Belonging Begins With Us

The American Immigration Council is proud to support Belonging Begins With Us, a new campaign dedicated to fostering a more welcoming nation where everyone–regardless of their background–can feel they belong.



Our nation has gotten stuck in a dangerous “us v. them” mindset which is deeply damaging to us as individuals and our future as a unified country. We must take seriously the work to repair our fraying social bonds. We need each other. Everyone needs to feel like they belong. This is a campaign about asking people to consider who they include and exclude in their daily lives.


Read the stories


My flag pin represents the values I defend every day.

As an immigration lawyer, I travel to D.C. each year for conferences. You can feel small traveling through the halls of government, discussing your passion with senators and coworkers who disagree with you. But at the end of those conversations, we respect each other, and we try to find common ground.

As a man born in Iran, these moments of open dialogue and understanding with my colleagues never cease to amaze me. It's freedom. It's why I became an American. It's why I wear this pin proudly and fight for others to have the chance to experience what America has to offer.

Ally B.




This paperweight represents the power of my history.

At my first board meeting for a national organization, it was hard to shake the feeling of being watched. Were they expecting a stereotypical, quiet Asian woman? Did they perceive me as a foreigner? If I spoke up, would people even listen?

Once I did, I found that people respected my perspective as a fifth-generation Chinese American and the daughter of immigrants. It opened up a great dialogue between everyone in the room.

This paperweight was a gift from my grandmother who grew up in China. Her legacy of experiencing hardship and being separated from her family reminds me to speak out. I bring that with me when I'm interacting with others who struggle to find their voice.

Olivia L.