When we celebrate Thanksgiving, what we’re essentially celebrating is support for immigrants. It is a thanks for giving, a thanks for the support European Americans received from Native Americans after they immigrated to the U.S. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to invite my family and friends to support immigration, in particular IRC's Citizenship and Financial Capability Program in Los Angeles which provides free legal assistance and support for immigrants and refugees as they apply for U.S. citizenship, learn English and prepare for the tests and interview process. I am amazed by the program's work. It is an extremely valuable resource!
The people I have met while co-teaching the weekly Citizenship class are mostly from Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala and they are some of the most hard-working, gracious, warm, good hearted and down to earth people I've met in my life. When they become citizens, the U.S. will be significantly better and honored to have them.
Funding has been threatened for this program as our presidential administration has decreased support for immigration. Please give something, even if it's little, to protect a program that makes a big difference on a personal level. It offers a safety net and support for people's needs that would go unmet without it.
In the current political climate of anti-immigrant rhetoric, it is especially important that we counteract that with support for immigration and cultural diversity. Cultural diversity is truly what makes society strong and community great.