Human Rights Organizing
In 2010, the Border Network for Human Rights introduced a human rights model of organizing to AIRC and helped us establish our Human Rights Organizing Program, the first of its kind in Austin. Participants in this program complete an intensive training through which they learn to organize around rights under the U.S. Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Each graduate is supported by a veteran leader to form a community-based committee with whom they meet regularly to learn about their rights and plan their engagement in campaign efforts.
This organizing model allows us to engage an active membership base and a committed group of leaders in issue-campaigns. Over 30 immigrant community leaders have been trained to organize fellow community members through human and civil rights education.
At the local level, trust between the immigrant community and law enforcement has suffered significantly, as local law enforcement agencies have started working closely with federal immigration officials through programs that have resulted in escalated deportations, family separations, the undermining of public safety, and widespread fears of racial profiling. AIRC collaborates with local, state and national partners to increase community safety and decrease family separations.
Sensible Immigration Policies
The dominant discourse on immigration focuses on the immigrant as the “problem,” ignoring the array of political, social, economic and cultural concerns relevant to this “issue.” Accepting this frame impoverishes the discussion on immigration and constrains the solutions needed to address it. AIRC advocates for sensible immigration policies that recognize the dignity of immigrants as human beings.