Thank you, happy holiday - and a report from Bangladesh


As we wind down on 2016, we want to give a sincere shout out to the many friends, old and new, who have shared their donations and messages of solidarity and support. We are truly grateful to those who have become new members and sustainers, committed to prioritizing immigrant rights and justice immediately following the November election. Please know that this support is meaningful and needed as all of us ramp up our efforts to defend immigrant rights and continue the fight for JUSTICE for all.

We urge you to contribute to our year-end fundraising, always an important part of our grassroots fundraising effort, and which provides critical support for the following year's program and operations--and you know the deep challenges we all face this coming year and beyond.

Global migration and refugee policies: A brief report from Bangladesh

The November shock had not worn down when NNIRR members traveled to Dhaka, Bangladesh, in early December for the Peoples' Global Action on Migration, Development and Human Rights (PGA) and the Civil Society Days of the intergovernmental Global Forum on Migration and Development (GFMD). (At left, NNIRR Board chair Eddie Canales, summer intern Kristen Gardner, ED Catherine Tactaquin, and Board member Monami Maulik).

View our photos from Bangladesh on NNIRR's Facebook page.

Of course, everyone had heard about Donald Trump's racist and xenophobic messages and pledges, and were in shock, as were so many of us, that he had won the election. What would this mean for immigrants and refugees in the U.S.? And what would this mean for th U.S. role in the global deliberations on migration? Of particular concern was the role of the U.S. in the upcoming development over the next two years, of a new UN Global Compact on Migration, designated to help address the global migration crisis.

In Dhaka, NNIRR members first participated in the PGA, held at Dhaka University and the Bangladesh Academy. Over 300 activists from groups throughout the world gathered for more than two days in "strategy sessions" that addressed: borders and detention; climate change and migration; global migration governance; racism and xenophobia; labor migration and recruitment reform; and mixed migration.

The session on climate change was especially meaningful, as Bangladesh is one of many countries profoundly affected by climate change; many people have already been displaced and have moved from rurual areas to Dhaka, and as many as 1 in 5 people in Bangladesh could be displaced by climate change by 2020. (In photo at left, members of La Via Campesina in South Asia speak to impact of climate change in their rural communities.)

As in the PGA, participants to the Civil Society Days of the GFMD also focused on critical issues of the day, including the development of the Global Compact on Migration, a commitment that emerged from September's high level UN Summit on Refugees and Migrants. Likewise, the CSD addressed racism and xenophobia, climate change, and migrants in vulnerable situations. Following the Civil Society Days, a one-day "Common Space" of both civil society and GFMD government delegates was also held for shared discussions prior to the intergovernmental government deliberations.

Throughout the Dhaka activities, NNIRR participated with its global partners, the Global Coalition on Migration (GCM) and the Women in Migration Network (WIMN). Women's caucuses were convened in both the PGA and the CSD, and WIMN shared a series of key documents on the global compact process and on topical issues for the PGA and the Civil Society Days. GCM distributed Building the Power of Migrant & Civil Society Voices in Dhaka before the Global Forum on Migration and Development, sharing a perspective on the role of civil society, especially migrant voices, in the key deliberations before the GFMD and other international spaces.

NNIRR also helped to convene an informal meeting of US civil society and government delegates at the CSD, where most discussion focused on the upcoming Administration transition. Given President-elect Trump's hostility towards immigrants and refugees amd pledges to greatly restrict related policies, many are concerned about a much more negative role by the U.S. government in the important deliberations on the global compacts on migration and on refugees in the next two years.

The next GFMD, along with the PGA and Civil Society Days, will be held in late June 2017, in Berlin.

Message to President Obama: Please enact these 6 changes to help dismantle the deportation machine

Earlier this month NNIRR joined more than 50 organizations in sending an open letter to President Obama. The letter urged the President to take critical steps before handing over the reigns of government to Donald Trump in January: “In your remaining days in office, you have the ability to overcome some of your administration’s checkered immigration record.  You have a choice — you can hand over the largest immigration enforcement regime in history to an incoming administration that has promised mass deportations and human rights violations; or you can begin to dismantle some of the detention and deportation machinery and protect the human rights of migrants and their families.” Thanks to Grassroots Leadership for initiating this critical message. Read the letter here.

NNIRR also supported this message to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson: Final requests to protect the safety and health of immigration detainees

After the holidays, NNIRR will be requesting support for its Open Letter to President-elect Trump, concerning our immigration policy agenda. Stay tuned!

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Best wishes for the holidays, from all of us at NNIRR!

It's been quite a year -- we hope you will find renewed hope,

energy, peace and happiness this holiday season! 

Thank you again for your generous support

and enthusiastic solidarity