This program's goal is to educate Montanans about our state's rich history of immigrant contributions, while at the same time creating awareness of the unfair reality of the country's current immigration system. Over the past several years, Montana has faced increasing attacks on the dignity and security of our immigrant community. We use a foundation of human rights values in an effort to create inclusive and welcoming communities for immigrants to Montana. Montana is home to a number of emerging immigrant communities that can feel isolated and vulnerable. Part of our work is creating communities where recent immigrants can fully participate. This program area works to defend against anti-immigrant policy while also shifting the narrative about immigration by:
- Holding community events that look at the myths and facts in our current debate about immigration. These events promote human rights values instead of the too common divisive rhetoric that marginalizes and punishes immigrants in our communities.
- Running and supporting "Know Your Rights" trainings for members of the immigrant community.
- Coordinating a coalition of organizations to do legislative defense work when policies aim to criminalize, marginalize, and punish immigrants and their families. We have defeated 26 anti-immigrant bills over the last three legislative sessions.
- Supporting community building and organizing work within the immigrant community that is driven by our affiliate group in Bozeman, the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Taskforce.
- Leading the effort to educate Montanans on Legislative Referendum 121, which would deny certain state services to people who cannot immediately prove they are US Citizens or "lawfully present."
MHRN Immigration organizers