How do we create allies instead of adversaries? In a powerful episode taped right before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, National Immigration Forum Executive Director Ali Noorani, Amparo Fondita executive chef Christian Irabien, and No Kid Hungry Manager of Federal Advocacy Meredith Jorss joined host Billy Shore for an in-depth discussion about immigration and how to counter its polarizing effect on American culture. “Most Americans, especially conservative and moderate Americans, don’t see [immigration] as a matter of politics and policy, they see it as a discussion around culture and values,” explains Noorani. “Ultimately, we’re advocating for fair and just immigration policies that balance the idea that this country can be a nation of laws and a nation of grace,” he says.
“One of the main ideas behind me trying to open a restaurant is figuring out ways we can effect positive change in local Latin American communities, which make up 80% of back of the house operations,” says chef Irabien, who immigrated to the US from Mexico as a child and volunteers with organizations that empower Latin American immigrant communities. Jorss organizes Lobby Day for No Kid Hungry, where chefs travel to Capitol Hill to advocate on issues such as immigration. “Chefs are employers and care deeply about their communities, so they are really important voices with legislators and can speak authentically to the issue,” she explains.
Join us for an insightful conversation that offers hope for overcoming the polarizing rhetoric surrounding immigration and immigrant communities.