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The recent rapid growth of the immigrant population has once again rekindled America’s anxiety toward new immigrants. It has historically been the case, that political discourse and public policy have primarily focused on how we punish new comers and not how new comers integrate into mainstream American society.
As a nation of immigrants, our values of opportunity, compassion, fairness and acceptance have allowed generations of immigrants to flourish and reestablish roots in this new found land. Continuing in that tradition, Welcoming Idaho is a coalition of faith, civic, business and community leaders who have come together to create welcoming communities for all to flourish.
Why Welcoming Idaho?
The increase in violence against immigrants and refugees correlates intimately with the heated escalation of anti-immigrant anger on the radio, television, and Internet. We are a nation with a historical identity of immigration. Immigrants from across the world have sought refuge and opportunity in the U.S. While every wave has been met with a push back, some more than others, we remain a nation of acceptance, opportu-nity, compassion, respect, and fairness.
Welcoming America: The National Coalition
Welcoming America’s innovative theory of change is based on the idea that just as fertile soil is needed for a seed to grow; receptive communities are needed for immigrants to thrive. Past efforts have focused uniquely on the seed, neglecting to nourish the soil in which the immigrants were placed. The Welcoming approach targets the soil – reducing anxiety in the receiving community through a process of education and facilitated dialogue with new immigrant neighbors – so that receiving communities become the “welcoming communities” needed to help immigrants step out of their comfort zones, and into the broader society. For more information about Welcoming America visit: WelcomingAmerica.org
For more information about Welcoming Idaho, please contact Fernando Mejia-Ledesma at email@example.com or 208-649-4944.