Refugee Advocates Launch Opportunity for All Campaign on the Eve of Muslim, Refugee and African Ban Anniversary
WASHINGTON – On the eve of the four-year anniversary of the announcement of the Muslim, refugee and African Ban, which was just rescinded by President Joe Biden following his inauguration last week, We Are All America and its partners are launching the national “Opportunity for All” campaign, led by former refugees, asylees, and immigrants. The vibrant campaign is designed to shift social, political, and economic conditions so that refugees and other new arrivals can achieve their full potential and ensure that the United States remains a nation of opportunity for those seeking freedom, safety, and refuge.
The campaign will kick off with a virtual panel discussion between refugee community leaders from across the country, which will take place today, Monday, Jan. 25 at 12:30 p.m. ET.The Opportunity for All campaign is spearheaded by We Are All America, a refugee organizing alliance housed under the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA). In addition to NPNA, We Are All America’s national partners include Alianza Americas, Church World Service, Human Rights First, Refugee Congress, the Refugee Advocacy Lab, Refugee Council USA, and Welcoming America
“After organizing to push back against anti-Muslim and anti-refugee policies over the past four years, we are buoyed by the rapid rescission of the Muslim, refugee and African bans by the Biden administration on the first day of his presidency,” said Basma Alawee, chair of the campaign, and a former refugee from Iraq. “While the administration is poised to increase refugee resettlement numbers to 125,000, we must also ensure that we provide the social, economic, and political conditions necessary so that every person who calls America home can reach their full potential.”
“Opportunity for All is poised to impact change immediately in at least 10 states through pro-refugee policy initiatives,” said Oregon State Senator Kayse Jama, a former refugee from Somalia and the first Muslim in the Oregon legislature. “The very first bill I am drafting this session is for the creation of a new Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement. Refugees bring resilience, strength, innovation, and knowledge that often remain untapped, and this new office would ensure we remove barriers to social and economic advancement, and create an environment in our state where immigrants and refugees can truly thrive.”
“At the national level, Opportunity for All will focus on economic opportunity and equitable recovery, as well as ensuring we remain a nation of refuge, promise, and hope,” added Nejra Sumic, the national field manager of We Are All America, who arrived in the United States as a refugee from Bosnia. “Refugees have always been part of the American story. It is time we recognize this. Through Opportunity for All, we will work to create communities in which we are recognized and supported as valued members of the American family.”