Define American

198,912 supporters

Define American is a non-profit media and culture organization that uses the power of story to transcend politics and shift the conversation about immigrants, identity, and citizenship in a changing America.

Started 10 petitions

Petitioning Donald Trump, Department of Homeland Security, United States Department of Health and Human Services

#ReuniteEveryChild Now

Between May 7th and June 20th the Trump Administration separated nearly 3,000 children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, when they instituted a new “zero tolerance” policy. These kids, many of them toddlers who cannot speak for themselves, are concentrated in camps far from their parents, with no plan to reunite them. The government even had the gall to demand that parents agree to “self-deport” in order to get their kids back. On June 26th, a San Diego judge ordered the administration to #ReuniteEveryChild under the age of 5 by July 10th, and the remaining by July 26th. However, as of July 9th, the administration says they can only reunite 54 of the roughly 102 children under the age of 5, that’s less than 2% of the total separated. The administration requested an extension to these dates and on July 9th, a federal judge granted that extension. Our federal government is inflicting harm and trauma upon these children through this mistreatment. Their policies include not allowing staff to touch or hug the imprisoned children to comfort them. Meanwhile, parents who are desperately trying to call their own children can only call a single government hotline – a phone number which has been proven to be mostly ineffective. At Define American, we are asking everyone, especially journalists, demand a plan from the administration to immediately #ReuniteEveryChild with their parents on U.S. soil. Will you sign on and demand that the Trump Administration immediately #ReuniteEveryChild? 

Define American
133,513 supporters
Petitioning Wilbur Ross

Stop Immigrant Communities from Being Erased - No Citizenship Question

The Trump administration recently announced a change to the upcoming 2020 Census. Everyone will be asked about citizenship status, which has caused panic in immigrant communities. Millions of undocumented people could opt-out of completing the Census for fear of being targeted by the Trump administration. The Census is about identifying who we are as a country. But up to six million U.S. citizen children may not be counted because they live with an undocumented family member. Using fear tactics against undocumented Americans would literally erase them from our nation’s history. This change impacts all Americans. The 2010 Census was used to determine distribution for about a third of federal assistance and 75% of federal grants. If you live in a community with a significant immigrant population, your town could be dramatically under-funded by this political move. Immigrants are the backbone of American communities. We cannot allow the U.S. Department of Commerce to put vulnerable communities at risk. The Trump administration can try to erase our national identity, but as Americans we must all stand up and be counted. Sign now to stop this change to the Census.

Define American
13,545 supporters
Victory
Petitioning Netflix, Peter Friedlander, Emily Robinson

Netflix: Renew "One Day at a Time"

At a time when half of all Latino immigrants on television are portrayed as criminals, we desperately need art to help foster more inclusive, empathetic storytelling. Our entertainment shapes our view of the world. It must be reflective of the totality of our country.  By telling underrepresented stories, we forge a greater cultural understanding, which benefits society as a whole. At Define American, we believe in the power of culture change as a means to fight anti-immigrant hatred and foster a more empathetic America. We emphatically believe that representation matters. Netflix’s-original comedy-drama, "One Day at a Time," is the type of programing that helps foster conversation and helps forge a more perfect union in a country bitterly divided. Whether it is a daughter grappling with coming out to her father or a son struggling with his Latino identity in Trump’s America, “One Day at A Time” explores identity in an organic and heartfelt way. We strongly urge Netflix to renew “One Day At A Time.”

Define American
23 supporters
Petitioning U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, L. Francis Cissna

USCIS: Keep “A Nation of Immigrants” in Your Mission Statement

In a letter to employees on February 22nd, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Lee Francis Cissna announced the agency would be changing their mission statement and removing the words “a nation of immigrants.” It now reads: "U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services administers the nation’s lawful immigration system, safeguarding its integrity and promise by efficiently and fairly adjudicating requests for immigration benefits while protecting Americans, securing the homeland, and honoring our values." This stands as a significant deviation from the agency’s previous mission statement which includes "USCIS secures America's promise as a nation of immigrants." Omitting this phrase from the USCIS mission statement undermines and rejects one of the bedrock principles the United States was founded on. It not only goes against our values as a nation, but demonstrates the current administration’s contempt for immigrants and refugees and a repudiation of our history. As the son of a Peruvian immigrant mother, USCIS Director Lee Francis Cissna should understand the importance of the words “a nation of immigrants.” We cannot separate immigrants from Americans, as the two are inherently linked. The mission statement will not change the fact that the United States was built on the backs of immigrants, those who came seeking a better life and those who were forcefully brought here. However, we will not allow the Trump Administration to continue to divide Americans from immigrants and frame it as a security issue when it’s a human rights issue. For our Define American Chapter President, the removal of these words from the USCIS mission statement feels like a rejection of his family who emigrated to the United States from the Dominican Republic.   Add your name to those who want to keep our most fundamental principle intact while honoring our diverse history by demanding that USCIS reinstate the phrase “a nation of immigrants” in its mission statement. Signed,Define American at Rutgers University-Camden

Define American
49,004 supporters
Petitioning Phil Schubert, Abilene Christian University

Protect Undocumented Students at Abilene Christian University

Dear President Phil Schubert: We, the students of Abilene Christian University, believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of immigration status. We particularly ask that you and the University publicly express its commitment to the protection of all its students, especially those who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA has been terminated, making students once again vulnerable including risk of deportation, losing their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. An attack on their safety is an attack on the entire ACU community. The time to act to protect our students is right now. Students at this university who have DACA, and those who are undocumented without DACA, should not have to fear losing their education and feel unsafe on our campus. Let’s show them — and all students — that we are the kind of community that has their back and they will always be welcome here. Jesus said, in Matthew 25:34-40, that, “…the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’” We call on you to declare that Abilene Christian University will always be open to undocumented students with or without DACA. To ensure the safety of our fellow students of all immigration statuses, we request the following steps be taken and a public statement be issued: 1. Make the university a sanctuary campus that protects the undocumented from deportation or detention, including refusing ICE (U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) access to the campus and student records. 2. Continue to allow qualifying undocumented students to pay their current tuition rate. 3. Take these measures during the current semester (in other words, immediately) so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support. Signed, the Students of Abilene Christian University

Define American
94 supporters
Petitioning Carlo Montemagno, Southern Illinois University Carbondale

Protect undocumented students at SIUC

Dear Chancellor Carlo Montemagno, We, the students of Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC), believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of immigration status. We particularly ask that Chancellor Montemagno and the University publicly express and demonstrate a commitment to the protection of all our students, especially those who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is being terminated, making students once again vulnerable, including risk of deportation, losing their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. We currently have several students with DACA attending our Carbondale campus, and that number may be higher when all SIU campuses are included. An attack on their safety is an attack on the entire SIU community and the values of openness and inclusivity that have made our university, our community, and our nation great. The time to act to protect our students’ education and future is right now. Students at this university who have DACA should not have to fear losing their education and feeling unsafe on our campus. Let’s show them – and all students – that we are the kind of community that has their back and they will always be welcome here. We call on you to declare that SIUC will always be open to students who are DACA recipients regardless of the program’s termination. To ensure the safety of our fellow students of all immigration statuses, we request the following steps be taken and a public statement be issued: 1. Make the university a safe campus that protects the undocumented form deportation or detention by refusing to assist in the enforcement of immigration laws except as required by law (according to the TRUST Act). 2. Protect student record information, in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), by the following means: a. Refuse to turn over student information to immigration enforcement authorities except pursuant to a court order. b. Refrain from gathering information about students’ citizenship or immigration status in the course of providing educational or other services in connection with public safety activities, except as required in connection with tuition or financial aid eligibility. 3. Refuse immigration enforcement officials access to campus except to the extent required by a warrant or court order; ensure that students, advisors, and allies are prepared in the case of an ICE/CBP presence on SIUC’s campus by issuing a timely warning; and create an emergency plan in case of an ICE/CBP presence on campus. 4. Partner with local community organizations to help provide Immigration 101 trainings for faculty and staff so that they have a better understanding of our students’ urgent challenge and are better suited to help our immigrant students. 5. Expand CAPS and Saluki Cares resources to make DACA-specific counseling publicly available and to make Saluki Cares funding available to DACA/Undocumented students. 6. Provide a designated advisor to attend to the specific needs of DACA/Undocumented students, including emotional, legal, and financial aid concerns. 7. Allow DACA students to pay their current tuition rate and remain eligible for the same scholarships available to them prior to the termination of DACA. 8. Create a scholarship specifically for undocumented students on campus. 9. Issue a University statement urging Illinois and U.S. Congress to pass legislation protecting and supporting our DACA/Undocumented students and neighbors. 10. Take all these measures during the current academic year (in other words, immediately) so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support. Yours truly, Define American at SIUC, Hispanic Student Council, Latino Cultural Association, and SIU Undergraduate Student Government, SIU’s DACA/Undocumented students and allies Action Alliance Southern Illinois, Carbondale Racial Justice Coalition, Race Unity of Carbondale, Southern Illinois Immigrant Rights Project, and Jackson County’s DACA/Undocumented community members and allies

Define American
2,009 supporters
Petitioning Missouri State Senate, Missouri State House

Petition to Act - Protect Missouri DACA Recipients

Dear State Senators and Missouri Representatives: We, the students of the University of Missouri, Columbia, believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of their immigration status. We particularly ask that you express commitment to the protection of all students, especially those who are recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA has been rescinded, making students once again vulnerable. This includes the risk of deportation, loss of their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. We currently have 35 students who benefit from DACA in the overall University of Missouri System. The time to act to protect our students is right now. Through months of dedication, we gained hundreds of signatures to protect the current 35 students who benefit from DACA in the overall UM System. Students at universities and colleges statewide who have DACA should not have to fear about losing their education or about their safety on campus. Let’s show them — and all students — that we are a community that supports them and that they’ll always be welcome here. We emphasize that this will not only affect students in the UM system but also their families. People’s lives are at stake and we can not stand by and watch them suffer. To ensure the safety of our fellow students of all immigration statuses, we request the following steps to be taken: We request that you publicly give a statement speaking on your stance about DACA. We request that you advocate for Missouri and all DACA recipients by meeting with other representatives, senators, and congress members to discuss ways in which DACA can be protected. We strongly urge you to take action to ensure that Missouri supports to keep DACA in place in the upcoming vote in March. We emphasize again that this affects our community deeply and we hope that you are on board to keep this community safe. Sincerely, The Association of Latin@ American Students

Define American
384 supporters
Petitioning Presidio Graduate School, PGS Board and Leadership

Uphold Dreamers

Dear PGS Board and Leadership: We, the students of Presidio Graduate School (PGS), believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of immigration status. We particularly ask that PGS publicly express its commitment to the protection of all its students, especially those who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is being terminated, making students once again vulnerable including risk of deportation, losing their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. An attack on their safety is an attack on the entire PGS community. The time to act to protect our students is right now. Students at this university who have DACA should not have to fear losing their education and feel unsafe on our campus. Let’s show them — and all students — that we are the kind of community that has their back and they will always be welcome here. We call on you to declare that PGS will always be open to students with DACA regardless if the program is ended.Signed, Students of Presidio Graduate SchoolNote: this petition previously received 143 signatures on DefineAmerican.com

Define American
105 supporters
Petitioning Michael A. McRobbie, Indiana University–Purdue University

Protect DACAmented Students

Dear President Michael A. McRobbie: We, the students of Indiana University–Purdue University (IUPUI), believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of immigration status. We particularly ask that President Michael A. McRobbie and the University publicly express its commitment to the protection of all its students, especially those who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is at risk of being terminated, making students once again vulnerable including risk of deportation, losing their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. Some IUPUI students have qualified for DACA. An attack on their safety is an attack on the entire IUPUI community. The time to act to protect our students’ education and future is right now. Students at this university who have DACA should not have to fear losing their education and feel unsafe on our campus. Let’s show them — and all students — that we are the kind of community that has their back and they will always be welcome here. We call on you to declare that IUPUI will always be open to students with DACA regardless if the program is ended. To ensure the safety of our fellow students of all immigration statuses, we request the following steps be taken and a public statement be issued: IUPUI Police will be devoted to maintaining a safe and secure environment to support the University’s research, education and public service missions. IUPUI police departments will not divert their resources from this mission in order to enforce federal immigration laws. Campus police officers will not contact, detain, question or arrest an individual solely on the basis of suspected undocumented immigration status or to discover the immigration status of any individual, and IUPUI Police will not undertake joint efforts with federal immigration enforcement authorities to investigate, detain or arrest individuals for violation of federal immigration law. Nonetheless, if U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers conduct immigration enforcement activities on campus, IUPUI Police will be called in to prevent injuries or property damage. In addition, where other federal law enforcement agencies such as the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) or Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) have reason to pursue criminal suspects on campus, University Police may cooperate with those efforts to enforce criminal laws. IUPUI employees should not required to affirmatively assist federal immigration authorities or grant permission to enter limited access space when officers do not have a judicial warrant to enter. If an immigration officer seeks an employee consent to enter limited access space or requests information or documents from the employee about another individual, the employee will take steps to ensure that he/she has the authority to provide the requested access, information or documents. The employee will ask the officer for their name, identification number and agency affiliation; he/she will also ask for a copy of any warrant they may have, the employee will inform the officer that he/she is not obstructing their process but need to contact Campus/Medical Center Counsel for assistance. If employee is presented with a warrant by a federal immigration enforcement officer seeking to enter University housing or other limited access areas of his/her workspace on University property, the employee will take steps to ensure that the immigration enforcement officers have authority to enter the property before admitting them. (civil and administrative warrants do not authorize entry without consent, but a criminal search or arrest warrant may authorize entry without consent). Because it can be difficult to distinguish among different kinds of warrants, the employee will ask the officer for their name, identification number and agency affiliation; the employee will also ask for a copy of the warrant or subpoena presented, he/she will inform the officer that he/she is not obstructing their process but need to consult with Campus/Medical Center Counsel for assistance. Take these measures during the current semester (in other words, immediately) so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support. Thank you and God bless, IUPUI Students, DACA students, community leaders, former students, and other allies. Note: this petition previously received 654 signatures on DefineAmerican.com 

Define American
56 supporters
Petitioning David Anderson, St. Olaf College

Protect undocumented students

Dear President David Anderson: We, the students of St. Olaf College, believe that our campus should serve as a safe community for all students regardless of immigration status. We particularly ask that President Anderson and the college publicly express its commitment to the protection of all its students, especially those who are recipients of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). DACA is being terminated, making students once again vulnerable including risk of deportation, losing their jobs, scholarships, and driver’s licenses. We currently have students with DACA attending our university. An attack on their safety is an attack on the entire St. Olaf community. The time to act to protect our students is right now. Students at this university who have DACA should not have to fear losing their education and feel unsafe on our campus. Let’s show them — and all students — that we are the kind of community that has their back and they will always be welcome here. We call on you to declare that St. Olaf will always be open to students with DACA regardless if the program is ended. To ensure the safety of our fellow students of all immigration statuses, we request the following steps be taken and a public statement be issued: Make the university a sanctuary campus that protects the undocumented from deportation or detention, including refusing ICE (U.S. Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement) and CBP (U.S. Customs and Border Protection) access to the campus and student records. Continue to allow qualifying undocumented students to pay their current tuition rate. Take these measures during the current semester so that DACA students can be assured of institutional support. Signed, St. Olaf College Define American Chapter Note: this petition previously received 304 signatures on DefineAmerican.com

Define American
179 supporters