Why It’s Important to Raise Our Voices, Again and Again

July 07, 2011 | Topics: Advocacy and Public Policy

By Victor C. Johnson

Contrary to the impression I’m about to give you, this post isn’t about immigration. Many of us who believe that immigrants make our country stronger and who are committed to working for comprehensive immigration reform are struggling with two seeming realities of these difficult times: first, the rise in anti-immigrant sentiment, due in part to the economic downturn; and second, the collapse of public support for immigration reform. We get discouraged. We feel like we should just give up. This is true not just for many of us as individuals, but also for some of the principal immigration groups that we rely on for leadership, but which seem to have fallen silent. We think: What’s the point? We can’t win. Public opinion is going in the other direction... See More

“We aren’t always who you think we are” – Thoughts on Jose Antonio Vargas and the Immigration Debate

By Ursula Oaks

When I first heard about Jose Antonio Vargas’ campaign, Define American, the phrase was like a punch in the gut. Unlike Vargas, I’m not an illegal immigrant, and nothing about my appearance makes people wonder where I came from. But I am an immigrant, and like him and countless others, I have spent my life striving to live the definition of “being an American” that he articulates: hard work, a sense of deep pride in being here, and a desire to contribute.... See More

Michigan’s Friendliness to Immigration Seen as Key to Economic Development

By Peter Briggs

A need for economic transformation in Michigan has lead to some creative thinking and a new initiative from Republican Governor Rick Snyder that international educators should applaud. The Global Michigan Initiative aims to promote Michigan's economic prosperity by welcoming the best and the brightest from around the world and to include everyone in reinventing Michigan.

It starts with the premise that Michigan’s long tradition of reliance on a manufacturing economy will not return and that talent from abroad is key to fostering the innovation and entrepreneurship that will be the state’s way forward to economic revitalization. Snyder, a former business executive who is new to elective politics, has frequently voiced the opinion that it is in our state’s best interest to create an environment that is welcoming to immigration, and that includes international students and scholars. This does, of course, stand in stark contrast to so much of the anti-immigration policies that are sprouting up around the country.

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