WASHINGTON – The National Immigrant Integration Conference 2018launched today with an outstanding line-up of speakers, more than 1,200 attendees ready to find solutions to some of the most pressing issues affecting immigrants and refugees, and a renewed call to address immigration reform in the first 100 days of the new Congress.
“The immigrant coalitions that make up the National Partnership for New Americans worked tirelessly across the nation to get out the immigrant vote and to punish those who scapegoat our hard-working communities. Now we call on the President and Republican Party to end their politics of division and we challenge the Democrats to advance immigration reform in the first 100 days of Congress,” said Joshua Hoyt, Executive Director for National Partnership for New Americans, the lead organization of the NIIC 2018. “We are committed to working at the federal level, in our cities, and states to win the thoughtful policies in our New American Dreams Platform.”
This year’s National Immigrant Integration Conference takes place after two years of some of the most destructive attacks on the immigrant and refugee community, and after an election in which fear of immigrants was used unsuccessfully to divide the nation for political advantage.
“We must not just defeat hateful rhetoric, it is about building a better, more welcoming America where all people can thrive,” said Eva Millona, National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) co-chair and Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition and a naturalized citizen, during the opening session Sunday. “We need to invest in civic engagement, to turn more residents into citizens, and more citizens into voters.”
The conference continues early Monday with Our Virginia Story: How Virginians Are Turning Resistance Into Victory at 8:45 a.m. featuring:
- Congressman Don Beyer (VA-8),
- Delegate Elizabeth Guzman, Virginia House of Delegates,
- Delegate Kathy Tran, Virginia House of Delegates,
- Chair Christian Dorsey, Arlington Board of Supervisors, VA.
At 10 a.m., NIIC 2018 will hold a press briefing from the NIIC executive committee outlining some of the most pressing issues facing immigrants and the next steps for a community under attack. The briefing will include:
- Josh Hoyt – NPNA Executive Director
- Eva Millona – NPNA Co-chair and Executive Director of MIRA
- Gustavo Torres- NPNA Executive Committee Member and Executive Director of CASA
- Becky Belcore, NPNA Executive Committee Member and Executive Director of NAKASEC – Host organization
- Steve Choi, NPNA Co-chair and Executive Director of NYIC
Later in the day, at 12 p.m., we turn to one of the most urgent and timely sessions of the conference. America as a Refuge will look at the global migration crisis, in its political context, and the implications for immigrants, refugees, asylum seekers, and Temporary Protected Status (TPS) recipients.
- Senator Bob Menendez (NJ)
- Oscar Chacon, Executive Director, Alianza Americas
- Mayor Wilmot Collins, Helena, MT
- Kica Matos, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, Community Change
- Suzanne Sahloul, Founder & Executive Director, Syrian Community Network,
- Naomi Steinberg, Senior Director, Policy & Advocacy, HIAS.
At 5 .m. we close out our second day with Moving Into Action. This plenary will lift up the importance of our “Full Citizenship” civic engagement continuum: organizing and marching, speaking out, naturalizing, registering and getting out the vote, running for office — all as the basis for moving forward justice and concrete immigrant integration victories.
- Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-7)
- Linda Sarsour, The Women’s March, Board Member; Co-Founder MPowerChang
Our full online schedule is here. Make sure to check back for updates and last-minute announcements.