The project

Mission

Project Economic Refugee is an online community that connects individuals to those progressive initiatives that can advance the empowerment of Latinos in the tradition of uplifting “the tired, the poor, and the huddled masses” to strengthen the United States.

Goals

In order to fulfill its mission, Project Economic Refugee seeks to strengthen the essence of the American Spirit by:

  • Promoting a message of empathy and compassion that is rooted in a progressive spirituality of inclusiveness and tolerance,
  • Humanizing the debate regarding immigration issues so that the public at large recognizes that “illegal” immigration is a direct result of a humanitarian crisis that is rooted in extreme poverty, violence, and global economic injustice,
  • Raising awareness for the only permanent solution to the “illegal immigration problem”:  tackling the actual poverty and violence that forces hundreds of thousands to flee their original countries to escape unlivable conditions and subsequently take refuge in the United States’ low-wage job market. 
  • Connecting Latinos to the larger progressive movement of the United States so that they may join forces with non-Latinos to collectively tackle the social challenges that we all face as a nation.

History

On May 1st 2007, a MySpace page went live and was simply called it “Project Economic Refugee.”  At that time, that project was started to promote the term “Economic Refugee” that had been coined by Professor of Linguistics George Lakoff on an essay that was titled “The Framing of Immigration.”  The concept was simple: have the term “economic refugee” replace all other terms (such as “illegal immigrant”, “undocumented immigrant”, “illegal alien”, etc.) when discussing immigration policy.  The project urged the American public to recognize that the “issue of illegal immigration” is first and foremost a HUMANITARIAN matter that has many layers of complexity: having tried everything to fight for change in the living conditions of their original countries, the only option that many immigrants find themselves with is to ensure the survival and well-being of their families and thus join in the United States’ low-wage market.  For this reason, the project has expanded to include other matters beyond just immigration to truly reflect the number of issues that impact the Latino community in everyday life.

How you can help

  1. Stay informed! Read the news & opinion pieces published on this site.
  2. Take action! When the occasional action alert is posted on this site, please take action (examples: e-mailing congress, writing the local newspaper, calling your newstation, taken signs to a townhall meeting or march in your town, etc.) … every bit counts!
  3. Send me or comment me with alerts about what is going in your community regarding immigration and other issues directly affecting the Latino community.
  4. Become part of the Project Economic Refugee team!  If you would like to volunteer your talent, services, or ideas, please hit me up.  I want this to be a collaborative work for our community and I could certainly use your help!  Yes, I’m talking to YOU.
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