“[The Welcoming City resolution] is an issue where local government can step up to the plate and put its citizens ahead of division and partisan politics. We’ve seen actions at the state and federal level that have bullied immigrants and our communities, and Des Moines has an opportunity to stand up and say we won’t let that happen here,” said CCI member John Noble. 

Over 100 Des Moines residents gathered at Monday night’s City Council meeting to demonstrate overwhelming support for the ‘Welcoming City’ Resolution – a resolution that would make Des Moines a more inclusive and welcoming place for immigrants and refugees.

Check out the resolution here.

In April, Iowa CCI members, AFSC Iowa, and community leaders presented their resolution to the Des Moines Civil and Human Rights Commission who voted unanimously to support it. On May 8th, we pushed the Des Moines City Council to take up the resolution.

Dozens lined up to share their personal stories with the Council about their struggles as immigrants in the United States, many non-English speakers. One commonality they all shared was their love for their Des Moines community and their pride in calling this city home.

If this resolution becomes a city ordinance, Des Moines would join a wave of cities across the country moving to create and promote inclusive communities for immigrants and refugees – despite some hateful rhetoric coming from Washington, D.C.

“Immigrants breathe life into Des Moines through their culture, labor, and entrepreneurship. It’s time we put our promises into practice through a tangible and enforceable ordinance,” said CCI board member Vanessa Marcano-Kelly.

We know this fight will be an uphill battle – but we’re not backing down!

Take Action to Make Des Moines a Welcoming City:

  • Call the Des Moines City Council’s Office at (515)283-4944. Tell them you support the “Welcoming City” resolution.
  • Join us on Thursday, May 25th at 6:30 pm for teach-in on the resolution. RSVP here.
  • Add your name to our petition to show widespread support.

Join the Fight: 

Over a dozen Iowa CCI members attended Rep. Tom Latham’s town hall in Ankeny on August 9, to keep the heat on the Congressman to take action on the pathway to citizenship for 11 million hopeful Americans.

CCI members have been working hard on this campaign since February. We want Rep. Latham to support a path to citizenship for all 11 million, and demand he do everything in his power to move fair comprehensive immigration reform in the House of Representatives.

Members from Latham’s district asked if he supported a pathway to citizenship and spoke in support of fair immigration reform.

Immigrants are essential to economic growth in Iowa, and they are part of our communities, said CCI member Gini Wolf, from Ankeny.

In regard to moving the bill on immigration reform, “we have to look at what’s possible,” said Rep. Latham during the town hall. “We can’t deport 11 million people,” Latham said, “I don’t want a war zone along the border.” But he also said that “the overwhelming majority of Americans support border security”.

Latham said he “felt for people”, as he used to represent a district that included Postville and Marshalltown. These two Iowa towns have felt the awful consequences of harsh immigration enforcement.  Recent polls show that a majority of Iowans support an earned path to citizenship.

Alexa Rodriguez, a 13-year-old member from Des Moines, spoke to Rep. Latham directly to share her family’s story. “Me and my brothers and sisters were born here in the United States, but my parents were not. They are undocumented. Can you imagine what will happen to our family if we are torn apart?” she said.

CCI members will keep engaging and mobilizing immigrants and allies across Iowa to keep the pressure on members of congress and push for fair immigration reform that keeps families together, has a path to citizenship, protects labor and civil rights, and focuses on communities, not harsh enforcement.

You can take part of this powerful campaign:

Call Rep. Latham today at (515)282-1909 and urge him to support a path to citizenship for all 11 million aspiring citizens!

Let us know how your call went by e-mailing us at iowacci@iowacci.org or calling us at (515)282-0484.

Join the Fight!