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Groundswell Report


  • pg 1
									Groundswell Meets Groundwork
Recommendations for Building on Immigrant Mobilizations

Researched and Written by Ted Wang and Robert C. Winn | July 2006                      gcir
A Special Report from the Four Freedoms Fund and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
 Spring 2006 Immigrant Mass Mobilizations

 ≠ ≠                                                                                                                                                       ≠
               WA                                                                                                                                           ME

    ≠                                ≠MN                                                                                                                 VT
                                            MT                         ND
  ≠                                   ≠

 ≠≠ ≠

≠≠ ≠ ≠
                                     ≠ WI ≠        ≠
                                                                       ≠MA ≠
                                                                                      ≠                                                      ≠
                                      ≠                          ≠ VT≠NJ   ≠
          ID                 SD
                                     ≠MN IA≠ ≠≠
                           ≠ ≠
                                             ≠                          ≠
                                                               ≠ NY≠ NHDE

≠≠ ≠≠ ≠≠                                          ≠ ≠
≠ ≠ OR ≠ ≠
 ≠                           ≠
                                NE ≠   ≠ ≠
                                 ≠ ≠ WIIL
                                                                ≠ ≠ DC≠
                                                                                       ≠                                                     ≠
 ≠≠ ≠≠ ID UT                                 ≠
                                                   IN                     CT

 ≠                                     ≠ ≠
                             ≠ ≠≠ MO≠ ≠MIKY≠                      ≠ ≠NJ
 ≠ ≠
≠≠CA                     ≠                    ≠ ≠≠              PA ≠

≠≠ ≠                    ≠≠
                    ≠≠ ≠ ≠ KS
                                    ≠                              ≠≠  ≠
≠≠ ≠
≠≠                              ≠           ≠ ≠ TN ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠ DE
                                          IA ≠                         ≠
≠≠ ≠ ≠≠
  ≠ ≠
                                NE ≠       ≠ ≠ ≠ OH ≠ ≠ ≠
                                                        ≠         NC

≠                            ≠ ≠OK ≠ ≠ IL           ≠       WV ≠
                                                              SC ≠
  ≠≠ ≠≠ ≠ AZUT ≠NM≠                           ≠
   ≠ ≠≠                       ≠ ≠ ≠MO≠ ≠ KY≠ GA ≠ ≠ DC          ≠
                        CO               AK
 ≠ CA ≠
    ≠                     ≠                   ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠≠
                    ≠ ≠≠ ≠≠ KS ≠
 ≠≠ ≠
       ≠ ≠
                    ≠≠ ≠≠≠ ≠
                               ≠                   AL
                                             ≠ MS≠ TN
                                                  ≠ ≠≠    ≠ NC≠
  ≠ ≠≠          ≠ ≠NM ≠      ≠ OK ≠ LA           ≠
                                      ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠ ≠≠ ≠≠   ≠ ≠SC≠≠ ≠
   ≠≠≠ ≠
                        ≠ ≠ TX            AK
                                                          GA ≠
                                                                 ≠                    ≠                                                       ≠
                            ≠≠≠ ≠              MS
                                                          ≠ ≠
                           ≠           ≠ ≠ LA
                                                        ≠ ≠≠ ≠
                                                           ≠ ≠
                             ≠ TX
                                                                 FL≠                   ≠                                                      ≠
                Crowd Size
                                 ≠                             ≠  ≠
                                                                    ≠                                                                          ≠
                                > 200,000

                 ≠                 20,000 – 100,000

                                   5,000 – 10,000

                  ≠             < 5,000 – #NA

                                   This map was created by Naomi Abraham, Public Interest Projects, with information provided by the Four
                                   Freedoms Fund grantees, immigrant organizations and news accounts. It is intended to provide readers with a sense
                                   of the scale of the mobilizations, but it does not represent all of the rallies that took place around the country.


 Cover: Thousands of supporters of immigrant rights rally at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon on May 1, 2006. © Aeryca Steinbauer.
Table of Contents

Preface                                                                                1

Executive Summary                                                                      2

Introduction: HR 4437 Sparks a Groundswell                                             5

Challenges Facing the Immigrant Rights Movement                                   11

Funding Recommendations for
Building on Recent Developments                                                   14

Funding Recommendations If Congress Were to
Adopt Comprehensive Immigration Reform                                            21

Funding Recommendations If Congress Fails to Adopt
Comprehensive Reform and the Federal Government
Emphasizes Enforcement-Only Policies                                              23

Conclusion                                                                        24

Interviewees                                                                      25

Four Freedoms Fund                                                                26

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees                                27

About the Authors                                                                 28

© 2006 by Four Freedoms Fund and Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.
All rights reserved.

             e are living in a remarkable    What events and factors helped

                                                                                       The Four Freedoms Fund and
             and historical moment in       create the groundswell that led millions   Grantmakers Concerned with
             this country’s struggle for    of immigrants to participate in marches    Immigrants and Refugees are publishing
             immigrant rights—one that      across the country?                        this report to provide timely analysis
is filled with great potential as well as    What are the opportunities and           and preliminary recommendations.
great challenges.                           challenges for immigrant communities       Recent developments have created a
                                            in the current environment?                unique funding opportunity for philan-
In spring 2006, millions of immigrants      Specifically, how can foundations          thropy, and we hope this report will
and their allies have participated in       support efforts to build upon recent       stimulate discussion among funders on
hundreds of marches across the United       developments and increase newcomer         how best to support and strengthen the
States. The scale and power of these        civic participation?                       emerging immigrant rights movement
demonstrations surprised even long-                                                    during this critical time. We welcome
time immigrant supporters. They              What areas of needs are prioritized      your comments and reactions to the
increased immigrants’ visibility and        by national and regional immigrant         findings and recommendations of this
highlighted their potential power. The      organizations?                             report. Our organizations look forward
marches also influenced Congressional        If Congress were to adopt an             to serving as an information resource
debate on reforming U.S. immigration        immigration bill, what would be its        and to providing technical assistance to
policies, from an almost exclusive focus    likely effects and how could funders       national and regional funders. The Four
on enforcement to one that—for all its      help immigrants benefit, as well as        Freedoms Fund, in particular, is also
flaws—includes creating new opportu-        respond to harmful provisions?             available to help coordinate grantmak-
nities for immigrants to legalize their      How should funders respond to the        ing if there is interest in forming
status and reunify family members.          growing anti-immigrant backlash at the     collaborative efforts to address
                                            state and local levels?                    immigration issues.
Yet, despite these gains, immigrant
communities face considerable               Our researchers interviewed a broad        We hope you will consider acting upon
challenges in converting their recent       cross-section of immigrant leaders,        some of the recommendations in this
mobilizations into beneficial policy        advocates, and policymakers and have       report. Increased support—if provided
changes and political empowerment.          produced this report summarizing their     in a timely, informed and strategic
Any legislation that emerges from           findings. The report briefly describes     manner—can help create not only
Congress is likely to include many          the circumstances that produced the        stronger immigrant communities but
harmful measures. Efforts to enhance        large immigrant marches and offers         ultimately a better future for this
immigrants’ electoral power and their       concrete funding recommendations for       country.
influence on national policymaking are      supporting immigrant communities
unlikely to succeed without innovative      under different scenarios.
strategies and increased and sustained                                                 Michele Lord
funding to promote naturalization,          A key theme that runs throughout this      Executive Director
voter engagement, leadership develop-       report is the need for funders to          Public Interest Projects
ment, and advocacy among newcomers.         provide increased support at this          Four Freedoms Fund
                                            pivotal moment, while coordinating
Recognizing that the current environ-       their efforts to maximize impact and       Daranee Petsod
ment offers important opportunities for     avoid duplication. Coordination of         Executive Director
funders to support and help empower         funding will be especially important if    Grantmakers Concerned with
immigrants, the Four Freedoms Fund          Congress were to pass a large-scale        Immigrants and Refugees
commissioned a field analysis to better     immigration reform bill since it would
understand recent developments and          likely affect—both positively and
provide funding recommendations.            negatively—tens of millions of
Some of the key questions that this         immigrants.
report addresses include:

Executive Summary

       n the spring of 2006, millions of

I      immigrants and their allies
       participated in hundreds of
       marches across the United States.
The scale and power of these demon-
strations have increased immigrants’
visibility and highlighted their poten-
tial power. While the long-term implica-
tions remain to be seen, the passion
that was unleashed in these unprece-
dented demonstrations promises to be a
potent force in shaping this country’s
                                           © New York Immigration Coalition

Drawing upon information gathered
through media articles and interviews
with over 60 immigrant leaders,
advocates and policymakers, this report
analyzes the recent events’ implications
for funders.

Section I provides a brief overview of
the demonstrations, examining the
events and factors that helped create                                         While the marches surprised many due       tions have had a positive impact on the
and nurture the groundswell that led                                          to the apparently spontaneous partici-     policymaking environment, though
millions of immigrants to participate in                                      pation by so many who had not demon-       numerous challenges continue to
marches and other civic actions.                                              strated before, they were facilitated by   impede affirmative policy change. As
                                                                              the groundwork laid by advocates,          public officials have become more aware
The major catalyst for recent events                                          community groups, national coalitions      that immigrants are a growing part of
was the U.S. House of Representatives’                                        and other organizations that have long     the electorate, the national immigra-
passage of HR 4437 in December 2005.                                          worked together on issues affecting        tion reform debate has shifted from an
The harsh criminalization provisions                                          immigrants. Broad coalitions that had      almost exclusive focus on enforcement
and enforcement-only approach to                                              been convened to support comprehen-        measures to an increasing realization
immigration reform raised the stakes                                          sive immigration reform played impor-      that any comprehensive legislation
not only for immigrants and advocates,                                        tant roles in mobilizing support for the   must also allow undocumented
but also for faith-based organizations,                                       demonstrations as well as coordinating     immigrants and future guest workers a
social service agencies, employers, and                                       and shaping public messages. In many       path towards citizenship.
other groups that work closely with                                           regions, religious groups (particularly
immigrants and recognize their contri-                                        various Catholic Church archdioceses),     Responding to recent mobilizations,
butions to U.S. communities. Ethnic                                           economic justice and community organ-      many immigrant organizations are
media outlets, led by several nationally                                      izing groups, and labor unions provided    working to improve coordination
syndicated Spanish-language radio                                             critical support. Hometown associations    between grassroots groups and national
personalities, played a pivotal role in                                       and other ethnic-based organizations       advocates, as well as offer civic engage-
publicizing events and the messages to                                        were also instrumental in reaching out     ment activities that will empower
be conveyed, building a momentum                                              to communities that typically have had     immigrants and strengthen the broader
that drew immigrant families and their                                        limited participation in the political     social justice movement. Through
allies to the public demonstrations in                                        arena.                                     strategic investment in these groups,
record-breaking numbers.                                                                                                 foundations can strengthen and
                                                                              Advocates at the national and state        advance the movement for immigrant
                                                                              levels confirm that recent demonstra-      rights.

Section II elaborates on the               skills; and (4) strengthen fundraising.      Increase the communications
challenges and obstacles for immigrant     Funders should also continue to support     capacity of immigrant rights
communities in achieving short-term        ethnic-based organizations that             organizations, including (1) message
policy goals and long-term empower-        complement the roles of coalitions.         development that can be used on a
ment. Some of the key challenges that       Strengthen collaborations between         broad range of issues in different
should concern funders include:            local and national immigrant groups.        regions of the country; (2) coordination
                                           Increased collaboration can build upon      of communications strategies among
 Possibility that any immigration
                                           the groundwork underlying recent            national and regional advocates beyond
reform adopted this year will include
                                           mobilizations, strengthen the voice of      the federal legislative context;
harmful provisions, leading to
                                           immigrants in federal policymaking          (3) factual or background information
increased detention and deportation of
                                           through increased grassroots input and      related to ongoing events; and (4)
immigrants; militarization of the U.S.-
                                           support, and coordinate the develop-        organizational capacity to work with
Mexico border; and denial of due
                                           ment of shared public messages and          media.
process for growing numbers of
immigrants.                                themes as well as advocacy strategies.       Fund research on the impact of
                                           Funding national coalitions that devel-     harmful enforcement systems, develop
 Limited capacity among
                                           op shared principles among diverse          alternative enforcement policies, and
immigrant-serving groups to provide
                                           immigrant communities and help facili-      incorporate public opinion research
public education, advice, and services
                                           tate communications across local and        into future advocacy campaigns. These
to eligible individuals if large-scale
                                           national organizations is critical to the   activities are important to informing
legalization programs were enacted.
                                           movement’s future success.                  advocacy strategies that either address
 Limited resources within regional                                                    or help change harmful immigration
                                            Support efforts to build broader
immigrant rights coalitions—organiza-                                                  enforcement systems.
                                           public support of immigrant issues.
tions that have played major roles in
                                           Targeted public education campaigns,         Support efforts to counter anti-
supporting the recent mass mobiliza-
                                           particularly using print and electronic     immigrant proposals at state and
tions—to sustain the engagement of
                                           media, can increase public understand-      local levels. Such funding can include
individuals and groups new to the
                                           ing of the experiences of newcomers         grants to national groups to provide
movement and to build a broader base.
                                           and their contributions to society, as      technical assistance and grants to local
 Large and growing numbers of             well as inform debates on policy issues     organizations which mobilize
anti-immigrant proposals at the state      that affect the well-being of immigrant     immigrants to oppose these measures.
and local levels that are creating an      families.                                    Support efforts to improve wages
increasingly hostile environment for
                                            Increase funding for civic partici-       and working conditions for low-wage
                                           pation. Converting recent large             workers. The enactment of any new
 Tensions between immigrants and          mobilizations into electoral and politi-    legalization program, by itself, will not
other disadvantaged communities,           cal power is a critical next step for the   necessarily improve working conditions
especially African-Americans.              movement. Funders can support a range       for many immigrants and could actually
                                           of activities in strategic geographic       lead to increased exploitation by
Section III provides recommenda-           regions, including (1) naturalization       unscrupulous employers. Improving the
tions to help address these challenges     efforts that expand the immigrant           wages and working conditions of low-
and to build upon the momentum             electorate; (2) voter registration,         wage earners is a key element to
generated by recent events regardless of   education, and get-out-the-vote (GOTV)      helping immigrants become economical-
whether Congress adopts immigration-       activities; and (3) community organiz-      ly self-sufficient and integrate into U.S.
related legislative reform:                ing and leadership development that         communities.
 Support regional immigrant rights        can expand the base and increase             Support efforts to build stronger
organizations to provide leadership        immigrants’ influence in policymaking.      relationships between immigrants and
and coordination for the emerging           Support the ethnic media’s                African-Americans. These efforts could
movement. These groups need                capacity to cover immigration issues.       engage organizations at both national
increased capacity to: (1) communicate     Ethnic media outlets play a pivotal role    and regional levels to build stronger
with their constituencies; (2) engage in   in informing newcomer communities           relationships between the two commu-
leadership development, community          and engaging them in civic life.            nities and to engage in collaborative
organizing, and other programs to                                                      advocacy to achieve shared goals.
incorporate newcomers and their groups
into the immigrant rights movement;
(3) enhance media and communications

                                             Support administrative and                public debate on reversing these
    “The demonstrations were so             regulatory advocacy. This is especially     measures in future immigration
    peaceful and strong because             important to ensure proper implementa-      legislation. They also need to
    they were about families. As            tion, given the complexity of any law       continue advocating for comprehensive
    people realized that families           that is likely to pass Congress and the     legislation that helps immigrants
    might be separated, everyone            culture of the current Department of        legalize, reunites families, and meets
    wanted to participate.                  Homeland Security.                          the social and economic needs of
    Children and youth joined in             Support litigation to protect             American communities.
    and were marching alongside             immigrants’ rights. This is especially       Support public education efforts.
    their parents.”                         important if Congress were to pass          Materials, manuals, trainings, and
                                            legislation that restricts due process or   media strategies will be needed to
    Jessie Diaz                             infringes upon other constitutional         inform immigrants of the details of any
    League of United Latin American         protections.                                new enforcement programs and how
    Citizens, Dallas Council                                                            they would affect their communities.
                                             Support planning for longer-term
                                            implementation of legalization               Support administrative/regulatory
                                            programs and integration of                 advocacy and litigation. These strate-
Section IV describes funding                newcomers. Foundations can work with        gies will be needed to limit the harmful
recommendations for addressing any          stakeholders to address English acquisi-    impact of enforcement policies.
comprehensive immigration reform            tion needs and develop programs that         Support monitoring of implementa-
measures adopted by Congress:               will maximize the skills and contribu-      tion and increase service providers’
 Support large and coordinated             tions that these new immigrants can         capacity to assist immigrants harmed
campaigns to educate and assist             provide to their communities.               by new policies. Proposed enforcement
immigrants in the implementation of          Continue to fund ongoing advocacy         policies will require immigrant
any new, comprehensive immigration          to improve U.S. immigration laws and        advocates and service providers to
laws. Activities should include the         policies. Such activities include efforts   devote more resources to monitor
development of public education             to publicize and address the shortcom-      implementation by immigration
materials, trainings, outreach, and legal   ings of any reform measures passed.         enforcement agencies, address potential
and other direct services needed to         They also include community organiz-        abuses or unlawful practices, and
support implementation. Coordination        ing, public education, and civic partici-   provide legal assistance to growing
among both funders and immigrant-           pation efforts.                             numbers of immigrants facing detention
serving organizations is a crucial                                                      and deportation.
consideration, given the enormous scale     Section V describes funding recom-           Expand the field’s communications
of the potential legalization program.      mendations if the federal government        capacity. Publicizing the harmful
 Fund public education efforts on          were to adopt only new enforcement          effects of new enforcement policies and
other provisions of any new law, such       policies but no legalization or family-     helping to develop more effective
as enforcement issues, new guest            based immigration measures:                 messages in support of immigrant rights
worker programs, and the expansion of        Support civic engagement to build         will be important to minimizing the
family unification opportunities.           support for comprehensive immigra-          likely negative impacts.
                                            tion reform. This would capitalize on
                                            the heightened public awareness of
                                            immigration issues. Depending on the
                                            scope of the new enforcement provi-
                                            sions, advocates may need to mobilize
                                            a strong public response to focus the

I. Introduction: HR 4437 Sparks a Groundswell
         he dramatic series of rallies

                                            the momentum of the mobilizations.
         that spread across the United      This report’s description of immigrant
         States in the spring of 2006       mobilizations is not a comprehensive
         have brought a new dimension       analysis of the many marches that
to the debate over comprehensive            occurred in the spring of 2006. Instead,
immigration reform. These events mark       it is intended to provide the reader
the entrance into the public eye of a       with background information needed to
large and vocal immigrant community         better understand the recommendations
claiming a right to be seen and heard       discussed below. These recommenda-
as part of the national dialogue over its   tions focus on strengthening the
fate. The mobilizations were remarkable     immigrant rights movement’s infrastruc-
not only for their scale but also for       ture, increasing civic engagement,         Herman Martinez, Board member of the
their unity and dignity. Although           developing effective strategies to         Florida Immigrant Coalition
organizers were often rushing to keep       counter harmful enforcement systems,
up with popular momentum, and               and improving relationships between        communities of the issues at stake.
despite some differences in strategy        immigrants and other disadvantaged         Community-based and immigrant rights
and approach, these events were held        communities. In addition, they also        groups conducted public education
together by a sense of common               address possible legislative changes,      campaigns about the implications of
purpose.                                    including comprehensive reforms, that      the bill. Public awareness of the
                                            Congress may adopt over the next year.     draconian implications also grew when
The themes and messages that spread                                                    Los Angeles’ Cardinal Roger Mahony
through word of mouth, ethnic media,        The major catalyst for recent events       made a March 1st Ash Wednesday call
and advocates’ outreach and organizing      was the U.S. House of Representatives’     for defiance of HR 4437 should it
efforts had deep resonance for the          passage of HR 4437 in December 2005.1      become law, stating that he would be
larger immigrant community and helped       The bill’s harsh provisions and enforce-   willing to risk jail for his position.
fuel the momentum. The masses of            ment-only approach to immigration
white t-shirts, the heartfelt, multi-       reform touched a nerve and raised the      Although local demonstrations began
lingual slogans—from “I am a worker,        stakes for a range of constituencies.      shortly after the passage of HR 4437,
not a criminal” to “today we march,         Both the undocumented and                  the idea for mass mobilizations had its
tomorrow we vote”—spoke to a deep           immigrants with official status felt       seed as local and national groups began
reservoir of sentiment and potential        directly targeted by the legislation and   to gather and strategize a response in
capacity for action. While the long-term    the accompanying tide of anti-             early 2006. In one significant example,
implications remain to be seen, the         immigrant sentiment, prompting             over 500 Latino activists and academics
passion that was unleashed in these         widespread indignation and a desire to     from across the country met at the
unprecedented demonstrations promises       rise up and claim their dignity. Many      University of California, Riverside on
to be a potent force in shaping this        businesses, churches, social service       February 11th to consider a response to
country’s future.                           agencies, and individuals, realizing       HR 4437. The event was convened by
                                            their own potential liability under HR     the National Alliance for Human Rights,
Drawing upon information gathered           4437’s provisions criminalizing assis-     an organization of Latino activists and
through media articles and interviews       tance to the undocumented, felt
with over 60 immigrant leaders,             compelled to increase their participa-
advocates and policymakers, this report     tion in the debate over immigration        1. The text and summary of HR 4437, primarily authored
analyzes the implications of recent         reform.                                    by Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), is available at
                                                                                       http://thomas.loc.gov. While media attention has focused
events for funders. It briefly highlights                                              on the bill’s attempt to criminalize undocumented
the factors behind the recent               In this environment, awareness of the      immigrants and those who help these individuals, the bill
groundswells in selected locations,         perceived injustice of HR 4437 spread      contains a number of other harmful provisions, including
                                                                                       those that would dramatically increase passport and
analyzes their impact on federal and        throughout immigrant communities.          document fraud penalties, expand mandatory detention
state policymaking on immigrant-            Ethnic media outlets—in print, on the      to apply to more categories of immigrants, create new
related issues, and provides grant-         radio and television, and online—were      grounds of inadmissibility and deportability, and authorize
                                                                                       state and local police agencies to enforce immigration
making recommendations to build upon        instrumental in informing immigrant        laws.

academics founded by Armando                radio show host). After organizers          one interviewee mentioned that it was
Navarro, a U.C. Riverside ethnic studies    convinced the DJs that this was an          not so much that the Giant had been
professor with roots in the Chicano         important moment, they helped spread        sleeping as it was that he had been so
movement. Consensus was reached that        information about immigration reform,       busy working; now it was time for the
mass action should be taken, and            shared their own immigration histories      Giant to stand and speak. Participants
attendees from both Chicago and Los         and publicized the event, leading to a      and bystanders were swept up in the
Angeles returned to their home cities       March 25th turnout estimated at             dramatic, peaceful, and celebratory
and started working with coalitions         500,000 to one million.                     tone of these demonstrations.
that became the basis of the seminal                                                    Immigrant families were claiming their
mobilizations in those cities.              April saw efforts to continue the           right to exist and be recognized. When
                                            momentum. Between 350,000 and               asked about the factors underlying the
These efforts bore fruit in March as        500,000 marched in Dallas’ “Mega            tremendous turnout, Father Richard
people drew together in a mass              Marcha” on April 9th, the largest           Estrada of La Placita Church in Los
movement that steadily gained momen-        civil rights march in the city’s history.   Angeles, an early meeting place of the
tum. On March 7th, a crowd of 20,000        A coordinated “National Day of Action”      March 25th planners, stated simply that
to 40,000 (as estimated by officials and    was organized on April 10th. That day,      “it was in the people’s will already.”
organizers, respectively) gathered in a     organizers estimate that over 300,000
Washington, D.C. event organized by         rallied in New York and hundreds of         Ethnic media played a pivotal
the National Capital Immigration            thousands more participated in 170+         role. Ethnic media closely followed the
Coalition, among other groups. On           events across the country. These            progress of immigration reform legisla-
March 10th, the rallying cry in Chicago     mobilizations were remarkable not only      tion and helped keep immigrant
was “El Gigante Despierta” (“The Giant      for their scale, but also their reach.      communities informed of the potential
Wakes”) as an estimated 100,000 to          South Carolina, with a relatively new       ramifications. As the mobilizations
300,000 marched through the streets in      immigrant population, drew unexpect-        developed, Spanish-language media and
a record-breaking demonstration that        edly large crowds; Schuyler, Nebraska, a    several key DJ’s, in particular, were
put the rest of the country on notice.      town of 5,300, saw 3,000 people rally-      instrumental in raising awareness about
Spontaneous student walkouts started        ing for immigrant rights. These April       the events. They publicized the rallies
across the nation, facilitated by           rallies were also more ethnically diverse   and, among other things, advised
MySpace.com and text-messaging.             than the March rallies, as organizers       listeners to wear white shirts, downplay
                                            reached out beyond the Latino commu-        the Mexican flag in favor of the
Organizers of subsequent events across      nities. While the April 19th federal        American flag, and present a dignified
the country noted that each successful      immigration raids at IFCO Pallet            image to the rest of America. In
mobilization increased popular interest     Management Systems plants generated         Chicago, Rafael Pulido of WOJO-FM
in the issue, and they often found          fear within immigrant communities,          (nicknamed “El Pistolero”) used his
themselves scrambling to respond in a       further rallies on May 1st were also well   show to reach a large cross section of
very short timeframe. For example,          attended around the nation, despite         the Spanish-speaking community.3 In
emboldened by the turnout in                occasional strategic differences over       Los Angeles, groups such as the
Washington and Chicago, Los Angeles         whether to call for a boycott.2             Coalition for Humane Immigration
geared up for its own “Gran Marcha” on                                                  Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) that
March 25th. Activists who had settled       Why were the mobilizations                  had preexisting relationships with
on the idea of a mass demonstration at      so successful?                              ethnic media helped engage them as
the February 11th conference in
Riverside, including Jesse Diaz and
                                            The people were ready. The unprece-
                                            dented scale of the mobilizations took      2. These differences included concerns about whether a
Javier Rodriguez, met with immigrant                                                    boycott would create a backlash against the movement
                                            supporters, adversaries, and the
rights and community groups that were                                                   generally, as well as possible retaliation by employers
                                            mainstream public by surprise. A            against individual workers. In Los Angeles, for example,
actively supporting comprehensive                                                       organizations and individuals in favor of a May 1st boycott
                                            unique confluence of factors helped to
immigration reform and began organiz-                                                   continued under the “March 25th Coalition” umbrella,
                                            create a movement that is still unfold-
ing as the “March 25th Coalition.” In                                                   including activists such as Javier Rodriguez, Jesse Diaz, and
                                            ing. To a large extent, the mobilizations   Nativo Lopez; they pushed for “A Day Without an
addition to the efforts of activists and                                                Immigrant”, a phrase that was taken up by the mainstream
                                            were so well attended and spread so
organizers, a crucial factor was the buy-                                               media, and organized a midday rally on May 1st.
                                            quickly across the country because the
in of Spanish language DJs — most                                                       Established immigrant rights groups, most community-
                                            themes resonated deeply among               based organizations, the Archdiocese, SEIU 1877,
notably two nationally syndicated radio                                                 Unite/HERE, and the LA County Federation of Labor
                                            immigrant communities, regardless of
personalities, Renán Almendárez Coello                                                  formed the “We Are America” coalition to organize a late
                                            whether or not they were undocument-
(“el Cucuy”) and Eduardo Sotelo (“el                                                    afternoon march and rally timed to provide individuals an
                                            ed. There was a sense that the rallies      opportunity to participate with less of a chance of jeopard-
Piolin,” who entered the U.S. in the                                                    izing their jobs. Many participants in the midday rally
                                            were an organic and authentic expres-
trunk of a car in 1986, and who is now                                                  continued on to the second rally.
                                            sion of a long-suffering desire for
Los Angeles’ highest-rated morning                                                      3. Fornek, Scott. 2006. “Chicago ‘Giant’ put rest of
                                            respect. In a representative comment,       country on notice,” Chicago Sun Times, April 2.

                                                                                                                      helped build important local-national
                                                                                                                      collaborations. These coalitions have
                                                                                                                      articulated shared principles, goals, and
                                                                                                                      strategies and have brought together
                                                                                                                      diverse allies ranging from community-
                                                                                                                      based organizations to national unions.
                                                                                                                      In doing so, they have amplified
                                                                                                                      immigrants’ voices in national policy-
                                                                                                                      making by connecting grassroots
                                                                                                                      advocacy and civic participation to the
                                                                                                                      ongoing debate on reforming federal
                                                                                                                      immigration policies.

                                                                                                                      CCIR, FIRM and RWG, in particular, have
                                                                                                                      not only provided leadership for these
© New York Immigration Coalition

                                                                                                                      collaborations, but with funding from
                                                                                                                      the Atlantic Philanthropies, Ford
                                                                                                                      Foundation, Open Society Institute,
                                                                                                                      and other foundations, have re-granted
                                                                                                                      support to regional organizations to
                                                                                                                      increase their capacity to participate in
                                                                                                                      national policy debates. The results of
                                                                                                                      these collaborations were evident in
                                                                                                                      recent mobilizations, as the regional
                                   active participants. Two of the major                                              groups took the lead in organizing local
                                   Los Angeles-based radio personalities—       “Many organizations and
                                                                                coalitions contributed to the         events in support of comprehensive
                                   Eddie Sotelo and Renán Almendárez                                                  immigration reform, and the national
                                   Coello—challenged other radio person-        historic mobilizations that
                                                                                                                      coalitions worked with their members
                                   alities to join them in gathering            transpired this past spring.          to coordinate events and public
                                   support for the mobilizations. Because       As an organized network with          messages, as well as provide assistance
                                   both Sotelo and Coello broadcast             a presence in 37 states,              to smaller groups across the country.
                                   nationally, their messages regarding the     CCIR and its New American
                                   March 25th march and subsequent              Opportunity Campaign played           The participating groups’ relationships
                                   events were also heard by Spanish-           a crucial role, working with          with immigrant communities and ethnic
                                   speaking immigrants across the
                                                                                groups nationwide to organize         media, their familiarity with issues
                                   country.4                                                                          surrounding immigration reform,
                                                                                and coordinate unified action
                                                                                on April 10th and beyond.             experience in collaborating with diverse
                                   Groundwork greased the wheels.                                                     communities, as well as their grassroots
                                   While the organic nature of these            Success was evident not only
                                                                                in turnout, but also in the           legitimacy, were all significant factors
                                   events cannot be overstated, in many                                               in the mobilization and planning of
                                   localities they were facilitated by the      white t-shirts, American flags,
                                                                                                                      recent events. Without much advance
                                   groundwork laid by advocates, commu-         and ‘We Are America’ signs            warning or preparation, representatives
                                   nity groups, and other organizations         that unified the demonstra-           from regional and national organiza-
                                   that have long worked together on            tions and message.”                   tions were able to speak to both the
                                   issues affecting immigrants. In particu-                                           mainstream press and to their grass-
                                   lar, regional and local organizations        Frank Sharry
                                                                                                                      roots constituents about the core issues
                                   that had previously convened broad           National Immigration Forum
                                                                                                                      of immigration reform in a way that
                                   coalitions to support comprehensive                                                resonated with large numbers of people.
                                   immigration reform played important
                                   roles in mobilizing support for and         events. Over the past few years, the
                                                                                                                      4. The significance of ethnic media is increasing: Univision,
                                   shaping public messages generated by        emergence of the Coalition for         for example, is the fifth-largest network in the United
                                   the demonstrations.                         Comprehensive Immigration Reform       States, and its primetime viewership among 18-34 year
                                                                               (CCIR), the Center for Community       olds has ranked as high as second overall, behind only Fox.
                                                                                                                      Likewise, a 2005 survey by Bendixen and Associates and
                                   National coalitions and networks that       Change’s Fair Immigration Reform       New America Media found that 51 million Americans, 24
                                   link many of these regional groups          Movement (FIRM), Rights Working        percent of U.S. adults, are either primary or secondary
                                                                               Group (RWG), the Catholic Church’s     consumers of ethnic media. See “The State of the News
                                   were also a critical part of the ground-                                           Media” available at
                                   work, helping to turn what started as       Justice for Immigrants Campaign, and   www.stateofthenewsmedia.org/2006/narrative_ethnic
                                   local rallies into nationally coordinated   ethnic-based national networks have    alternative_audience.asp?cat=4&media=10.

                                                                                                                          for the mobilizations. The Catholic
                                                                                                                          Church, in particular, provided critical
                                                                                                                          support in a number of communities.
                                                                                                                          The most visible example was in Los
                                                                                                                          Angeles, where Cardinal Mahony’s
                                                                                                                          personal investment in the issue has
                                                                                                                          been a major factor in publicizing the
                                                                                                                          harmful impact of HR 4437, but the
                                                                                                                          Church also played significant roles in
                                                                                                                          mobilizing support in Chicago, Houston,
                                                                                                                          Washington, D.C. and other metropoli-
                                                                                                                          tan areas.

                                                                                                                          Labor unions, especially in Los Angeles
                                                                                                                          (SEIU Local 1877, UNITE/HERE, and the
© New York Immigration Coalition

                                                                                                                          LA County Federation of Labor), and
                                                                                                                          New York (SEIU Local 32BJ and SEIU
                                                                                                                          Local 1199), also became increasingly
                                                                                                                          involved in working directly with
                                                                                                                          immigrant groups. Unions, with
                                                                                                                          resources far greater than grassroots
                                                                                                                          community organizations, were instru-
                                                                                                                          mental in providing key logistical and
                                                                                                                          financial support, as well as bringing
                                                                                                                          out the rank and file. In New York, for
                                   These same evolving networks have          Likewise, in Nebraska, an existing          example, Change to Win representatives
                                   since become the basis for further work    network of organizations participating      flew in from Washington, D.C. to facili-
                                   to turn the mass mobilizations into        in the Immigrant Rights Network of          tate permit negotiations on an expedit-
                                   political power.5                          Iowa and Nebraska provided critical         ed basis. These unions brought their
                                                                              support for helping local immigrant         organizing and mobilizing experience.
                                   In Los Angeles, for example, groups        groups to organize large-scale marches      Their involvement may also have been a
                                   which had been working together in         in several different cities.6 In South      factor in encouraging mainstream
                                   the Southern California Comprehensive      Carolina, where the immigrant popula-       politicians to attend the rallies. At the
                                   Immigration Reform Workgroup, such as      tion and related organizations were still   national level, SEIU has played a
                                   CHIRLA, the National Korean American       relatively new, groups such as              central role in developing a new nation-
                                   Service & Education Consortium             Acercamiento Hispano (“Hispanic             al coalition, the We Are America
                                   (NAKASEC), Service Employees               Outreach”) and the Coalition for New        Alliance, to follow up on the mobiliza-
                                   International Union (SEIU) locals, the     South Carolinians were able to draw         tions with the goal of naturalizing and
                                   Korean Resource Center, the Central        upon relationships they had built up        registering more than a million voters
                                   American Resource Center (CARECEN),        with community groups, service              from immigrant communities before the
                                   and the Archdiocese Office of Justice      agencies and churches to facilitate         November 2006 elections.
                                   and Peace took the lead in coordinating    organizing for the April 10th mobiliza-
                                   the movement, especially after the         tions. In Dallas, the League of United      Hometown associations and other
                                   initial March 25th demonstration. In       Latin American Citizens (LULAC) took        ethnic-specific organizations were also
                                   New York City, groups with a long          the lead in forming a coalition with the    instrumental in bringing out crowds.
                                   history of providing immigrant rights      faith community (through the Dallas         These include groups such as Casa
                                   advocacy, including unions, became the     Area Interfaith Sponsoring Committee)       Michoacan in Chicago, which hosted
                                   backbone for pulling together the April    to bring out more than half a million       early organizing meetings for the March
                                   10th mobilization and shaping the          participants.                               10th mobilization, Hermandad Mexicana
                                   positive public messages conveyed at                                                   chapters and other groups in Los
                                   the rally. In less than two weeks, these   The coalition broadens. In addition
                                   groups and other allies successfully       to organizations that have typically
                                   organized the largest rally held during    focused on immigration issues, the
                                                                                                                          5. See description below of the formation of the We Are
                                   the National Day of Action.                recent mobilizations have seen the          America Alliance.
                                                                              increasing involvement of other stake-      6. These organizations include Nebraska Appleseed,
                                                                              holders. In certain communities, faith      Omaha Together One Community, the Chicano Awareness
                                                                                                                          Center in Omaha, Hispanic Community Center of Lincoln,
                                                                              institutions and leaders played major       and the Office of Latin and Latin American Studies at the
                                                                              roles in organizing turnout and support     University of Nebraska – Omaha.

Angeles, and groups such as Casa               enforcement measures to a growing          Milo Mumgaard, executive director of
Guanajuato in Dallas. These associations       realization by many mainstream legisla-    Nebraska Appleseed, reflects widespread
have typically focused more on service         tors that any comprehensive legislation    sentiment when he notes that “every-
provision, cultural and social activities,     must also allow undocumented               thing we’ve done since April 10th has
but as a result of the recent mobiliza-        immigrants and future guest workers a      been to try and figure out how to take
tions, they have emerged as a key              path towards permanent residency and       advantage of this energy.” Many
player in the immigrant rights                 citizenship. In late May, the U.S.         immigrant organizations already are
movement and in the larger political           Senate passed by almost a two-third        building on the recent mobilizations
arena. Finally, low-income community           margin the Hagel-Martinez bill, S. 2611,   through better coordination between
organizing groups, including faith-            containing provisions that were largely    grassroots groups and national
based organizations and worker centers,        unthinkable only a short time ago.         advocates, as well as engaging in civic
also helped mobilize support for recent        S. 2611 includes the DREAM Act,9           activities that will empower immigrants
rallies. A number of these groups have         a modified version of AgJOBS,10 and a      and strengthen the broader social
become deeply involved in organizing           three-tiered legalization program11 that   justice movement.
immigrant communities in specific              is expected to benefit a significant
regions and are emerging as important          portion of the undocumented popula-        An important development coming out
institutions for newcomers.                    tion. While the legislation contains       of the mobilization has been the forma-
                                               many worrisome enforcement provisions      tion of a national coalition, the We Are
Impact of the Marches                          and restrictions to legalization, its      America Alliance, to coordinate actions
on Policymakers                                passage illustrates the powerful politi-   in support of immigration reform and
                                               cal forces that have been unleashed in     to translate the high level of immigrant
“Today we march, tomorrow we vote,”
                                               the five months since the House passed     interest in these issues into civic and
the slogan repeated throughout the
                                               HR 4437.                                   electoral power. At the time of this
demonstrations, has framed the
mobilizations as part of a political
                                               Similarly, at the state level, advocates
movement that will hold elected
                                               report that a number of anti-immigrant     7. The potential voting population of immigrant communi-
officials and political parties account-                                                  ties is substantial. As of 2004, there were 12.4 million
                                               legislative proposals were modified or
able to immigrant communities. For                                                        naturalized citizens eligible to vote. Passel, Jeffery S. 2005.
                                               withdrawn shortly after the April 10th     Unauthorized Migrants: Numbers and Characteristics.
years, political pundits have discounted
                                               National Day of Action. Even immigrant     Washington, D.C.: Pew Hispanic Center. Another approxi-
the large and growing immigrant                                                           mately 10.7 million immigrants were eligible but had yet to
                                               leaders who fear that local demonstra-
population,7 citing low naturalization                                                    apply for citizenship. Fix, Michael, Jeffrey Passel, and
                                               tions could cause backlash in their        Kenneth Sucher. 2003. Immigrant Families and Workers:
rates among Mexican and Central
                                               communities believe that the long-term     Trends in Naturalization. Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute.
American newcomers and poor voter                                                            In addition, an estimated four million U.S.-born children
                                               benefits of raising the visibility of
turnout among naturalized citizens. But                                                   of immigrants between the ages of 18–24 are also eligible
                                               immigrants and engaging large numbers      voters. Hoyt, Joshua and Fred Tsao. 2006. Today We March,
the recent marches call these assump-
                                               of newcomers far outweigh any possible     Tomorrow We Vote: The Untapped Power of Over 14 Million
tions into question. Even mainstream                                                      Potential New Immigrant Voters in 2008. Chicago: Illinois
                                               short-term harms.
political observers recognize that the                                                    Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights.
                                                                                          8. Balz, Dan. 2006. “In Speech, a Balancing Act of Policy
current context could motivate many
more individuals to naturalize and vote.       Capturing the energy of the                and Politics,” The Washington Post, May 16.
                                                                                          9. The DREAM Act would help undocumented youths who
As described in an analysis by The             mass mobilizations                         have grown up in the United States and graduated from
                                                                                          high school. It would permit many to apply for temporary
Washington Post, the marches have              One of the most remarkable aspects of
                                                                                          legal status and eventually permanent status if they go to
“mobilized a nascent political                 the mobilizations was their sense of       college or serve in the U.S. military. For more information,
movement, one that over time will grow         common resolve and purpose, particu-       see the National Immigrant Law Center web site at
in size and strength as younger Latinos        larly given the geographic and ethnic
                                                                                          10. The Agricultural Job Opportunities, Benefit and
begin to register and vote in larger and       diversity of the participants, which       Security Act would allow certain undocumented
larger numbers… [T]here is little              included both native-born Americans        farmworkers and H-2A guestworkers to obtain temporary
                                                                                          immigration status, with the possibility of becoming perma-
disagreement that in the longer term, a        and immigrants. This unifying message
                                                                                          nent residents if they prospectively work a specified
party seen as hostile to immigrants,           was due not only to the tireless and       amount of time in the agricultural industry, pay a fine, and
legal or illegal, could pay a stiff price.”8   coordinated work of a broad range of       establish that they have paid income taxes. For more infor-
                                                                                          mation, see the Farmworkers Justice Fund web site at
Interviews with immigrant leaders and          stakeholders, but also because the
advocates in Washington, D.C. and at           cause, and the message, resonated so       11. S. 2611 includes a three-tiered legalization program
the state level confirm that the recent        deeply with immigrant communities.         that would be available to many undocumented immigrants
                                                                                          who have lived in the United States for (1) five or more
demonstrations have had a large and            The mass mobilizations, in retrospect,
                                                                                          years and (2) between two to five years, but these individ-
positive impact on their policy advoca-        seem both surprising and inevitable,       uals would have to first leave the country and receive a
cy efforts. At the national level, discus-     and have left in their wake a sense of     temporary work visa. Those here less than two years
                                                                                          would have to leave. See Title VI of S. 2611. Detailed
sions on immigration reform have gone          power and possibility.
                                                                                          analysis of this extremely complex program and its various
from an almost exclusive focus on                                                         requirements is available from the American Immigration
                                                                                          Lawyers Associations’ web site at www.aila.org.

writing, the coalition is still in the                                                Immigrant leaders and advocates agree
early stages of formation, but it           “[B]y going through this                  that translating the energy of the
proposes to become a very broad             historic moment, I truly felt             mobilizations into ongoing community-
grassroots-based collaboration.             like I became a full member               building and policy work will be
Its membership includes regional            of this society. My participa-            challenging given their limited
immigrant rights organizations, unions      tion in this rally was a decla-           resources and as different goals and
(including SEIU and UNITE HERE), the        ration that I, as an immigrant,           strategies emerge within the movement.
New American Opportunity Campaign,12        am ready to fully pursue                  Organizers also note the difficulty of
the Center for Community Change, large      responsibility while exercising           maintaining focus while accommodating
Catholic Church archdioceses, large                                                   the desires and needs of a very diverse
                                            my rights. Immigrants may
ethnic-based organizations, farm                                                      and growing group of stakeholders.
workers’ groups, and many other
                                            emerge not only as a new                  “Making history is hard,” said Chung-
immigrant organizations. Renán              political force, but as new               Wha Hong, “but every problem has the
Almendárez Coello and Eduardo Sotelo,       guardians of justice in this              potential to strengthen us.” Addressing
the two DJs who played such an impor-       society.”                                 these challenges holds the promise of
tant role in mobilizing the initial                                                   increasing the capacity and effective-
                                            S.J. Jung
demonstrations, are also part of the                                                  ness of immigrant organizations, as well
                                            Young Korean American Service
coalition and have pledged to continue                                                as providing the training ground for
                                            and Education Center
to use their radio shows to support                                                   leadership development.
immigration reform and immigrant
rights. The Alliance’s announced goal to                                              Grassroots immigrant-led groups, in
naturalize and register over one million   Advocates have also tried to capitalize    particular, may provide touchstones to
individuals before the November 2006       on the current interest in immigration     help maintain a clarity of vision and
elections clearly is intended to           issues by educating the public about       purpose as the movement goes forward.
maintain pressure on Congress to enact     harmful policies and proposals that        S.J. Jung of the Young Korean
responsive immigration reform.             separate immigrant family members and      American Service and Education Center
                                           increase detention and deportation         offers the following thought: “By
In addition, the current national focus    without increasing border security or      participating in this campaign, by
on immigration following the mobiliza-     deterring undocumented migration.          going through this historic moment,
tions presents a crucial opportunity to    Over 300 immigrant family members,         I truly felt like I became a full member
educate the broader public about           for example, converged on Washington       of this society. My participation in this
immigrant issues. Interviewees note the    D.C. on April 24, 2006 to mark the         rally was a declaration that I, as an
importance of seizing the moment to        anniversary of the 1996 laws that have     immigrant, am ready to fully pursue
inform, and change, public perceptions     resulted in over a million deportations,   responsibility while exercising my
of immigrants and immigration reform.      primarily of lawful permanent residents    rights. Immigrants may emerge not
The New York Immigration Coalition         who have been convicted of crimes.         only as a new political force, but as
(NYIC), for example, is embarking on a     Advocates have also publicized the         new guardians of justice in this
campaign intended to dispel misinfor-      harmful provisions within S. 2611 that     society.”
mation through education forums and        would further expand the 1996 laws
publications that will address contro-     and increase deportation of newcomers      The remainder of this report examines
versial questions about immigrants,        for even minor infractions of immigra-     the challenges and opportunities faced
such as their effect on the economy        tion laws (see discussion below).          by immigrants in light of recent
and their contributions to a vibrant                                                  developments and the various ways in
America. As Chung-Wha Hong of the                                                     which funders can help them achieve
NYIC noted, the goal is to help the                                                   their goals.
mainstream public shift their thinking
of the issue from “how to treat
immigrants and what rights to give
them, to defining the issue as how to
reform immigration so that we build a
stronger future for everybody.”

                                                                                      12. The New American Opportunity Campaign is itself
                                                                                      a national coalition formed to support comprehensive
                                                                                      immigration reform and includes hundreds of local and
                                                                                      regional organizations across the country. For more
                                                                                      information, see its website at www.cirnow.org.

II. Challenges Facing the Immigrant Rights Movement
            hile the recent large-scale                    this legislative session, Congress is            (some of which are described in the

W           demonstrations have had
            a transformative effect,
            immigrant communities
continue to face many challenges in
achieving policy goals and long-term
                                                           likely to enact some of the enforcement
                                                           provisions in separate legislation prior
                                                           to the November election.

                                                            Differences in federal legislative
                                                                                                            previous paragraph). However, there are
                                                                                                            differences between advocates on how
                                                                                                            to best address these proposals. A
                                                                                                            majority of the interviewees, including
                                                                                                            many who have deep reservations about
empowerment. Foundations that wish                         strategies among immigrant                       the proposed legislation, believe that
to build upon the recent events must                       advocates. All of the interviewed                the most effective strategy leading up
take into account both political and                       advocates universally oppose the                 to the passage of S. 2611 was to work
structural barriers that immigrants must                   harmful enforcement and restrictive              with sympathetic legislators to produce
overcome in the current environment.                       provisions contained in the Senate bill          the best possible bill; they view this
Some of the key challenges include:

 Uncertainty on whether positive
immigration reform can be achieved
in the short-term, and the likelihood
that any legislation adopted in 2006
will include harmful and restrictive
measures. The impact of recent march-
es have not fundamentally changed
Congress’ desire to pass punitive
enforcement measures that will
separate immigrant families, infringe on
civil liberties, and harm communities
along the U.S.-Mexico border. For
instance, the Hagel-Martinez Senate
bill, among other things, greatly
expands immigration-related offenses
that constitute “aggravated felonies,”
thereby creating new grounds for
detention and deportation. It encour-
ages cooperation between local law
enforcement and federal immigration
enforcement officials; requires the
building of new walls along the U.S.-
Mexico border; increases penalties,
including the risk of deportation, for
minor infractions, such as failing to file
a change of address form; creates a new
employer verification system; and limits
judicial review of deportation orders.13
Many D.C. advocates interviewed for
this report also believe that even if a
comprehensive immigration bill fails in
                                                                                                                                                          © Jon Melegrito

13. A short, useful summary of these enforcement
provisions is provided in Goldstein, Amy. 2006. “Critics
Say Bill Diminishes Due Process for Immigrants.” The
Washington Post, May 26. More extended summaries           Members of South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (SAALT) at the April 10, 2006
of these provisions are available at www.aila.org,         immigrant rights rally in Washington, D.C., where SAALT Executive Director, Deepa Iyer,
www.immigration.forum.org and www.nilc.org.                addressed the participants.
option as one of the only ways to
prevent the enactment of damaging             ANTI-IMMIGRANT POLICIES ARE GAINING STRENGTH
legislation as well as to further the         AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
possibility that comprehensive reform
could be adopted over the long-run.           While no group systematically tracks             for cracking down on immigrant housing,
                                              municipal immigration-related develop-           but their intention, says David Harris of
These advocates believe that the Senate       ments, interviewees and media accounts           the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston,
legislation provided an alternative to        suggest that an increasing number of local       “is to limit housing opportunities for
the harsh bill adopted by the House           governments are pursuing anti-immigrant          newcomers.”15 Some of the more extreme
and could potentially tie up a                policies. These local efforts have focused       proposals, such as prohibiting extended
Conference Committee that would have          primarily in three areas:                        family members from living in the same
to reconcile vastly different proposals.                                                       household, have been successfully
A number of advocates also believe that        Increased local enforcement of                 challenged by legal advocates.16 But
S. 2611, despite its flaws, represents an     federal immigration laws. More local             several municipalities, such as Hazeleton,
important political achievement. The          governments appear to be cooperating             Pennsylvania, have enacted laws requiring
Senate’s bi-partisan passage of a bill to     with the U.S. Immigration and Custom             private landlords to verify their tenants’
legalize millions of immigrants provides      Enforcement agency or assigning their            immigration status.
a base on which to advance future             own police forces to engage in immigra-
legislative goals, even if Congress fails     tion enforcement activities, including            Crackdowns on day laborers. Local
to act this year.                             several highly visible examples along the        proposals targeting day laborers have
                                              U.S.-Mexico border.14                            risen significantly over the past year.17
                                                                                               These include prohibiting governments
 “Making history is hard,                      Increased attempts to use restrictive          from contributing funds to support day
 but every problem has the                    housing laws to target immigrants. Local         laborer activities, requiring day laborer
 potential to strengthen us.”                 anti-immigrant activists increasingly have       centers to verify immigration status, and
                                              attempted to use housing occupancy               barring job solicitation in public areas.
 Chung-Wha Hong                               standards or other housing rules (e.g.,          Observers report that anti-immigrant
 New York Immigration Coalition               laws that prohibit overcrowding or illegal       forces have targeted day laborers because
                                              in-law units) to drive immigrants away           they believe that there is little public
                                              from their cities. Local officials cite health   support for these vulnerable workers.
However, other advocates, especially          and safety concerns as their justification
those who work with populations most
affected by the harmful provisions,
actively opposed the bill, believing that
on balance the legislation could harm       legal status. Its complexity, especially           public demonstrations and follow-up
immigrant communities. These differ-        if the three-tiered program is enacted,            activities in support of comprehensive
ences in strategy could be amplified in     will create a great deal of confusion,             immigration reform. But most acknowl-
the field if a confusing law is adopted     and many immigrants will need assis-               edge that they have limited capacity to
that provides benefits to certain           tance and legal advice. Legislative                interact with the growing numbers of
immigrant communities while harming         enforcement provisions, in particular,             individuals and groups that have
others. But one promising sign that         will increase risks for undocumented               become interested in immigration
such differences are unlikely to under-     immigrants seeking adjustment.                     issues. Regional advocates view the
mine the movement’s long-term work is       Individuals who step out of the shadows            recent mobilizations as a unique oppor-
that most advocates have continued to       hoping to adjust their status could be
work together, especially on civic          deported because of minor infractions.
engagement efforts, despite their                                                              14. Pomfret, John and Sonya Geis. 2006. “One Sheriff Sees
                                                                                               Implementation Answer as Simple.” The Washington Post,
disagreements on the Senate bill.            The resources and capacity of                    May 20; Dell’Orto, Giovanna. 2006. “Local Police Face
                                            regional immigrant coalitions are                  Immigration Dilemma.” The Associated Press, May 4.
 Limited capacity among                    stretched thin by their efforts to                 15. Abraham, Yvonne. 2006. “Towns Taking Own Action
                                                                                               On Immigrants: Opposition, and Support, Surfaces.” Boston
immigrant-serving groups to provide         provide leadership for and information             Globe, May 21. (citing cases in Massachusetts, Connecticut,
public education, advice and services       to a growing movement. The recent                  New York, and Georgia).
to eligible individuals if large-scale      mobilizations have required regional               16. McCrummen, Stephanie. 2006. “Virginia City Suspends
                                                                                               ‘Family’ Rule.” The Washington Post, Jan 5.
legalization programs are enacted.          immigrant organizations to assume an               17. See also Center for New Community. 2006. The Road
The scale of the proposed legalization      entirely different level of work. As               Ahead: 2006 and Beyond: Summarizing a National Strategy
programs in the Senate compromise bill      discussed above, many of these organi-             Discussion on Anti-Immigrant Activities and the Challenges to
                                                                                               Human Rights. Chicago, IL: Center for New Community
far exceeds any past efforts to help        zations have played an important role in           (reporting that Minutemen and other nativists are increas-
undocumented immigrants adjust to           mobilizing immigrants to participate in            ingly directing their actions against day laborers).

tunity to expand their base, help devel-
op new immigrant leaders, and educate                                                                           “One of the primary challenges
the general public about immigrant                                                                              and opportunities for the
issues. But many have limited capacity                                                                          emerging immigrant rights

                                                                                     © Palermo Galindo 2006
to fully take advantage of the current                                                                          movement is to become truly
situation.                                                                                                      multiracial—in its leadership,
                                                                                                                constituency, goals, and
 Growth of anti-immigrant propos-                                                                              actions. There is a real
als at state and local levels. Over 460                                                                         possibility of building an
immigration-related bills have been
                                           Fort Wayne, IN rally on March 4, 2006                                inclusive alliance to address
introduced in 43 states in 2006, with
most barring undocumented immigrants
                                                                                                                not only immigration policy
from receiving certain public benefits,     Perceived competition between                                      but the broader underlying
in-state tuition and financial aid, and    immigrants and African-American and                                  social and racial justice
identification documents and driver’s      other disadvantaged communities.                                     barriers that could lead to a
licenses. Others would also require that   The visibility of the recent demonstra-                              deeper commitment to human
voters provide specific documents          tions has also raised the stakes in                                  rights and a more equitable
demonstrating U.S. citizenship, encour-    improving relationships between                                      and fair society.”
age local or state agencies to enforce     immigrants and other disadvantaged
immigration laws, and impose penalties     communities. While this is a longstand-                              Karen Narasaki
on employers who are suspected of          ing challenge, perceived competition                                 Asian American Justice Center
hiring undocumented workers.18 Only        over jobs, economic resources, housing,
a handful of anti-immigrant bills are      and even political power has grown as
expected to be enacted at the state        more immigrants have moved to new
level. But as described in the accompa-    gateways. A number of the interviewees
nying box, a growing number of local       express concern that some of the
governments also appear to be pursuing     messages articulated by immigrants in
such harmful policies, and their           recent demonstrations (e.g., the narra-
proliferation is creating a hostile        tive of hard-working individuals taking
and harmful environment for many           jobs that no Americans want,
newcomers.19                               “immigrants have built this country,”
                                           etc.) could alienate African-Americans
                                           in particular. These advocates believe
                                           that without concerted efforts to build
                                           bridges between these communities,
                                           poor relations could seriously under-
                                           mine efforts to achieve mutually
                                           beneficial social justice goals.

                                                                                                              18. Interview with Ann Morse, National Conference of
                                                                                                              State Legislatures, May 11, 2006.
                                                                                                              19. See Gonzalez, Karina. 2006. “Law Spurs Fear Among
                                                                                                              Hispanics.” Chattanooga Times Free Press, May 24.

                         III. Funding Recommendations
                              for Building on Recent Developments                                                           III
                               n light of the opportunities and                                                  enhanced level of activities. Core

                                                                     recent demonstrations. Foundation
                               challenges facing immigrants at       grants can support web sites that           support to expand development capaci-
                               this pivotal moment, individuals      provide timely information and help         ty can help leverage additional funding
                               interviewed for this report were      them take action, upgrade database          during these critical times.
                         asked to make recommendations to            systems to meet new communication
                         funders about the most effective ways       needs, and provide sufficient staffing to   2. Ensure that funding
                         to provide strategic support to the         interact and maintain contact with          strategies include ethnic-based
                         movement. Despite the diverse               growing constituencies.
                                                                                                                 groups that can strengthen the
                         background of the interviewees, there        Leadership Development,
                         were broad areas of agreement about                                                     immigrant rights movement.
                                                                     Organizing and Coordination. The
                         how to build on the recent develop-                                                     Regional immigrant coalitions are effec-
                                                                     need for such activities has grown
                         ments, regardless of whether Congress       significantly given the growing             tive only when they represent broad
                         adopts any new immigration legislation.                                                 cross sections of local immigrant
                                                                     numbers of immigrant groups and
                         Below are their key recommendations:                                                    communities. Because many immigrants
                                                                     leaders interested in participating in
                                                                                                                 initially organize by ethnicity, nation-
                                                                     policy advocacy, voter engagement
                         1. Support regional immigrant                                                           ality, or religion, ethnic-based organi-
                                                                     activities, or media work. Organizing
                         rights organizations to provide             these individuals and helping them
                         leadership and coordination                 engage in constructive and coordinated
                         for the emerging movement.                  activities are difficult but important       “Foundations can play a critical
                                                                     challenges to undertake. Advocates           role in strengthening the
                         The recent events highlight the impor-
                                                                     believe that the recent marches provide      immigrant rights movement, both
                         tance of maintaining strong regional
                                                                     an extraordinary opportunity to build        by providing long-term sustained
                         organizations that can integrate new
                                                                     or expand their community base among         support and by increasing that
                         players into the movement and link
                                                                     immigrants and native-born residents         investment during pivotal times.
                         these local groups or leaders with state    but need increased resources to seize        The immigrant rights infrastruc-
                         or national campaigns to help inform        this opening (see Recommendation #5          ture might not have existed but
                         those efforts. Yet, many of these groups    for program examples).                       for long-term support from the
                         need resources to support their expand-
                                                                      Media Training, Capacity for               Ford Foundation and the major
                         ed role and to increase their capacity to
                                                                     Mainstream Media Communications,             infusion of funding from the
                         interact with the growing numbers of
                                                                     and Message Development. Since the           Open Society Institute in the late
                         individuals who are engaged in
                                                                     demonstrations, the regional coalitions      1990s, strategically timed to
                         immigration issues. Specific priorities
                                                                     have had to dramatically increase their      respond to devastating welfare
                                                                     interaction with mainstream media,           reform policies aimed at legal
                          Constituency Communication.                                                            immigrants. Most recently,
                                                                     fielding questions from national and
                         Regional immigrant coalitions need to                                                    Atlantic Philanthropies made
                                                                     local media outlets. In addition to
                         build their capacity to communicate                                                      substantial investments in antici-
                                                                     addressing capacity constraints, founda-
                         with and to mobilize an expanded base                                                    pation of a major legislative
                                                                     tion grants can support message devel-
                         of stakeholders who participated in the                                                  debate, which has been instru-
                                                                     opment, coordination of media advoca-
                                                                     cy among regional advocates, as well as      mental in establishing and
                                                                     training needs. These issues are             strengthening the field's ability to
                                                                     discussed in a media communication           connect local and national advoca-
                                                                     section under Recommendation #7,             cy on immigration policy reform
                                                                     below.                                       issues. All of these investments
                                                                                                                  have contributed to the networks
© Palermo Galindo 2006

                                                                      Fundraising. The combination of
                                                                                                                  that have served as the backbone
                                                                     expanded program needs, high work
                                                                                                                  of the recent mobilizations.”
                                                                     demands on executive directors, and
                                                                     the lack of development staff in smaller     Cecilia Muñoz
                                                                     organizations have made it difficult to      National Council of La Raza
                                                                     raise the funds needed to maintain an
                         Fort Wayne, IN rally on March 4, 2006

TABLE 1. Potential Voters: Naturalized and Eligible Immigrant Population By State (2003)

State                                                 Eligible to                        Naturalized                      Percent Naturalized                           Soon-to-be
                                                   Naturalize (000s)                       (000s)                              of Eligible                            Eligible (000s)
Total                                                      7,911                            11,146                                   58%                                  2,661

Major Destinations                                          5,914                             7,663                                  56%                                  1,758
California                                                  2,695                             3,018                                  53%                                    717
New York                                                    1,133                             1,673                                  60%                                    282
Texas                                                         766                               727                                  49%                                    263
Florida                                                       607                             1,181                                  66%                                    219
New Jersey                                                    373                               592                                  61%                                    134
Illinois                                                      340                               473                                  58%                                    142

New Growth States                                             981                             1,474                                  60%                                    419
Arizona                                                       183                               223                                  55%                                     36
Washington                                                    114                               207                                  65%                                     82
North Carolina                                                 69                                71                                  50%                                     36
Georgia                                                        69                               139                                  67%                                     31
Nevada                                                         69                               123                                  64%                                     18
Oregon                                                         63                                79                                  56%                                     35
Colorado                                                       61                                87                                  59%                                     51
Minnesota                                                      47                                88                                  65%                                      7
Utah                                                           39                                40                                  51%                                     12
Oklahoma                                                       31                                33                                  52%                                      8
Arkansas                                                       30                                20                                  40%                                      3
Tennessee                                                      28                                58                                  67%                                     17
Iowa                                                           28                                32                                  53%                                     19
South Carolina                                                 27                                48                                  64%                                      8
Idaho                                                          25                                17                                  41%                                      5
Kansas                                                         24                                46                                  65%                                     15
Indiana                                                        19                                59                                  76%                                      5
Nebraska                                                       18                                25                                  58%                                      5
Kentucky                                                       13                                24                                  65%                                     13
Alabama                                                        12                                25                                  67%                                      7
Mississippi                                                     6                                10                                  60%                                      5
Delaware                                                        4                                18                                  80%                                      2

All Other States                                            1,016                             2,009                                  66%                                    484
Massachusetts                                                 179                               278                                  61%                                     89
Pennsylvania                                                  115                               225                                  66%                                     65
Michigan                                                      115                               269                                  70%                                     53
Maryland                                                       98                               220                                  69%                                     51
Virginia                                                       84                               203                                  71%                                     65
Ohio                                                           83                               140                                  63%                                     44
Connecticut                                                    63                               173                                  73%                                     18
Wisconsin                                                      45                                77                                  63%                                     20
New Mexico                                                     40                                39                                  49%                                     10
Hawaii                                                         39                                99                                  72%                                     14
Rhode Island                                                   35                                48                                  57%                                      9
Missouri                                                       26                                63                                  71%                                      8
Louisiana                                                      23                                48                                  68%                                     18
New Hampshire                                                  17                                30                                  64%                                      2
District of Columbia                                           14                                21                                  60%                                      5
Maine                                                          14                                17                                  55%                                      2
Alaska                                                          9                                25                                  73%                                      4
Vermont                                                         5                                10                                  68%                                      1
West Virginia                                                   3                                 9                                  73%                                     <1
Montana                                                         3                                 5                                  68%                                      1
South Dakota                                                    2                                 5                                  69%                                      2
North Dakota                                                    2                                 2                                  48%                                      3
Wyoming                                                         1                                 5                                  79%                                      1

Reprinted from: Fix, Michael, Jeffrey Passel, and Kenneth Sucher. 2003. Immigrant Families and Workers: Trends in Naturalization. Washington D.C.: Urban Institute.
zations often play important roles in
educating community members, increas-
ing their civic participation, and
helping them work in coalition with
other communities. Support for ethnic-
based groups that can perform these
important functions is critical to
strengthening the movement.

3. Strengthen collaborations
between local and national
immigrant groups.
One characteristic of the emerging
immigrant rights movement is the
growing collaboration between local,
immigrant-based organizations and
national policy groups. As illustrated by
recent events, national coalitions can
play an especially important role in        June 2005 March against REAL ID in Arcadia, Florida.
sharing information and coordinating        emphasize the net positive contribu-             engagement generally is an important
activities to maximize the influence        tions of immigrants, and help humanize           goal, many interviewees recommend
and power of grassroots efforts to          these individuals. Broad public educa-           that any national funding effort priori-
reform federal policies. With the           tion campaigns can reframe the debate            tize geographic areas where (a)
emergence of a broad range of               from one dominated by fear and anger             increased immigrant engagement is
immigrant groups, with widely varying       to an emphasis on how fair and just              likely to have a significant political or
strategies and goals, these coalitions      immigration reform can help build a              electoral impact at the state or national
can identify common ground upon             better future for all Americans. Support         level, and (b) existing groups or coali-
which large numbers of groups agree.        for planning and execution of such               tions have the capacity to implement
Over the long run, these coalitions can     campaigns are incorporated in a                  large-scale campaigns.
also strengthen infrastructure to           number of recommendations below,
nurture the development of the emerg-       including developing civic participation         For instance, prioritized regions could
ing movement. For instance, over the        activities and supporting media commu-           include states with large citizenship-
past several years, several key coali-      nication resources. These activities can         eligible populations. Demographers
tions—including CCIR, FIRM and RWG—         help immigrants communicate and                  estimate that over 40 percent of
have provided opportunities for region-     amplify their voices so that the public          immigrants who are eligible for U.S.
al and national advocates to collabo-       has a better and more accurate under-            citizenship, approximately 10.7 million
rate, build trust, improve their working    standing of immigrant issues; they can           individuals, have yet to naturalize.20
relationships, and develop shared           also blunt attempts by nativists to              Table I provides a breakdown of the
principles and policy goals. As the         scapegoat immigrants and undermine               eligible citizenship populations by
national debate over U.S. immigration       efforts to enact anti-immigrant policies.        states. The states with the largest eligi-
policy continues to heat up, these and
                                                                                             ble populations are California and New
other coalitions that facilitate broad
collaboration among immigrant rights
                                            5. Increase funding for                          York, where an estimated 4.7 million
                                            civic participation.                             eligible immigrants have yet to natural-
groups will continue to play important
                                                                                             ize. However, the table also shows that
roles in strengthening the voices of        Interviewees unanimously agree that
immigrants in federal policymaking—         the movement’s critical next step is to
and in winning important policy             convert the large mobilizations into             20. As described in Table I, the Urban Institute estimates
changes.                                    electoral and political power.                   that as of 2003, almost eight million immigrants were eligi-
                                            To this end, funders should increase             ble to naturalize, and 2.7 million would soon become eligi-
                                                                                             ble. Fix, Michael, Jeffrey Passel, and Kenneth Sucher.2003.
4. Support efforts to build                 support for (1) naturalization efforts           Immigrant Families and Workers: Trends in Naturalization.
broader public support of                   that expand the immigrant electorate,            Washington, D.C.: Urban Institute. Limited English profi-
                                            (2) voter registration, education and            ciency, low levels of formal education, low household
immigrant issues.                           get-out-the-vote activities, and (3)
                                                                                             income, and unfamiliarity with the application process are
                                                                                             barriers to naturalization for many eligible immigrants. For
The current public focus on immigra-        community organizing and leadership              promising practices to address these barriers, see
tion issues presents an important           development that can increase                    Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees.
opportunity to address anti-immigrant                                                        2006. Investing in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant
                                            immigrants’ voice in policymaking.               Integration. Sebastopol, CA: Grantmakers Concerned with
sentiment, correct misinformation,          While increasing immigrant civic                 Immigrants and Refugees.

                                                                                               policies that erode human rights for
   INCREASING ELECTORAL PARTICIPATION                                                          immigrants and U.S. citizens. The
                                                                                               campaign addresses a wide range of
   Over the past five years, more and more       Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and
                                                                                               issues—detention, due process, secret
   immigrant organizations have implement-       Refugee Rights partnered with smaller
                                                                                               surveillance, and racial and religious
   ed voter engagement campaigns to              immigrant organizations in the Chicago
                                                                                               profiling. Led and supported by region-
   increase their community’s electoral influ-   area during the 2004 presidential election
                                                                                               al immigrant organizations throughout
   ence. These campaigns range from tradi-       to increase registration and voter turnout.
                                                                                               the country, the campaign seeks to
   tional voter outreach efforts to those that   The campaign registered 27,000 new
                                                                                               connect to non-immigrant as well as
   are designed to train and engage large        voters, distributed voter education
                                                                                               immigrant groups and build a
   numbers of immigrant organizations over       materials in eight different languages,
                                                                                               movement to change such harmful
   an extended period of time.23 Below are       and brought an additional 62,500 voters
   brief descriptions of three widely recog-     to the polls in targeted precincts over the
   nized programs that helped numerous           previous election. www.icirr.org/nadp.htm
                                                                                               The Center for Community Change has
   naturalized immigrants become first-time
                                                                                               also proposed an ambitious project to
   voters during the last presidential           Mobilize Immigrant Vote (MIV)’s
                                                                                               launch “citizenship schools” across the
   election:                                     movement-building campaign brought
                                                                                               country in coordination with regional
                                                 together 112 immigrant community
                                                                                               immigrant coalitions. These schools
   The People for American Way’s “Mi             organizations in California to participate
                                                                                               would help newcomers learn about the
   Familia Vota” registered 72,000 new           in voter registration and Get Out the Vote
                                                                                               U.S. political system, the issues under-
   Latino voters in Florida during the 2004      (GOTV) activities during the 2004
                                                                                               lying the immigration reform debate,
   elections and mobilized almost 90 percent     elections. MIV’s approach is not only to
                                                                                               and develop skills to engage in advoca-
   of them to cast a ballot. Mi Familia Vota     increase voter participation but to link
                                                                                               cy. These “schools” provide a way for
   is expanding its work in Florida and has      electoral work to ongoing community
                                                                                               regional immigrant groups to organize
   launched campaigns for the 2006               organizing. It uses this work to raise the
                                                                                               newcomers who have been inspired by
   elections in Arizona and Pennsylvania.        visibility of these communities. Its 2004
                                                                                               recent events, expand their member-
   www.pfaw.org/pfaw/general/default.aspx?       campaign registered 20,000 new voters.
                                                                                               ship, and develop leadership to
                                                                                               participate in or help with future

                                                                                               In addition, interviewees urge funders
large numbers of the eligible citizenship        oped civic engagement campaigns in
                                                                                               to prioritize support for several
population live in political “swing”             anticipation of such ballot measures.
                                                                                               populations that are often overlooked
states where any significant increase in         Targeted efforts to increase naturaliza-
                                                                                               in this area:
their electoral participation could influ-       tion followed by voter engagement
ence election outcomes. These states             activities in these and other key states
                                                                                                Children of Immigrants. Youth
include Florida (with an estimated               could significantly increase immigrants’
                                                                                               played an important role in recent
607,000 immigrants who are eligible to           visibility and empowerment at both the
                                                                                               mobilizations, organizing walkouts and
become citizens), Arizona (183,000),             regional and national levels.22
                                                                                               protests that often preceded larger
Pennsylvania (115,000), Washington
                                                                                               demonstrations (e.g., Dallas, Nebraska
(114,000), Ohio (83,000), Georgia                Beyond focusing on naturalization and
(69,000), North Carolina (69,000),               voter engagement, the interviewees also
Nevada (69,000), and Colorado (61,000).          urge funders to support community             21. Arizona voters passed Proposition 200 in 2004, which
                                                                                               requires state officials to verify the immigration status of
                                                 organizing and leadership development         individuals seeking certain state public benefits and to
Many of these swing states are also              programs aimed at strengthening the           report discovered immigration violations to federal
testing grounds for immigration issues.          grassroots and increasing immigrants’         agencies.
                                                                                               22. Many interviewees express concerns that the federal
They have been targeted by restriction-          influence in policymaking. A number of        government is imposing new barriers to citizenship, includ-
ist groups that have proposed, and in a          national and regional organizations are       ing higher application fees, online applications, and the
few instances enacted, anti-immigrant            developing or expanding projects that         development of a new naturalization test that is expected
                                                                                               to require greater English skills and knowledge of U.S.
legislation or ballot measures. For              help immigrants build skills to engage        history. In addition to funding naturalization campaigns,
instance, Arizona, which saw the                 their communities, the media, and             foundations can also support advocacy by immigrant rights
passage of Proposition 200 in 2004,21 is         policymakers on important issues.             groups to monitor the redesign of the citizenship test and
                                                                                               to ensure that the naturalization process is accessible to all
facing another anti-immigrant ballot             For example, the Rights Working Group         eligible immigrants.23. For promising practices and funding
measure in the November 2006 election.           recently launched its Liberty & Justice       strategies, see New Americans Vote! Advancing Social Change
Similarly, anti-immigrant ballot initia-         for All campaign, a joint effort of local     and Strengthening U.S. Democracy. 2006. Washington, D.C.:
                                                                                               Funders Committee for Civic Participation and
tives have been proposed in Colorado             and national groups to expand the base        Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees
and Washington State. Immigrant                  of the public committed to speaking           24. More information about the Justice for All campaign is
advocates in these states have devel-            out against post-September 11th               available at www.rightsworkinggroup.org.

and Southern California). Many inter-      6. Support ethnic media’s                  issues, they believe that the assistance
viewees believe that children of           capacity to cover immigration              needs to be extended to other issues
immigrants are an especially strategic                                                and audiences at the regional level.
constituency because of their high                                                    Among the key gaps identified by
energy, ability to bridge immigrant and    Ethnic media played an extraordinarily     interviewees include:
mainstream culture, and to convey          important role in the recent mobiliza-
sympathetic images of immigrant            tions, and funders should continue to       Public opinion research to identify
communities to the public and policy-      support projects that provide these        effective messages that can be used in
makers. These interviewees urge better     outlets with up-to-date information        different regions of the country and for
integration of youth activities within     about immigration issues. Important        various audiences. Funding for such
the broader immigrant rights               areas include:                             research and message development
movement, including electoral and           Regular media briefings (by              would augment the communications
other civic activities.                    telephone and in-person) involving         work being done by national advocates
 Women. Despite the fact that             both national and regional advocates;      and enhance their relevance and impact
women play significant economic and         Coverage of other ethnic or racial       in local communities.
family support roles in immigrant          communities’ perspectives on immigra-       Message development and coordina-
communities, their specific concerns       tion issues; and                           tion across regions as new events or
and issues are frequently overlooked in     Innovative participatory activities,     crises occur. The growing interconnect-
policy debates, and they must overcome     such as the inclusion of the Spanish       edness of the immigrant rights
stereotypes, isolation, and other barri-   radio personalities in the We Are          movement—combined with the high
ers to civic participation. However, a     America Alliance’s citizenship and voter   level of media interest—requires
growing number of successful leader-       engagement projects.                       greater coordination of communication
ship development and civic engagement                                                 strategies among national and regional
programs have amplified women’s voices     Many interviewees also indicate that       advocates. In addition to coordination,
on immigrant issues—especially in the      increasing coverage of immigration         foundations can support analysis or
areas of domestic violence, human          issues in non-Spanish, ethnic media is     recommendations to the field on how to
trafficking, women’s health and politi-    important to developing a more             respond to anti-immigrant messages or
cal asylum. Drawing upon these promis-     multiracial movement.                      actions, particularly at the local level.
ing practices, funders can help expand                                                 Up-to-date demographic or factual
opportunities for leadership develop-                                                 information that can be used in policy
ment for immigrant women. These
                                           7. Increase the communication
                                           capacity of immigrant rights               debates at the regional level. Regional
efforts will ensure that immigrant                                                    advocates indicate that their effective-
women’s concerns are addressed and         organizations.                             ness in explaining federal proposals or
will help to advance policies that         Immigrant advocates, especially at the     national issues to the media often
strengthen immigrant families and          regional level, expressed a need for       depends on their ability to provide local
promote gender equity.                     more media communications assistance       or regional analysis. Having access to
                                           in several contexts: engaging the public   regional demographic and other factual
                                           in the ongoing federal immigration         information is especially important.
 “There’s not one strategy that            policy debates, responding to anti-
 works—strategies have to be                                                           Resources to hire media staff or
                                           immigrant proposals at the state and
 informed by local dynamics.                                                          provide training to improve staff
                                           local levels, developing positive
 It’s important to understand                                                         members’ media skills. These resources
                                           messages about the contributions of
                                                                                      would allow immigrant groups to
 the complexity of different               newcomers, protecting immigrants who
                                                                                      respond effectively to increased media
 regions and landscapes, and               are the target of harmful enforcement
                                                                                      requests and attention.
 try to find multiple layers of            policies (see Recommendation #8), and
 leadership and approaches.                providing public education if Congress
 We’ve got to go beyond the                were to adopt new immigration laws.
 traditional immigrant rights
                                           While regional advocates generally
 groups and include churches,
                                           praised ongoing efforts by the National
 businesses, service providers,            Immigration Forum and other D.C.
 ethnic media, labor and other             advocates to provide assistance with
 community groups.”                        media messaging on immigration reform
 Gouri Sadhwani
 New York Civic Participation Project

8. Support efforts to address               document fraud provisions on asylum         9. Support efforts to counter
harmful enforcement practices               applications;27 (4) increased detention     anti-immigrant proposals at
                                            for immigrants facing deportation; (5)
and increase due process                                                                the state and local levels.
                                            immigration barriers for individuals
protections for immigrants.                 with HIV; (6) proof of citizenship or       While the recent focus on federal
Because public concerns about high          legal immigration status for certain        reforms has shifted attention away
immigration levels and national securi-     government services; and (7) militariza-    from defending newcomers at the state
ty are unlikely to fade anytime soon,       tion of the border. This type of research   and local levels, advocates urge funders
a number of interviewees believe the        should examine the economic, health,        to continue supporting efforts to
movement needs to develop more              and community impact on immigrants,         oppose the various anti-immigrant
focused advocacy and communications         their citizen family members, and other     proposals discussed earlier. These issues
strategies to address harmful immigra-      U.S. residents.                             can be incorporated into local and
tion enforcement practices.                                                             regional civic engagement and leader-
                                             Convenings to discuss and develop         ship development projects that can
                                            alternative enforcement practices.          mobilize immigrants and their allies to
Advocates note that current “enforce-
                                            Funders can help facilitate discussions     oppose such proposals. Interviewees
ment” systems, which would be expand-
                                            among advocates, policymakers, schol-       emphasize several key funding recom-
ed under the Senate and House bills,
                                            ars, and former government officials to     mendations in this area:
actually do very little to control undoc-
                                            develop alternative enforcement
umented migration. Expanding the                                                         Support national or regional techni-
                                            policies or frameworks that address
definition of “aggravated felonies” or                                                  cal assistance projects. These projects
                                            border control but without sacrificing
allowing indefinite detention of                                                        provide legal and technical advice as,
                                            migrants’ rights. Doing so would put
immigrants, for instance, has almost no                                                 well as information on effective
                                            advocates in a better position to argue
impact on stopping undocumented                                                         practices, talking points for legislators,
                                            that (1) the current system—requiring
entries. Yet these measures can violate                                                 technical analysis, and media messages
                                            mandatory detention and deportation
legal norms, divide families, and make                                                  that help local and regional advocates
                                            for even minor infractions—is inconsis-
social and economic integration nearly                                                  effectively address anti-immigrant
                                            tent with fundamental U.S. values; and
impossible for growing segments of                                                      proposals.
                                            (2) there are better and more economi-
immigrant communities.
                                            cally efficient ways to achieve border       Fund community-organizing efforts
                                            and national security goals without         that develop leadership capacity and
Similarly, research suggests that milita-
                                            inflicting such harmful effects on          increase civic engagement of newcomers.
rizing the U.S.-Mexico border, by
                                            immigrants and U.S. citizen family          These affirmative projects are especially
increasing Border Patrol agents and
                                            members. Given the public’s overarching     important in the current context and
National Guard units, are unlikely to
                                            concerns about “securing the borders,”      can include advocacy to oppose
reduce migration but will lead to
                                            an investment in this area may help
increased migrant deaths as individuals
                                            reduce harmful enforcement policies
are forced to travel through dangerous
                                            and lead to the development of more         25. Massey, Douglas S. 2005. “Beyond the Border Buildup:
and difficult border crossings25. “We                                                   Towards a New Approach to Mexico-U.S. Migration.”
                                            humane immigration policies in the          Immigration Policy in Focus, Vol. 4, No. 7, September,
need to develop better enforcement
                                            long run..28                                Washington, D.C. (demonstrates how punitive immigration
alternatives,” says Don Kerwin, execu-                                                  and border enforcement policies have backfired, resulting
tive director of Catholic Legal              Integrate the above analysis with         in higher numbers of undocumented individuals spreading
Immigration Network, Inc. “The              public opinion research to produce          across larger areas of the United States).
                                            messages and advocacy strategies that       26. Expedited removal is a procedure that allows an
challenge is to identify measures that                                                  immigration enforcement official to summarily remove a
enhance border control but respect          support the re-examination of harmful       non-citizen without a hearing or review by an immigration
human rights.” Regardless of the            or wasteful enforcement policies. Many      judge, if the person is encountered within 100 miles of a
                                            advocates believe that current enforce-     border and cannot establish that he or she has been
outcome of the current Congressional                                                    present in the United States for 14 days or longer. 69 Fed.
debate to reform U.S. immigration laws,     ment policies need to be re-framed as       Reg. at 48878.
funders can help address these              anti-integration measures that work at      27. For example, a provision of the Hagel-Martinez Senate
                                            cross purposes with economic, law           bill makes the carrying of fraudulent documents an “aggra-
challenges by supporting:                                                               vated felony,” which would result in automatic grounds for
                                            enforcement and other government            deportation. Advocates worry that the change could
 Research to document the impact of
                                            goals. Foundation-supported public          prompt the government to expel people who use such
recently enacted or proposed enforce-                                                   documents to escape oppressive regimes.
                                            opinion research and message develop-
ment measures, including: (1) deporta-                                                  28. For instance, several interviewed advocates indicate
                                            ment can be incorporated into broader       that any alternative enforcement proposals must start with
tions based on minor criminal convic-
                                            advocacy strategies to address the          increasing wage and safety protections for low-wage
tions or immigration law infractions;                                                   workers. If real workplace protections exist for these
                                            effects of specific enforcement practices
(2) expanded use of expedited removal                                                   workers, they argue, employers would have fewer incen-
                                            and to begin public discussion of           tives to hire an undocumented workforce. See also
(in which an immigrant is deported
                                            alternative policies.                       National Employment Law Project. 2006. More Harm Than
without a hearing);26 (3) proposed                                                      Good: Responding to State’s Misguided Efforts to Regulate
                                                                                        Immigration. New York, NY: National Employment Law

anti-immigrant proposals as part of                                                    national African-American organiza-
broader projects.                             “Our experience is that                  tions improve their understanding of
 Prioritize support for immigration
                                              immigrants and African                   immigration’s impact on their commu-
battleground states. These include            Americans share many issues              nities, with the goal of enhancing their
Arizona, Colorado, and a number of new        in common—the need for                   ability to communicate this information
gateways in the Southeast, stretching         better police protection,                to constituents, engage in dialogue
from Oklahoma to Virginia, where anti-        education, and access to                 with immigrant leaders, and develop
immigrant activities are on the rise and      healthcare, just to name a few           public education materials that can be
where outcomes of proposed ballot             examples. What is needed is a            used by local affiliates.30 Similar
measures in November 2006 could have                                                   support could be provided to immigrant
                                              concerted effort by funders to
a national impact.29 The large number                                                  groups to help their communities
                                              support projects that facilitate         understand the role of race in American
of immigrant marches that occurred in         dialogue, relationship building
these states indicate growing capacity                                                 history, the lingering effects of discrim-
                                              and organizing on shared                 ination, and the economic relationships
for organized immigrant advocacy that
                                              interests so that our communi-           between the communities. Some of
can be strengthened with foundation
                                              ties can harness this amazing            these activities could be incorporated
                                              potential for solidarity and             into the immigrant civic participation
                                              empowerment.”                            activities described above in
10. Support efforts to improve
                                                                                       Recommendation #5.
wages and working conditions                  David Lubell
for low-wage workers.                         Tennessee Immigrant and                  Foundations could supplement these
An important way for foundations to           Refugee Rights Coalition                 projects by supporting dialogue and
support immigrant communities is to                                                    joint work between immigrants and
help improve the wages and working                                                     African-Americans at the regional level
conditions of low-income workers.            11. Support efforts to build              to achieve shared policy or advocacy
Advocates note that the enactment of                                                   goals. Existing local projects that work
                                             stronger relationships between
any legalization program, by itself, will                                              on a wide array of shared concerns,
not necessarily improve working condi-
                                             immigrants and African-                   such as employment and health, could
tions for many immigrants. In fact,          Americans.                                serve as good models for expanded
legalizing immigrants will need to meet      Developing and maintaining good           work in this area. Some of the most
a number of work requirements, which         relationships with various low-income     exciting recent work has been done by
could lead some desperate workers to         communities, particularly African-        worker centers, housing activists, and
accept abusive or harsh treatment by         Americans, is a critical priority.        other community organizations that
employers. Undocumented immigrants           Although many immigrant and African-      engage with multiracial, low-income
who are unable to legalize their status      American leaders have worked hard to      constituencies.31
will be even more vulnerable to              find common ground and support one
exploitation. “If sweatshops and poor        another’s agenda, interviewees also
work conditions are allowed to contin-       acknowledge increasing signs of tension
ue,” says Bruce Goldstein of Farmworker      between the communities, most visibly
Justice, “legalizing immigrants will         due to competition for jobs and govern-
have neither the time or resources to        ment services and growing electoral
integrate into U.S. communities,             rivalry.                                  29. As of this writing, Arizona will have an immigrant-relat-
support their family members’ develop-                                                 ed ballot measure for the November 2006 election, and
                                                                                       anti-immigrant activists are gathering signatures to qualify
ment, or participate in civic activities.”   Foundations interested in investing in    measures in Colorado and Washington State. However, the
Supporting efforts to improve working        this area should consider developing a    Colorado Supreme Court recently ruled that the proposed
conditions for low-wage workers can          comprehensive strategy to fund both       anti-immigrant ballot measure violates the state’s constitu-
                                                                                       tional requirement that initiatives deal with only one
also provide opportunities for newcom-       national and local organizations to       subject matter. As a result, its proponents may not be able
ers to build bridges to other disadvan-      improve their analysis of key issues as   to qualify their measure for the 2006 election. Sarche, Jon.
taged communities and work together          well as their capacity to engage in       2006. “Court: Service Denial Measure Can’t Be On Ballot,”
                                                                                       The Associated Press, June 12.
to address shared goals (see                 activities across communities. For        30. These materials could summarize the impact of
Recommendation #11, below).                  example, funders could help interested    immigration on different segments of the African-American
                                                                                       community, and could include position papers, public
                                                                                       education materials, and talking points that could be used
                                                                                       to guide communications with the media.
                                                                                       31. For some promising practices, see Grantmakers
                                                                                       Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees. 2006. Investing
                                                                                       in Our Communities: Strategies for Immigrant Integration.
                                                                                       Sebastopol, CA: Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants
                                                                                       and Refugees.

IV. Funding Recommendations If Congress Were to Adopt
    Comprehensive Immigration Reform                                                                                  IV
             hile there was a great deal     regions.32 By itself, this approach will          make information and services available

W            of uncertainty about
             whether Congress will pass a
             comprehensive immigration
law when the interviews took place,
most interviewees believe that the
                                             still result in geographic gaps or limit-
                                             ed services for specific populations. But
                                             support from regional funders, familiar
                                             with the needs of local populations,
                                             could complement any national strate-
                                                                                               to help the country’s estimated 11-12
                                                                                               million undocumented immigrants make
                                                                                               informed choices. Some critical
                                                                                               elements in this process include:
                                                                                                Planning and assessment to identify
momentum for enacting such legislation       gy. In addition, national funders can             priorities. Research to assess where the
is building, and that the field needs to     prioritize regions that need assistance           affected populations are located and
begin to prepare for implementation.         but which have few funding resources.             the capacity of local organizations to
                                                                                               help with implementation will be
Beyond the substantive priorities            Interviewees identify the following               needed. Such research can build on a
described below, interviewees believe        funding priorities if a comprehensive             demographic study commissioned by
that coordination and shared strategic       law were adopted: public education,               Catholic Legal Immigration Network,
planning by a broad range of funders         application assistance, and legal                 Inc. (CLINIC) that analyzes the undocu-
will be critical to maximize limited         services; administrative and regulatory           mented population within the Catholic
resources. Some of the ways in which         advocacy; litigation; long-term                   Church’s dioceses across the country.
funders should consider collaborating        planning; and continued advocacy to
with each other include:                     address the immigration system’s flaws.            Public education materials and train-
                                             Advocates emphasize that much of this             ings. Multilingual public education
 Make relevant analyses, studies,                                                             materials and in-depth documents and
information or data on implementation        work needs to begin before a law is
                                             adopted.                                          trainings about the new law and its
issues widely available to interested                                                          impact will be needed to help commu-
funders to help identify their potential                                                       nity organizations prepare for questions
roles.                                       1. Support large and
                                                                                               from their constituents. These materials
 Ensure coordination to prevent             coordinated campaigns to
duplication of efforts.                      educate and assist immigrants
                                                                                                32. Examples of networks include Catholic Legal
 Facilitate participation by local          in the implementation of                           Immigration Network, Inc. (CLINIC), the U.S. Committee
foundations and funder networks to           any new comprehensive                              for Refugees and Immigrants (with its International Institute
                                                                                                affiliates), the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services,
complement efforts by national founda-       immigration laws.                                  the United Farm Workers Union (UFW) and other
tions.                                       If large-scale legalization programs were          farmworker community groups, the Appleseed Centers,
                                                                                                the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, worker
 Identify other potential funding           adopted, immigrant-serving groups will             center networks, regional immigrant rights coalitions, and
sources, including support from              need to quickly develop the capacity to            national ethnic-based organizations or coalitions.
businesses or state and local govern-
 Develop and distribute funding
recommendations to regional and local
foundations, including proposed strate-
gies, prioritized activities and promis-
ing practices.
 Urge funders to make a commitment
to provide multi-year funding since any
legalization program is likely to occur
over an extended period of time.
                                                                                                                                                                © Aeryca Steinbauer

One possible strategy for national
funders is to support a combination of
(1) organizations with substantive
expertise in specific areas and (2) exist-
ing networks that reach across multiple      Thousands of supporters of immigrant rights rally at the State Capitol in Salem, Oregon
                                             on May 1, 2006.
must specifically address how the           2. Fund public education                     and programs that support these
enforcement and legalization provisions     efforts on other provisions                  immigrants’ goal of becoming lawful
of the legislation interact to affect                                                    permanent residents and, ultimately,
                                            of any new law.
program eligibility. Funders should                                                      citizens. Funding will be needed to
invest in organizations that have           These include a wide range of enforce-       increase the supply of English and
expertise, relationships with community     ment issues, new guest worker                civics classes. Since foundations alone
service providers, distribution networks,   programs, and the expansion of family        cannot expand the availability of such
and capacity to provide ongoing techni-     unification opportunities.                   programs, they should consider conven-
cal assistance to do this work.                                                          ing various stakeholders (e.g.,
Coordination between these organiza-        3. Support administrative and                immigrant leaders, adult educators,
tions is critical to minimizing confusion   regulatory advocacy.                         business leaders, government policy-
and duplication of services.                Such advocacy will be required to            makers, legislators, etc.) to begin
 Ethnic media outreach. Funders can        address policy ambiguity at both the         planning at both the national and
support the development of materials        agency and district office levels of the     regional levels for expanding opportuni-
and briefings for ethnic media outlets      Department of Homeland Security              ties for immigrants to learn English.
so that they can convey accurate and        (DHS). It could also prevent the DHS
timely information.                         from developing unworkable procedures        Local and regional foundations could
                                            and overly restrictive interpretations of    play a similar role in working with
 Community service organizations’                                                       stakeholders to develop policies to
capacity to help with legalization appli-   the law. Administrative and regulatory
                                            advocacy is especially important             support the integration of immigrants
cations. Foundation funding is critical                                                  who attempt to legalize their status.
to (1) help immigrant organizations         because changing caselaw and statutes
                                            limiting immigrants’ access to the           Policies that ensure access to educa-
plan for the implementation phase,                                                       tion, health and human services, and
(2) add staff members to provide direct     judiciary are likely to make affirmative
                                            legal challenges more difficult than         economic mobility can help maximize
services and/or recruit and oversee                                                      the skills and contributions that
volunteers, and (3) develop local           those filed against the 1986 legaliza-
                                            tion program.                                immigrants can provide to their
outreach and public education. Several                                                   communities.
organizations have begun working with
local groups to prepare for implementa-     4. Support litigation to protect
                                            immigrants’ rights.                          6. Continue to fund ongoing
tion. For example, CLINIC has developed
a “train the trainer” curriculum; the                                                    advocacy to improve U.S.
                                            While administrative advocacy has
United Farm Workers Union is working        grown in importance, litigation by           immigration laws and policies.
with several California communities to      immigrant advocates will be needed if        A number of interviewees strongly urge
establish an infrastructure to assist       Congress were to pass legislation that       foundations not to let funding for
farm workers in filing their legalization   denies due process or other constitu-        implementation reduce support for
applications.                               tional protections to immigrants.            other advocacy-related activities.
 Immigration legal services. Because       Litigation will also be necessary to         Continued support for community
most undocumented immigrants are            challenge any misinterpretation of the       organizing, leadership development,
ineligible for federally funded legal       law by DHS when administrative               public education, and advocacy is
services33 and many legal aid agencies      advocacy is unsuccessful. Advocates          essential to addressing anti-immigrant
offer only limited immigration law          predict that litigation is likely to occur   sentiments as well as the flaws of any
representation, increasing the availabil-   over the following issues: rules allowing    “reformed” U.S. immigration system.
ity of low-cost immigration legal servic-   for extended or indefinite detention,        Without sufficient funding for these
es should be prioritized. For example,      attempts to limit the judiciary’s power      activities, public support for any new
undocumented immigrants with compli-        to address legal violations within the       legalization program is likely to erode
cated factual situations will need legal    U.S. immigration system, new deporta-        over time, and it will become more and
advice in deciding whether and how to       tion grounds, and the implementation         more difficult to reverse the harmful
apply for legalization. Those who apply     of legalization programs.                    enforcement provisions that have been
and are deemed ineligible will be placed                                                 enacted over the past decade.
in removal proceedings, where legal         5. Support planning for
representation will also be needed.         longer-term implementation
                                            of legalization programs and
                                            integration of newcomers.
                                            Beyond the immediate goal of helping
                                            immigrants become eligible for legaliza-
                                            tion programs, advocates and policy-         33. For more information about immigrant eligibility for
                                            makers will need to develop policies         federally funded legal services, go to www.nilc.org.

V. Funding Recommendations If Congress Fails to Adopt
   Comprehensive Reform and the Federal Government
   Emphasizes Enforcement-Only Policies
        ven if Congress fails to agree on

E       a compromise immigration bill,
        most interviewees believe that
        some enforcement and border
provisions are likely to be adopted
either administratively or through an
appropriations bill. Indeed, the Bush
administration has indicated that it will
take a number of administrative steps
to increase border security, including
sending National Guard troops to the
U.S.-Mexico border.

In addition to the recommendations
previously described in Section III,
interviewees urge funders to prioritize
the following issues under an enforce-
ment-only scenario:
1. Support civic engagement
to build support for compre-
hensive immigration reform.
Depending on the scope of the new           Members of the Farmworker Association marching in Tallahassee
enforcement provisions, advocates may
need to mobilize a strong public            3. Support administrative/                     measures expected to further increase
response to interpret the events for        regulatory advocacy and                        the number of immigrants requiring
their constituencies and to focus the                                                      such assistance, additional resources
                                            litigation.                                    will be needed to help service providers
public debate on reversing these
measures in future immigration legisla-     These strategies will be needed to             respond to these increased demand.
tion. Such efforts would require coordi-    limit the harmful impact of these new
                                            policies.                                      5. Expand the field’s
nation of activities across the country.
The newly formed We Are America                                                            communications capacity.
                                            4. Support efforts to monitor
Alliance could serve as a potential                                                        Publicizing the harmful effects of new
                                            implementation and increase                    enforcement policies and helping to
vehicle for large-scale mobilization
activities, as well as existing national
                                            service providers’ capacity to                 develop more effective messages in
coalitions that support immigration         assist immigrants harmed by                    support of immigrant rights will be
reform.34 In addition, funders may want     new policies.                                  important to minimizing the likely
to support communities that will be         The proposed enforcement policies will         negative effects (see discussion in
disproportionately affected by any new      require immigrant organizations and            Section III, above, for specific
enforcement harmful measures (e.g.,         service providers to increase their            recommendations).
border or specific ethnic communities).     monitoring of immigration enforcement
2. Support public education                 agencies, address potential abuses or
                                            unlawful practices, and provide legal
efforts.                                    assistance to growing numbers of               34. Some of the major national coalitions and movements
Advocates will need to develop public       immigrants facing detention and depor-         include the New American Opportunity Campaign (the
                                                                                           legislative advocacy arm of the Coalition for
education materials, manuals, trainings,    tation. The lack of free or low-fee            Comprehensive Immigration Reform), the Center for
and media strategies to inform              immigration legal services already             Community Change’s Fair Immigration Reform Movement
immigrants of the details of any new        prevents many immigrants from assert-          (FIRM), the American Friends Service Committee’s Project
                                                                                           Voice, the Rights Working Group, National Alliance of Latin
enforcement programs and how they           ing their rights in immigration proceed-       American and Caribbean Communities, and the Catholic
would affect their communities.             ings. With proposed new enforcement            Church’s Justice for Immigrants Campaign.

VI. Conclusion
          he recommendations in this

                                             The emerging movement can realize its
          report provide a starting place    potential, however, only if funders
          to build upon the recent           provide support in a timely, informed,
          immigrant groundswells. The        and strategic manner. The Four
dramatic series of marches and rallies       Freedoms Fund and Grantmakers
that spread across the United States,        Concerned for Immigrant and Refugees
facilitated by groundwork laid by            welcome comments on this report and
immigrant organizations, created a           look forward to working with the field
powerful moment of recognition.              to strengthen the emerging movement
Mainstream media and politicians who         and help immigrant communities realize
had long ignored immigrants’ concerns        the promise of their new homeland.
began to understand the power behind
this emerging movement and its poten-
tial to shape not only immigration
policies but the future of this country.
Immigrant communities and their
supporters are energized and eager to
capture the moment.

Regardless of whether comprehensive
federal legislation emerges from
Congress in 2006, funders can play a
critical role to develop a stronger infra-
structure for the movement, nurture
new leaders, increase immigrants’

                                                                                       © New York Immigration Coalition
electoral power, and provide opportuni-
ties for immigrants to build coalitions
with other communities that share
similar social justice concerns. Funders
can also help communities begin
preparing for the possibility that some
type of legalization program will be
available in the future to help millions
of undocumented immigrants legalize
their status.


The Four Freedoms Fund, GCIR, and             Bruce Goldstein, Farmworker Justice            Milo Mumgaard, Felix Rivas, and Darcy
the authors extend their thanks to the                                                         Tromanhauser, Nebraska Appleseed Center
numerous people, listed below, who            Javier Gonzalez, SEIU Local 1877                 for Law in the Public Interest
provided background information and           Lourdes Gouveia, Office of Latin and Latin     Cecilia Munoz, National Council of La Raza
advice that informed the recommendations        American Studies, University of Nebraska –
contained in this report.                       Omaha                                        Karen Musalo, Center for Gender and Refugee
                                                                                               Studies, University of California Hastings
Ana-Maria Archila, Latin American             Lucas Guttentag, American Civil Liberties        College of Law
  Integration Center                            Union
                                                                                             Karen Narasaki, Asian American Justice
Gilbert Bailon, Al Dia                        Wade Henderson, Leadership Conference for        Center
                                               Civil Rights
Willie Bennett, Dallas Area Interfaith                                                       Teresa Ortiz, Casa Guanajuato
  Sponsoring Committee                        Chung-Wha Hong, New York Immigration
                                                Coalition                                    Gouri Sadhwani, New York Civic Participation
Josh Bernstein, Tanya Broder, Joan                                                             Project
  Friedland, and Marielena Hincapié,          Josh Hoyt, Illinois Immigrant and Refugee
  National Immigration Law Center               Rights Coalition                             Shirley Sagawa, Annie E. Casey Foundation
Deepak Bhargava and Son Ah Yun,               Alvaro Huerta, Coalition for Humane
  Center for Community Change                   Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles              Gaspar Rivera-Salgado, Coalition for Humane
                                                                                               Immigrant Rights in Los Angeles (Board
Oscar Chacon, Enlaces America                 Pramila Jayapal, Hate Free Zone                  Chair)
Eric Cohen and Judy Golub, Immigrant Legal    S.J. Jung, Young Korean American Service &     Irma Santana, Coalition for New South
  Resource Center                               Education Center                               Carolinians
William Coley, American Friends Service       Father Filemon Juya, St. John Newmann          Carmen Enid Santiago, Acercamiento Hispano
  Committee and Homies Unidos                   Catholic Church                                de Carolina del Sur (Hispanic Outreach)
                                              Don Kerwin, Catholic Legal Immigration         Gloria Saucedo, Hermandad Mexicana
Christina DeConcini, Douglas Rivlin, Frank      Network, Inc.                                  Nacional – San Fernando Valley
  Sharry, Lynn Tramonte, and Shoba
  Sivaprasad Wadhia,                          Dr. Elaine Lacy, Consortium for Latino         Liz Sunwoo, Multi-Ethnic Immigrant Worker
  National Immigration Forum                    Immigration Studies, University of South       Organizing Network
Jesse Diaz, League of United Latin American                                                  Catherine Tactaquin, National Network for
  Citizens, Dallas Council                    Eun Sook Lee, NAKASEC - National Korean          Immigrant and Refugee Rights
                                                American Service & Education Consortium
Julian Do, New America Media                                                                 Dr. Myriam Torres, Consortium for Latino
                                              Kimi Lee, Garment Worker Center                  Immigration Studies University of South
Father Richard Estrada, La Placita Church                                                      Carolina
                                              Nativo Lopez, Hermandad Mexicana Latino
Janice Fine, School of Management and           Americana and Mexican American Political     Rebecca Valdez, Chicano Awareness Center
  Labor Relations, Rutgers University           Association
                                                                                             Louis Velasquez, Office for Vicar for Clergy,
Michael Fix and Doris Meissner,               David Lubell, Tennessee Immigrant and            Archdiocese of Los Angeles
  Migration Policy Institute                    Refugee Rights Coalition
                                                                                             Eric Ward, Center for New Community
Mark Franken, United States Conference        Eliseo Medina, Service Employees
 of Catholic Bishop’s Immigration and            International Union
 Refugee Services
                                              Nancy Morawetz, New York University School
Andrew Friedman, Make the Road By               of Law
                                              Ann Morse, National Conference of State
Fernando Garcia, Border Network for             Legislators
  Human Rights

Four Freedoms Fund

The Four Freedoms Fund seeks to uphold          To date, the Fund has invested over $6        Four Freedoms Fund Advisory Committee
and advance core democratic values to           million in 47 grantees across the country
strengthen U.S. society. The Fund makes         that:                                         Henry Der
grants to foster a strong, cohesive national                                                  Evelyn & Walter Haas Jr Fund
movement for justice and democracy by            Organize immigrants and refugees to         San Francisco, California
enhancing the capacity of local and state       take leadership and speak on their own
organizations to actively engage immigrants     behalf.                                       Larry Hansen
in the civic, social and economic life of                                                     Joyce Foundation
their communities and participate in             Translate grassroots mobilization into      Chicago, Illinois
national policy and advocacy efforts.           lasting change through civic participation.
                                                                                              Taryn L. Higashi
Established as a national funding collabora-     Work with under-represented                 Ford Foundation
tive in July 2003, the Four Freedoms Fund       constituencies (e.g. Arabs, Muslims and       New York, New York
responds to the urgent need to safeguard        South Asians) and issues (e.g. workplace
immigrants’ human rights, civil rights and      raids, detentions and deportations).          Geri Mannion
civil liberties, as well as to strengthen the                                                 Carnegie Corporation of New York
democratic values upon which America was         Unite diverse issues and constituencies.    New York, New York
built. The Fund derives its name from
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1941       Connect immigrants with native-born         Maria Teresa Rojas
State of the Union address in which he          allies and address the tensions between       Open Society Institute
shared his vision of a world founded upon       them.                                         New York, New York
four interconnected freedoms: freedom from
fear, freedom from want, freedom of speech       Are growing their organizational and        Darren Sandow
and expression, and freedom of religious        networking capacity.                          Horace Hagedorn Foundation
worship.                                                                                      Port Washington, New York
                                                 Operate in strategic geographic areas
                                                with large and/or growing immigrant           Four Freedoms Fund Staff
                                                                                              Michele Lord, Executive Director
                                                 Play an important role in national
                                                strategies.                                   Margarita Rubalcava, Program Manager

                                                Current funders include the Carnegie          Naomi Abraham, Program Associate
                                                Corporation of New York, Ford Foundation,
                                                Joyce Foundation, Evelyn and Walter Haas      Monona Yin, Program Consultant
                                                Jr. Fund, Horace Hagedorn Foundation and
                                                Open Society Institute. The Fund also works   Contact Information
                                                closely with the John S. and James L.         Four Freedoms Fund
                                                Knight Foundation, which created the          80 Broad Street Suite 1600
                                                American Dream Fund as a sister fund to       New York, New York 10004
                                                promote immigrant integration in 26 local     212.764.1508, ext. 215

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees

Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants              Substantive opportunities to learn about    Baltimore, Maryland
and Refugees (GCIR) seeks to move the             emerging trends and share experiences and
philanthropic field to advance the contribu-      strategies through member-driven programs,    Bob Glaves
tions and address the needs of the world's        learning circles, and national convenings.    Chicago Bar Foundation
growing and increasingly diverse immigrant        Technical assistance and consultation to      Chicago, Illinois
and refugee populations. With a core focus        members wishing to incorporate immigrant
on the United States, GCIR provides grant-        and refugee issues into their portfolios or   José González, Program Committee Chair
makers with opportunities for learning,           seeking to expand or redirect their           Bush Foundation
networking, and collaboration. Our                immigrant-related grantmaking.                St. Paul, Minnesota
information resources aim to:
                                                   Technical assistance and consultation to    Victor Quintana
 Enhance philanthropy’s awareness of             members wishing to incorporate immigrant      Communications Committee Chair
issues affecting immigrants and refugees.         and refugee issues into their portfolios or   Unitarian Universalist Veatch Program at
Deepen the field’s understanding of how           seeking to expand or redirect their           Shelter Rock
these issues are integral to community            immigrant-related grantmaking.                Manhasset, New York
building in today's dynamic social, econom-
ic, and political environment.                    In 2005, more than 1,500 grantmakers took     Maria Teresa Rojas
                                                  advantage of our information resources and    Open Society Institute
 Increase philanthropic support for both         another 1,000 participated in our programs.   New York, New York
broad and immigrant/refugee-focused
strategies that benefit newcomer popula-          GCIR Board of Directors                       Sandra Smith
tions and strengthen the larger society.                                                        The Columbus Foundation
                                                  Susan Downs-Karkos, Co-Chair                  Columbus, Ohio
Given immigrants’ growing numbers and             The Colorado Trust
their expanding role in the economic,             Denver, Colorado                              Ralph Taylor
social, and cultural life of nations across the                                                 Central Indiana Community Foundation
globe, GCIR has become an invaluable              Taryn Higashi, Co-Chair                       Indianapolis, Indiana
resource to many foundations, whether they        Ford Foundation
have immigrant-specific funding initiatives       New York, New York                            Ellen Widess
or wish to incorporate the immigrant and                                                        Rosenberg Foundation
refugee dimension into their core grantmak-       Laura Hogan, Treasurer                        San Francisco, California
ing programs.                                     The California Endowment
                                                  Sacramento, California                        GCIR Staff
GCIR provides members the opportunity to
connect with diverse colleagues, build new        Tom Kam, Secretary                            Daranee Petsod, Executive Director
skills, increase knowledge, and become part       Community Foundation for the National
of a dynamic movement to fully integrate          Capital Region                                Alison De Lucca, Program Director
immigrants into U.S. society through:             Washington, District of Columbia
                                                                                                Bryan Rhodes, Executive Assistant
 A one-stop center for high-quality              Henry Allen
Web-based and printed resources, including        Discount Foundation                           Ada Tso, Research Assistant
in-depth issue reports that help funders          Boston, Massachusetts
quickly grasp the substance of specific topic                                                   Jacqueline Menendez, Research Assistant
areas and learn about proven grantmaking          Lina Avidan, Membership Committee Chair
strategies.                                       Zellerbach Family Foundation                  Contact Information
                                                  San Francisco, California                     Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants
                                                                                                and Refugees
                                                  Sue Lin Chong                                 P.O. Box 1100
                                                  Annie E. Casey Foundation                     Sebastopol, California 95473-1100
                                                                                                Phone: 707.824.4374
                                                                                                Fax: 707.581.1716
                                                                                                Email: info@gcir.org

About the Authors

Ted Wang provides public policy consult-        Robert C. Winn is a consultant and
ing services to foundations and nonprofit       independent documentary filmmaker with a
organizations on immigrant and civil rights     legal background in immigration, human
issues. His areas of expertise include          rights and international trade. Robert’s
language access in public services, English     current areas of interest include immigra-
acquisition, workforce development, affirma-    tion, language access and social justice.
tive action, voting, and immigrant rights       Recent public television projects include
advocacy. He previously served as policy        Grassroots Rising (2005) about labor issues
director at Chinese for Affirmative Action      and the Asian Pacific Islander community in
and as a staff attorney at the Lawyers'         Los Angeles; Saigon, USA (2003) about the
Committee for Civil Rights of the San           development of the Vietnamese American
Francisco Bay Area. In these positions, he      community 25 years after the fall of Saigon.
litigated affirmative action and voting cases   His current documentary project is
and drafted local and state laws in the areas   Childhood in Translation, about language
of immigrant rights, racial justice, and        access issues through the eyes of immigrant
economic development. Ted has published         children who are the linguistic and cultural
numerous academic articles, reports, and op-    brokers for their families.
eds on these issues, including co-authoring
“Supporting English-Language Acquisition:
Opportunities for Foundations to Strengthen
                                                   The authors wish to thank Four
the Social and Economic Well-Being of
                                                   Freedoms Fund, its donor foundations,
Immigrant Families,” and “Investing in Our
                                                   and Grantmakers Concerned with
Communities: Strategies for Immigrant
                                                   Immigrants and Refugees for their
Integration,” published by GCIR in 2005 and
                                                   support of this research. They are
2006, respectively.
                                                   especially grateful to Taryn Higashi
                                                   of the Ford Foundation for her advice
                                                   and guidance, Daranee Petsod of GCIR
                                                   for editing the report, and Michael
                                                   Kay and Jacqueline Menendez for
                                                   proofreading previous drafts. The
                                                   authors also wish to thank the many
                                                   individuals who read an earlier
                                                   version of this report and provided
                                                   invaluable feedback.


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