This past Monday, House Speaker John Boehner said he would look to the reaction of naturalized U.S. citizens to judge whether Congress had gotten immigration reform right.
“They are the people I will look to, because whatever it is we agree on, that’s the straight-faced test,” he said. “How do the people who did this the hard way, how do they feel about this process?”
Naturalized citizens have already begun speaking up. Leo and Rosa's videos are samples of what they many others are saying and posting online.
It's your turn to be heard
As a naturalized citizen who came to the U.S. as a refugee, Speaker Boehner needs hear from you. This is your turn to be heard. Now is your chance to tell him what you think Congress needs to do on immigration reform.
Here are three ways you can raise your voice:
Create and upload your own video message
Here's a sample video script for ideas of what to say:
Hi Speaker Boehner-- Thanks for asking to hear my perspective. My name is John and I am originally from South Sudan. I came to this country as a refugee and am now a naturalized U.S. citizen. I am proud to be an American and am grateful for the hospitality this country offered me and my family. And I believe that as a country, we need to do more to welcome individuals needing protection and we need to provide a path to citizenship for the millions of aspiring Americans already contributing to our country. People need to stop living in fear. The time is now for Congress to act - and thanks for listening.
- Record the video with your smarthone or webcam on your computer (less than a minute, please!)
- Upload to Youtube and then email email@example.com the YouTube link. And if you don't know how to upload the video to Youtube, go ahead and email it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it posted.
- Tweet your video @SpeakerBoehner. Here's a sample Tweet:
.@SpeakerBoehner asked to hear from naturalized citizens on #CIR. Here's my view: http://youtube.com/link_here #HearUsBoehner @CWS_IRP
(Make sure to include the period "." before @SpeakerBoehner. That's important! And be sure to include @CWS_IRP so we can amplify your message online!)
Send us a photo with a short statement/quote
Don't have time to record a video? That's ok, just send us a photo of you and your family along with a short one to two sentence quote about why immigration reform is important to you.
Send us a few option photos and we'll transform them into an image for social media and make sure Speaker Boehner gets the message.
Send your images and a quote to email@example.com.
Write a blog for cwsglobal.org/blog/
We'd love to post your blog on our site! Send us a short blog post about why you - as a refugee who is now a naturalized citizen - think Speaker Boehner needs to act on immigration reform. Here's some ideas of what to write about:
- Share a little about your family's story as refugees resettling in the U.S.
- Write about what you think Congress should do on immigration reform - it's great to highlight the need to:
- Keep families together and prioritize family unity
- End the fear of deportation and family separation
- Create a pathway to citizenship for aspiring Americans already contributing to our communities
- Talk about the bonds that refugees feel with America's history as a nation of immigrants
- Talk the about the welcome you received from CWS, local communities or local churches
- Tell why you are proud to be a U.S. citizen and what you dream for this country
We'll get your blog posted online and lift it up on social media to make sure Speaker Boehner gets the message.
Send your blog post with a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sidney Traynham, Media Associate for Immigration Reform
Want to get further involved? Civic engagement through voter registration and voter education is a critical piece of integration, and World Refugee Day is a perfect opportunity to register newly naturalized refugees who have never voted before and to sign up already registered voters on the early voting list. Learn more here.