WASHINGTON _ The story of thousands of Central American refugees making the arduous journey on foot toward the U.S. border may have predictably fallen off the headlines after the elections, but the plight of migrants fleeing violence, poverty, and political instability is not going away.
“In Central America, there is hunger, extreme violence, and rampant corruption. We are not going to solve this by continuing to militarize the border,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA and Co-Host of the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC). “We need real humanitarian and lasting solutions to this crisis, and to immigration and refugee issues more broadly.”
Using this mantra as a guiding principle, the National Partnership for New Americans will address refugee issues throughout the upcoming National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) to be held Dec. 9-11 in Arlington, VA. Mainstage conversations and an issue area Track featuring numerous sessions all on the theme of “America as a Refuge” will be led by some of the country’s top refugee experts such as: Helena, Montana Mayor Wilmot Collins, a former refugee from Liberia; Oscar Chacon, Co-Founder and Executive Director, Alianza Americas; Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, Founder and Executive Director of the Syrian Community Network; Kica Matos, Director, Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at Center for Community Change; and Olga Byrne, Director of Immigration, International Rescue Committee.
“A conference such as this, which brings together people from across the country and every sector, continues to be the place where people are at their best and where the spirit of compromise, for which Americans yearn, can blossom,” said Becky Belcore, Co-Director of NAKASEC and Co-Host of the NIIC 2018 .“This is probably one of the most important and timely conferences we’ve ever had. In this time of transition, and as elected officials assume power in the changing political climate, we believe these discussions are paramount.”