As America faces new challenges in our long fight to uphold our founding values of liberty and justice for all, the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) stands with immigrant communities in the hope that some values are universal: The paramount importance of keeping families together, the moral and legal imperative to provide a haven for refugees and asylum seekers, and the belief that all persons, regardless of citizenship or immigration status, religion or gender, are entitled to fundamental human rights and due process protections.
We will be vigilant in holding America’s leaders to our national and international obligations to welcome refugees fleeing harm. We will fight alongside immigrant communities facing devastation because of laws and policies in our criminal and immigration justice systems that disparately impact men and women of color. We will not forget that ours is a nation of second chances. We are deeply concerned that the proposals espoused by the president-elect could have negative impacts on immigrants, including asylum-seekers, refugees and survivors of violence. However, though the president has the discretion to unilaterally alter some immigration policies, he cannot change the law itself. We will advocate strongly with the new Congress to retain protections for all immigrants.
NIJC encourages immigrants to contact qualified immigration legal counsel if they are concerned about what the election results mean for their future in this country, and strongly urges people who qualify for permanent forms of relief to apply. Permanent residents should consult with immigration lawyers and consider applying for citizenship.
NIJC will continue to stand with Zenayda, a mother who lost one child to gang violence in Central America and seeks safety for herself and her surviving children in the United States. We will continue to stand with Kenault, a father who has tried for years to return to his wife and four-year-old son in Virginia after his wrongful deportation to Jamaica based exclusively on marijuana related convictions. We will continue to stand with families who flee war and devastation in the Middle East, no matter their religion. We will continue to stand with the many unaccompanied children who arrive at our borders after escaping violence. We will continue to stand with the individuals and families who have contributed to our society for years, and help as many people as we can obtain lawful status. We stand with the immigrants who make our nation strong.
We will work with all the tools available to us to safeguard these values: the courts and halls of power in Washington, D.C., excellent legal representation, a network of committed pro bono attorneys and the communities who support and shape our mission. Join us.