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Award-Winning Journalist Maria Hinojosa Emcees Virtual NIIC 2020, the First Immigrant and Refugee Gathering After Victory of President-Elect Biden

WASHINGTON – With eyes set on the future of U.S. immigration policies under a new Biden/Harris administration, the country’s foremost immigrant and refugee leaders and advocates will gather for the entirely virtual National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) 2020, to be held Dec. 8-9 and moderated by journalist and author Maria Hinojosa.

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) will host the fully online NIIC 2020—New American Dreams,  at a time when the country is transitioning from an administration that has bulldozed existing immigration policy and stooped to unprecedented levels of cruelty and disregard for the well-being of immigrants, refugees, and people of color.

The virtual gathering will draw more than 5,000 attendees from across the nation with the aim of promoting policies that include the integration of immigrants, refugees into our communities, and a commitment to racial justice equity policies that address our nation’s foundational inequities.

“In a time of crisis such as the one the country is undergoing now, immigrant and refugee advocates must lead the way toward a more humane approach to immigration, and promote policies that help us heal. We’re heartened that President-elect Biden is ready to hit the ground running when it comes to immigration policy, and we believe we have the strong sector-wide leadership needed to help the administration make it happen,” said Nicole Melaku, executive director of NPNA. “We are excited to have Maria Hinojosa with us as a moderator this year, along with a powerful and diverse line-up  of multi-ethnic, multilingual national leaders who work tirelessly to elevate these critical conversations and create policies that will yield a more inclusive, united nation.”

Maria Hinojosa, a veteran journalist and author of, Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America, has been covering immigration issues for decades. She will be among a distinguished list of speakers, including Deepak Bhargava, professor at the City University of New York and former president and executive director of Community Change and Community Change ActionNana Gyamfi, executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the oldest and largest Black-led social justice organization representing the nearly 10 million Black immigrants, refugees, and families living in the U.S.

Other prominent leaders in the diverse and powerful cohort of featured speakers include: Ai-jen Poo, National Domestic Workers Alliance; Linda Sarsour, MPowerChange; Enrique Fernandez, UNITE HERE; Marielena Hincape, National Immigration Law Center (NILC); Virginia Kase, League of Women Voters; Karthick Ramakrishnan, AAPI Data / UC Riverside; Saket Soni, Resilience Force; Wendy Feliz, American Immigration Council; Mustafa Jumale, Voice for Refuge; Oscar Chacón, Alizana Americas; Sayu Bhojwani, New American Leaders; Sulma Arias, Community Change; Jaclyn Dean, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum; Angelica Salas, Coalition of Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA); Steve Choi, New York Immigrant Coalition (NYIC); Eva Millona, Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA); and Laura Martin, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN). NIIC 2020 national partners include Church World Service, Immigration Hub, National Immigration Law Center, Unidos US, and World Education Services, among others.

To ensure the event reaches the broadest possible audience, tickets to attend the entire virtual two-day event cost just $15. The event kicks off at 12 p.m. ET on Tuesday, Dec. 8.  For registration information and a detailed program schedule, click here.

NIIC 2020 Confirmed Speakers — Partial Listing

Maria Hinojosa is the anchor and executive producer of the Peabody Award-winning show, Latino USA, distributed by NPR, as well as co-host of In The Thick, Futuro Media’s award-winning political podcast. Hinojosa has informed millions about the changing cultural and political landscape in America and abroad. She is also a contributor to the long-running, award-winning news program CBS Sunday Morning and a frequent guest on MSNBC.

Deepak Bhargava is a distinguished lecturer on Urban Studies at the City University of New York (CUNY). Bhargava is a policy expert on issues of poverty, economic justice, racial equity, and immigration and has extensive practical experience in community organizing, leadership development, social movements, progressive strategy, issue campaigns, coalition building, and voter mobilization. Before joining SLU, he was president and executive director of Community Change and Community Change Action for 16 years, two premier national organizations supporting grassroots community organizing in low-income communities of color in the United States.

Enrique L. Fernández is the general vice president of UNITE HERE International, the president of the California State Council of UNITE HERE, vice president of the California Labor Federation, and treasurer of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council. He is a leader in the community, a board member of Team San José and the President of Working Partnership USA.

Saket Soni is recognized as a national expert on post-disaster economies, immigrant rights and the future of work. He was profiled as an “architect of the next labor movement” in USA Today, and he has testified before Congress and at the United Nations. Saket’s advocacy efforts have been featured on NPR, in Time, and on the front page of The New York Times. His writings have appeared in the L.A. Times, The Hill, The Nation, Latino Journal, Talking Points Memo and on Saket co-authored And Injustice For All: Workers’ Lives In the Reconstruction, the most comprehensive report on race in the reconstruction of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast, as well as Never Again: Lessons of the Gustav Evacuation, an account of the inequities in the response to Hurricane Gustav in 2009, which led to new state policies and new norms for evacuating the most vulnerable residents in preparation for disaster.

Nana Gyamfi is the executive director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), the oldest and largest Black-led social justice organization representing the nearly 10 million Black immigrants, refugees, and families living in the United States. A movement attorney for the past 25 years, Nana is co-founder of Justice Warriors 4 Black Lives and Human Rights Advocacy, both dedicated to fighting for human rights and Black liberation. She has served as the executive director of Black Women’s Forum, an organization co-founded by Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Nana is a former professor in the Pan-African Studies Department at California State University Los Angeles.


The National Partnership for New Americans is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 41 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 37 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy. More information about the New American Voters 2020 campaign is available at