WASHINGTON, D.C. —Today, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) joined Families Belong Together to launch the #ChooseWelcome campaign, alongside dozens of other national, state, and local groups. This nationwide campaign invites everyday people, community organizations, and elected officials to pledge to stand on the side of welcoming migrant and vulnerable people seeking safety in their communities.
“Beyond political stunts, the migrant bussing situation has become a story of how communities stepped up to compassionately welcome people seeking safety in the U.S.”, said Nicole Melaku, NPNA executive director. “Despite these cruel, dehumanizing attempts to politicize people seeking asylum, receiving communities are choosing to welcome them. Local and federal governments are working together with local communities to strengthen systems of support for newcomers. From housing, to clothing, to meals, people around the country have shown that we are capable and ready to welcome and support asylum seekers with open arms.”
The campaign offers an alternative to the misguided political stunts by governors Ron DeSantis and Greg Abbott, and politicians who have been weaponizing cruelty against immigrant families seeking safety in the United States. DeSantis flew families from Florida to Martha’s Vineyard without their knowledge, and for months, Abbott has bused people seeking safety out of Texas and dropped them off in front of Congress, the Vice President’s house in Washington, D.C., and in other cities like Chicago, New York, and as of this week, Philadelphia without notice, intentionally seeking to create chaos and division.
But at every destination where governors have frivolously sent asylum seekers, everyday people have stepped up and chosen to welcome. They have joined local organizations that have set up dynamic volunteer operations to support every migrant on every bus in every city where they have been sent. #ChooseWelcome will help build collective support for welcoming at a time when it’s most needed.
The campaign is uniting individuals, faith groups, community-led organizations, businesses and elected officials to reject cruelty and be part of building a compassionate welcome system. A public pledge on the newly launched website allows individuals and organizations to join the campaign’s network, be displayed on a national map, and receive information and regular updates on how to get and stay involved. Already, more than 1,500 people have signed the #ChooseWelcome pledge.
“Our country faces a critical choice today: cruelty or welcome, ” said Erin Mazursky, Interim Director for Families Belong Together. “Thousands of people across the country are standing up and choosing welcome. I have witnessed this firsthand through the people and volunteers I have met, who are providing food, clothing, shelter, and more to create a warm welcome that reflects the best of this country. Anyone can sign the #ChooseWelcome pledge, and together we are showing that there are more people who stand on the side of welcome and dignity than on the side of cruelty. We are here to say that we’ll meet every bus with welcome, every time.”
The campaign welcomes anyone across the U.S. to pledge their support by signing the pledge and showing that we will always #ChooseWelcome.
The #ChooseWelcome campaign is a nationwide initiative of over 1,500 individuals, organizations, and elected officials pledging to stand on the side of welcome as vulnerable people seek safety in their communities. Organized following the busing of migrant families to various cities by extremist politicians, the campaign unites people from all backgrounds to come together and demonstrate a path forward through a compassionate welcoming system for families and individuals fleeing persecution and danger. When given the choice between cruelty or welcome, we #ChooseWelcome.
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial organization that represents 60 of the largest regional immigrant and refugee rights organizations in 40 states. Its members provide large-scale services for the communities, to leverage their collective power and expertise for a national strategy. Learn more at partnershipfornewamericans.org.
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