Generations of immigrants from all over the world have established the United States as the standard bearer for the protection of inalienable rights and freedoms of people facing oppression and persecution. Our country is a land of opportunity for immigrants and refugees seeking a better life for themselves and their families. As a philanthropic institution, we have built our Mission on this proud and rich tradition. We have invested in creating healthy communities, promoted diversity and inclusion, advanced equity and equality for all people, regardless of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender expression, immigration status or national origin.

As our nation debates the best approach to immigration reform in the context of national security, we stand united with many others in the belief that human rights should not be compromised in achieving these objectives. Immigrants and refugees are integral to every aspect of our society. Immigrant entrepreneurs and refugee-owned businesses revitalize neighborhoods, towns and cities across America. Foreign-born scientists and engineers fuel innovation and help our country prosper. Farm workers put food on our tables and caregivers nurture our children, care for our elders and nurse our ill. Artists, playwrights and dancers enrich our culture and traditions. Young newcomers – including DACA beneficiaries – demonstrate their patriotism and enthusiasm for American ideals in schools, communities, work places and in our armed forces. Without the contributions of immigrants and refugees, our collective well-being and economic vitality would be greatly diminished.

The Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut joins faith, community and business leaders, public officials and the American public in supporting policies that uphold core American values regarding immigrants and refugees. We stand with our grantees, donors, advocates, volunteers and service providers in calling for policies that reflect our nation’s founding principles, promote cohesion and inclusion, instill hope and show compassion. Policies that keep families together, recognize our global interdependence and honor our tradition of welcoming those seeking refuge and a better life will make our communities stronger, safer and more prosperous.

In recent weeks, we have seen our vulnerable immigrant population struggling to deal with the implementation of new immigration policies that have resulted in increased detentions and deportations. With basic human rights as our guide, we reject discriminatory policies that target and threaten any individual or group based on gender, race, ethnicity, religion, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation and gender expression. We stand committed to universal human rights and the belief in the inherent value and dignity of every person at home and abroad.

The Board of Trustees of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut adopted this statement on immigration on Monday, March 6, 2017.

Programs and services supported by the Community Foundation that provide assistance to those who are new to this country and to their families include:

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