The time is now for communities to put welcoming values into action

As we move on from the midterm elections, we are dismayed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott continuing to send people from the Texas border to so-called “liberal havens” — most recently, to Philadelphia — without their knowledge, and with the misguided notion that this will somehow turn public opinion against them.

But as the midterms demonstrated, the majority of Americans rejected the Right’s attack on immigrants. Voters in Arizona and Massachusetts voted in support of affirmative immigration ballot initiatives, including Prop 308 which will provide in state tuition to undocumented students, and Prop 4 which will allow undocumented people access to drivers licenses.

In Philadelphia — a city that has committed to becoming Certified Welcoming — people rose to welcome the newcomers into their community, as they did in Martha’s Vineyard and New York City. The chaos, overwhelm, and fear that Gov. Abbott thought he would instill in these places have been repeatedly and loudly rejected.

Leaders at all levels across the nation must openly reject these actions if they want to continue claiming welcoming and inclusive values for their communities. A majority of Americans support immigrants and immigration — it is time to stop believing otherwise and prevent politicians from exerting their ambitions over the will of the people.

We invite anyone seeking concrete steps on putting welcoming values into action to attend our two-part webinar series “Getting Started with Welcoming Work” in December. Participants should take away practical tips on building a local welcoming infrastructure and examples on what this looks like in communities of all sizes.

No matter how the political winds move, welcomers everywhere will continue to do the work of ensuring each and every person in their community — no matter where they’re from — belongs, thrives, and prospers