The recent shocking images of children in cages brought home the reality of the immigration crisis that the United States is currently facing. With a government that looks on immigration negatively, immigrants are finding it increasingly more difficult to get into the US legally and safely. It is a situation that has been blown out of proportion and continues the efforts to make it harder for immigrants including refugees. This leaves individual citizens positioned to be the driving force to help make a difference. What can be done to help aid in making it easier for immigrants to have decent lives in the US. How can we as individual citizens help?
Support individuals and families in your community
Ask ten of your friends, and it is likely that one of them knows an immigrant person or family. Mundane items are hard to access for these people that often live in poverty. Even simple hygiene items such as toilet paper are sometimes unaffordable. You can help set up an assistance center where you and your friends can donate these items.
New immigrants into the US sometimes face language barrier challenges making it hard to access public service. The most important thing for them is to learn English as quick as possible to have access job interviews and other livelihood opportunities. Volunteering as an English tutor can be very helpful.
Donate to organizations helping immigrants
When the president announced the first travel ban, a number of organizations rushed to help immigrants at airports. There are about 300 organizations working with immigrants across the US. You contact them for advice on how to channel your donations. The Refugee Council USA keeps a register of organizations working with immigrants. The donations can be in cash or in-kind. Old clothes, furniture, sports gear and other stuff that you don’t need could be very useful to these people who cannot afford them.
Support immigrant enterprises
There are a number of projects by immigrants that are listed on crowdfunding sites like GoFundMe. Look for one that interests you, has a great need and good potential to support immigrant causes. Crowdfunding sites make it easy to donate and support worthy causes.
Be a friend
It can be a bit awkward at first because of the language barrier and cultural differences, but making friends with immigrants can be a very enriching experience. Hello Neighbor is a website that can help you connect to an immigrant near you. We all must learn to make friends, discuss challenges and get to know each other to help one another live our most productive lives.