Why Does Advocacy Matter?
Refugees and immigrants are impacted by federal, state and local laws, policies and procedures every single day. Many of these laws, policies and procedures hurt these vulnerable newcomers and, ultimately, hurt ourselves as Americans. The only way to change these is to contact your elected representatives and let them know that you want them to make changes or else you will make your displeasure felt when it is time to vote.
Engaging in these discussions with legislators – whether by email, snail mail letter, or phone call, can feel unimportant but it is not. Every legislator, at every level of government, tracks the issues about which their constituents contact them. The tracking happens every single day and when, at the end of a week, the number of contacts about a particular issue is really high, that issue will get their attention. The trick, therefore, is to keep the number of contacts about issues related to immigration high and constant.
We have created a list of issues that need public attention. For each issue some background information is provided as well as call scripts and paragraphs to be cut and pasted into emails, letters and faxes for you and your friends and loved ones to use on a regular basis. Make contacting your legislators a regular part of your routine – daily, after reading the morning paper, weekly, as a fun activity to engage in with your family, or monthly, as an engaging activity with your book club – the more continuous and consistent voices there are the more likely it will be that our legislators will act.