Advocate for change – use your vote and voice

Do you wish you could help change policies or make your community a more welcoming place? If you speak out for change and advocate for newcomers, you can get things done.

immigrant activist with giant US flag
Photo: iStock/Rrodrickbeiler

Vote and get others to vote, too

Your vote is a powerful tool, and it is the duty and privilege of all citizens to use their votes and advocate for the policies they believe in. Find out what your candidates stand for and what their policies are. Remind your friends, family, and neighbors that voting gives us a voice.

Write to your elected officials

Just as votes are a powerful tool, so is inertia a powerful force. Unless we overcome our inertia and make the effort to tell our elected officials that we feel strongly about something, they will assume we do not care. The louder voices expressing objections and fears will be heard, however. So write to your elected officials to make them aware of what matters to you and your community.

Advocate with an official comment

USCIS and other federal agencies use the process of rules and regulations to implement new laws. When a federal agency creates a new regulation, it must request comments on the proposed regulation from the public. Anyone can make comments in support of or against a new regulation or rule. This is easy to do on the government website, where you will find federal notices and proposed rules available for comment. Read the US government’s tips for submitting effective comments.

Support an advocacy group

Advocacy organizations put their energies and funds into influencing policies, campaigning for rights, and protesting on behalf of all kinds of causes. You can join or donate to an advocacy organization that works to help immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers by changing discriminatory policies or fighting for human rights.

Here are some advocacy organizations that lead the way in advocating for immigrants:

Use social media to advocate

Social media is a great tool for spreading the word for events and petitions. Here are some detailed tips from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) about how to use social media for advocacy.

Organize an event

You’ve probably noticed that public events – meetings, marches, protest and support rallies – get a lot of attention in the media. Even a small event will get coverage in your local newspaper. It doesn’t have to be political or a protest. It can be a multicultural social gathering that introduces new ideas in a non-threatening way.