You don’t need to be an immigrant to ask for help.
THIS IS AN IMMIGRATION MENTOR PROGRAM TO HELP!
Volunteering is a great way for concerned citizens to help undocumented immigrants. It also gives immigrants an opportunity to interact with someone outside of their immediate family, and even their neighborhood.
You can make a difference for vulnerable populations.
Undocumented immigrants face many obstacles — and to overcome them, they need strong allies.
As of 2014, an estimated total of 42.4 million immigrants live in the United States, 11.4 million of whom are undocumented. Language barriers, access to health care, education, finding employment and securing housing are only a few of the many issues most immigrants face, all in addition to widespread xenophobia.
There’s a clear space for allies in the movement for immigrant rights. Here are six things you can do to help make the U.S. a better place for undocumented immigrants.
1. Come out as an ally.
To be a good ally, you have to be active — allyship is futile if no one knows about it. Being vocal in your role is what helps bring change.
2. Be of service, not self-serving.
“Allies are not concerned with being at the forefront of a movement.”
Good intentions don’t always result in solidarity or useful allyship — sometimes giving money or time to a cause becomes more about making yourself feel good, rather than actually helping those affected.
3. Learn the correct terms for immigrants.
I cringe every time I hear someone who should be an ally refer to undocumented immigrants as “illegal.” No human being is illegal.
If you really want to be an ally to immigrants, you have to know the appropriate ways to address them. Using the terms “illegal” or “alien” to describe immigrants dehumanizes them, and is a tool of xenophobia and oppression.
4. Get informed.
What are the current laws on immigration? How can you keep your immigrant friends safe? What makes an immigrant undocumented? As an ally, you need to know the answers to these questions.
5. Be mindful of intersectionality.
A good ally needs to be conscious of these tendencies, and consider the impact of intersectional identities in the fight for equality.
6. Use — and risk — your privilege.
As an ally, you have a lot of privilege that both documented and undocumented immigrants do not have. It’s important to use this privilege to provide spaces for them, helping to amplify their voices.
DISCLAIMER: The above summary of certain general suggestion is provided for informational purposes only. It’s NOT intent as a legal advised