A successful democracy depends on an engaged citizenry. If you believe that laws or policies need to change or be enforced differently then please engage directly with your policymakers. Review Possible Actions, Resources and Additional Suggestions below.
- Learn about local, state and national laws and regulations
- Learn what laws and regulations are under debate
- Call your representative (federal, state or local)
- Write to lawmakers
- Volunteer to share your immigrant story with lawmakers
- Register new citizens to vote (see Personal section for finding organizations)
- Assist with the citizenship process (see Personal section for finding organizations)
- Start or get involved in a campaign for a candidate or issue
- Run for office
- Thank local officials
Support immigrant campaigns or candidates
Check out New American Leaders. They are a national organization with their finger on the pulse of immigrant and 1st/2nd generation immigrants in politics. They also provide training for candidates.
Learn about Federal/National legislation in process
- GovTrack.us Immigration page – “GovTrack.us tracks the United States Congress and helps Americans participate in their national legislature. We publish the status of federal legislation, information about your representative and senators in Congress including voting records, and original research on bills and votes.”
- American Immigration Lawyers Association (search “pending legislation”) – “The American Immigration Lawyers Association is the national association of immigration lawyers established to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.”
Learn about State legislation in process
- National Conference of State Legislatures Immigration page – “Once immigrants and refugees have entered the United States, state and local governments are responsible for a range of policies affecting them, from education to law enforcement, from employment to health and human services. States implement programs required by federal law, provide services mandated by the courts, and initiate programs and policies to serve the specialized needs of their new citizens. The Immigrant Policy Project provides nonpartisan research, analysis, and technical assistance to state legislators and legislative staff across the country on federal and state immigration-related laws and promising practices in immigrant integration.”
Find Your Representatives
- Gov How to Contact Your Elected Officials page – Links for finding your federal, state, county, city and other local government officials.
There are many individual organizations and blogs that track certain types of legislation. Search the web for the topic you are interested in, look at a number of the organizations you see in the results before deciding which one to follow. Try searching with a couple of different phrases and words – you will find different organizations.
New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. They have an excellent interactive map of immigrant statistics for states and cities across the US along with lots of other tools.