A Welcoming Moment

Yesterday, the President announced Administrative Relief, a new program that will protect millions of immigrants from deportation. Regardless of the debate in Washington, where this policy will play out is in our communities. How we respond during this welcoming moment will reflect our commitment to the values that define us as Americans.

Over the next several months, communities across the country will have an important choice to make about how they treat those who are eligible to participate. Those who qualify already have deep roots in our communities. They are members of the local PTA, parishioners in the local church, and coaches of the local soccer team. If communities are welcoming and step up to the plate with their support and resources, we can succeed. We can succeed not only by making sure that no one is too afraid to enroll, but also by ensuring that millions can finally more fully participate and feel a sense of belonging in their communities. After all, when we feel welcome, we are much more likely to share our talents, ideas, and inspirations with those around us. Imagine the positive implications for our communities.

Welcoming America – and our network representing municipal governments and non-profits in over 70 communities across the country – stands ready to respond: 

  • We are here to support all communities interested in fostering a positive local response to this welcoming moment by sharing our expertise in engaging receiving communities around immigration.
  • We will also help public, non-profit, and private institutions in communities collaborate on enrollment, as well as on creating more welcoming climates and policies for immigrants beyond enrollment. The latter is, after all, what we do every day.
  • More details on our support, which will include practical tools and webinars among other efforts, will be coming soon from our team.

Welcoming communities believe that it’s not what you look like or where you were born that makes you American – it’s how you live your life and what you do that defines your place in the community. Every day, communities around the country and across the globe are recognizing that being welcoming makes them more economically competitive and vibrant places for all residents.

By working together, we can make sure that our communities seize this historic opportunity. When we look back years from now, we will remember that we embraced the potential of millions of New Americans. We will celebrate that we invited diverse new neighbors to join us in building a stronger community and that we all became better for it.

Onward toward a more welcoming America!

David Lubell