award and the Organization of Distinction Award. For those who wish to get involved, the Immigrant Learning Center holds various events throughout the year. People can sign up for the newsletter or read the blog to stay up to date with the work the center is doing. Additionally, people can volunteer by becoming a classroom Volunteer, a substitute E.S.O.L. Teacher, or a guest speaker.

Since its founding in 1992, the center has won various awards, including the Community Quarterback Award and the Organization of Distinction Award.

Finishing the list at #5 is the American Immigration Lawyers Association, also known as AILA. The association is a group of immigration lawyers united in the mission to push for fair immigration policy, improve immigration and nationality law and practice, and provide professional advancement. AILA aims to encourage more members to engage in advocacy for immigrant issues, as well as increase the knowledge and professionalism of its members.

Lawyers who are interested can join AILA. As a member, they will have access to benefits that can keep them informed, save them time and money, and enhance their law practice. Others can participate in volunteer opportunities, such as getting involved in grassroots advocacy, writing articles, becoming a speaker, or helping develop public outreach programs.