Sep 3, 2019
When Ali Noorani visited Honduras, he met migrants desperate to escape poverty and violence for presumed safety and opportunity in the United States. As Ali sees it, this administration's hateful rhetoric and treatment of immigrants is robbing our entire nation of its dignity. The Forum was launched in 1982 to coalesce civil rights organizations in advocating for a just immigration system. After President Obama was elected there was growing optimism about the potential for a path to citizenship. When momentum for change came crashing down in 2010, Ali had a realization that defined the next generation of the National Immigration Forum’s strategy. He noted that while political parties talked about immigration in political terms, the rest of the country viewed it in cultural terms. In 2012, Ali began engaging with cultural influencers: faith, law enforcement and veterans’ leaders in traditionally conservative parts of the country. The resulting conversations about their fears, questions and concerns, have generated unprecedented trust. As a result, a collective willingness to stand for and with immigrant communities, has brought some of these leaders to advocate for pro-immigrant public policies on Capitol Hill.