This June is the 6the Annual Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM), #celebrateimmigrants!, in the United States! It is a nationwide celebration of immigrants sharing the inspirational stories of immigration in America.” The month “provides an opportunity for Americans to reflect on their family’s heritage and celebrate the countless contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to the United States.” It is a time to come together as one to recognize, support, and accept our wonderful and diverse immigrant community. No matter where they come from, why they moved to the United States, or what they believe in, all immigrants should be welcomed and accepted for who they are in this country.
Immigrant Heritage Month (IHM) began during President Obama’s second term in 2013. His administration acknowledged that immigrants are an integral and vital part of our society and should be treated as such. For the second annual IHM, the president said that “one of the remarkable things about America is that nearly all of our families originally came from someplace else. Immigration is part of the DNA of this great nation. It’s a source of our strength and something we all can take pride in. That’s why during Immigrant Heritage Month, we are encouraging you to share your American story.”
House Minority Leader, Steny Hoyer (MD) issued a statement on Monday stating, “I join in commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month and honoring America’s role as a haven for those around the world seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. Our nation was built by immigrants, with each new wave of newcomers injecting new energy and ideas into the project of making America great and greater still.”
Hoyer Statement on Immigrant Heritage Month
For Immediate Release:
June 1, 2020
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today on Immigrant Heritage Month:
“I join in commemorating Immigrant Heritage Month and honoring America’s role as a haven for those around the world seeking freedom, safety, and opportunity. Our nation was built by immigrants, with each new wave of newcomers injecting new energy and ideas into the project of making America great and greater still. That is why it is not only so disheartening that the Trump Administration has waged a war on immigrants and immigration but also ill-advised. If we stop welcoming talented and hardworking immigrants to our country, we risk losing their intellect, inventiveness, and labor to our global competitors. If we stop welcoming immigrants fleeing violence, extreme poverty, and tyranny, we risk dimming that great ‘lamp beside the golden door’ that has shone a light of welcome to new Americans for generations.
“As the son of an immigrant myself, I know firsthand how important it is that we support immigrant families once they arrive here, making sure they know they have opportunities to thrive as new Americans and as part of their new communities. That’s why the Democratic-led House will continue to do its part to oppose the Trump Administration’s effort to shut down legal immigration, deny essential services to those who are not yet citizens, and denigrate the contributions to our economy and national security by those who were not born here. It is why we passed H.R. 6, the American Dream and Promise Act, to ensure that immigrants brought here as children can stay in America they call home with a pathway to citizenship. Later this month, I hope the Supreme Court will deliver a victory to Dreamers, which would be a very timely ruling to benefit immigrants and their families.
“As we celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month, let us do so with a renewed determination to honor those who are contributing so much to America – including as front-line health care personnel and other essential workers during this pandemic – and welcome them and their families today and in the future.”
It is estimated that almost four million Arab immigrants reside in the United States. “Contrary to popular assumptions or stereotypes, the majority of Arab Americans are native-born, and nearly 82% of Arabs in the U.S. are citizens.” Arab Americans live in all 50 states, but many of them live in large communities in Michigan, New York/New Jersey, and California.
Arab Americans and immigrants are proud of both their Arab and American identities, despite how they are treated by the current administration, portrayed in the media, and the many false and negative stereotypes placed on them. Over the past year, a record number of Arab Americans are running for elected office and are coming together to support and encourage one another to make their voices heard in their country.
Immigrants in the U.S
The United States is a nation of immigrants, almost every one of us had ancestors and family members make the journey to America. In fact, one in four people living in the United States is either an immigrant themselves, or has a parent who is an immigrant! They also have a lower crime, arrest, and incarceration rate than American born residents. Immigrants have made tremendous contributions to American culture, the economy, and society. Many of the practices, traditions, and foods we consider “American” were brought by immigrants. They are incredibly hard-working, are proud to live in the United States, and exemplify American values.