On Election Day…Vote for All of Us

As you sort through the last flurry of campaign rhetoric, be wary of anyone who tells you that immigration is about “us” v. “them.”

We must reject dividing lines between the individuals who come to our country in search of opportunity and freedom and the generations of Americans that flow from these new arrivals over the course of time. We are one nation.

We know the stories of today’s newcomers because they are our clients: the women, men and children who are fleeing persecution looking to reunify with their family already here or dreaming of building the next great American start-up. We know that newcomers have always played key roles in building America and that our nation would not be the success it is today without them.

Tomorrow, if you are eligible, you need to vote. And you need to encourage friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

Tomorrow is a chance for the voting public to begin rebuilding our democracy and to give voice and meaning to the things that brings us together rather than the things that divide us.

Tomorrow is a chance to reclaim “immigration” for what it truly is—not a “wedge” issue, but a fundamental American tradition.

Tomorrow is a chance to exercise our rights as Americans, and to vote not just for our issue but for a future that all Americans can see themselves in.

Beyond the election, I urge you to participate in a campaign of a different sort. A campaign that really can change hearts and minds.

Join AILA’s #MyImmigrantHistory campaign. Join us in sharing positive stories of immigrants and immigration through your eyes. Where did your American story begin and what did you learn from their history and from the lives of the generations who came after them?

These are the stories that really matter.

by Benjamin Johnson