I woke up yesterday incredibly saddened. As I began to process the outcome of the election and its impact on immigrants, I thought of my father, who was born in a displaced persons camp in the wake of World War II. He and my grandparents were there as a result of exclusionary policies and nativist state actions. The president-elect’s proposed immigration policies draw from the same type of nativist playbook. They include building a wall, deporting millions, and closing doors to those in need of protection. His proposals are fundamentally at odds with the values of a nation in which all people have the opportunity to live in safety with the ones they love. It is the United States of America that offered my family refuge and welcomed them. Sadly, at this moment, the country does not resemble the one that welcomed my family in the 1950s.
Nevertheless, I was inspired to come to work today because of the vision we share at the New Mexico Immigrant Law Center; a vision for a vibrant country where all people—regardless of their immigration status—can achieve their full potential and are treated with dignity and respect. This vision seems a lot harder to achieve now—but we are not about to let up. We have worked, and will continue to work, to increase access to justice to thousands of New Mexico’s immigrant families. We look forward to expanding our network of partners who share our mission, and together, we’ll stand for the principles of a just and welcoming society.
In the wake of the election, we are evaluating how best to support the immigrant community. With our partners we will keep a vigilant eye on legislation and policies proposed by the president elect and incoming Congress. Stay tuned for updates. We will continue our Wednesday walk-in hours from 1pm-5pm for anyone who has a question about a pending DACA or naturalization application or is considering filling one out.
The election results do not undercut the fact that Americans overwhelmingly support immigration reform. There are millions of Americans who welcome immigrants with open arms and appreciate the strength immigrants bring to our national fabric. Our nation needs an immigration system that fosters immigrant contributions, fuels our economy, protects families and benefits all Americans. Election results will not deter us from continuing our advocacy in a nation of laws that protect human rights.
With your support and the continued courage and resiliency of the immigrant community, we will keep fighting for the rights of immigrants in New Mexico and throughout the country.