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F.I.R.M: Fair Immigration Reform Movement

“Since January 2010, at least 39 people have died as the result of an encounter with immigration enforcement officials” (fairimmigration.org).

This number may seem small, in regard to everything else happening in the world, but for many, this number is too large. So, those concerned people started a social movement group and called themselves F.I.R.M., standing for Fair Immigration Reform Movement.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement started their group not only because of those 39 people who have died but because of many things that they feel are unjust and happening with immigrants and the United States today. The group FIRM is actually a project from the Center for Community Change, which is an organization dedicated to helping low income people and people of color as well. The Center for Community Change started this project in the year 2000 and has been actively advocating things, such as immigration reform and civil rights for immigrants in the United States ever since. In fact, on the FIRM website it states “FIRM is dedicated to organizing and building grassroots power and leadership”.

Not only is this social movement group dedicated, but they have also made tremendous progress since 2000 when they started this project (whoop whoop). That being said, in 2006, “ these groups were the cornerstone of the people-led movement that derailed the inhumane and unworkable immigration laws pushed by Congressional leaders” (fairimmigration.org).

This piece of information shows a little bit about how campaigning and coming together can go a long way for many people. Since the group tackled that problem, starting in the year 2007 and so on they moved on to other things to address and potentially overcome and fix. Now and since then, the group has been working on humane and fair immigration reform packages. The reason behind improving these packages is to live up to what America is known for, a country filled with immigrants, a country that helps immigrants, and finally, a melting pot.

Day in and day out, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement group works to help people and help fix the problem with our immigration system. They not only make physical changes as mentioned previously, but they give hope and they inspire. From New York City to Los Angeles, FIRM is giving people hope that there will be change, it will get better, and there will be better times for all immigrants in the United States one day.

The objectives of this group are obtainable because although it is cliche to say, “a little goes a long way”, they have proven this statement over and over again in the past 18 years. There are now 44 branches of FIRM across 32 states making a difference. Not only are there many groups, but they have had petitions, protests, marches, rallies, meetings and people coming together worldwide. Plus, the more people who become aware or this situation, the more people there are to come together, join and help make a difference. It is hard to put an estimate or number on how long this may take to solve the problem, but hopefully, it will be soon. The social movement is growing everyday and continues to make progress every day, month and year, little by little.

Personally, I do believe that society would be a better place if this organization would be successful because as a country known for having many immigrants, it needs to be an equal and just place for them to live in. A lot of people around the world have problems in their home country, they do not have access to many opportunities, or they may have family here. It is known that people come to the United States to have a better life. Whether that may be jobs, money, freedom, or whatever the case may be. For many the thought of coming to the United States has given them hope and has become the only option for them.

Imagine coming to what you believe is your safe haven, your better life, your second chance. Now imagine coming to the United States with your family, and after a few short months, you have the fear on your shoulders every day of your family being separated. In 2014, this happened to the Salzar family. Eddie Salzar immigrated here and joined the National Guard, when he got put in a detention center. His family made a YouTube video crying out for help in fear of being separated from Salzar. The family made it clear in 2014, that 1,100 families are separated each day and they did not want to be one of them. We do not want this to be the United States’ reputation on immigration.

This video was not only posted on YouTube, but it was also posted on the Fair Immigration Reform Movement page underneath the subcategory “blog”. The blog is used for immigrants, and activists, everywhere to share their stories, get help, learn about each other, communicate and make a difference. (Yay for blogs!) This is another example of how the FIRM organization and community are helping people everywhere, by helping them know that they are not alone, and exposing their problems to people directly who can take a stand and help them and their families.

The Fair Immigration Reform Movement has done wonders for this country, and for people from various other countries. From the year of 2000, starting off as just a project for the Center for Community Change, they have become a large social movement inspiring people all around the world. People now have an outlet to vent and ask for help, people have a way to communicate to each other, of being informed, knowing how to help, and lastly; people now have a successful way in coming together to become united and to be equal.

If you are an immigrant, know immigrants, or want to support this group go to fairimmigration.org. Make a difference.


Mia White

Ohio U '21

A 20-year-old aspiring journalist. I live by the motto "Happiness never goes out of style", and you should too!
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