An organization that seeks to empower a particular people should have characteristics that project its cause and intention of assisting a given underprivileged group. First and foremost, it should not seek to benefit financially from the people as that would render it a financial institution rather than a social organization. It should seek to unite the disenfranchised people towards their common goal. The group should also have a leadership drawn from the people it seeks to help rather than foreign individuals. It should have a clear mission statement and be very transparent in its activities.
The Federation for American Immigration reform (FAIR) is such an organization that seeks to ensure that immigration laws and policies are revised to suit the American people and the immigrants. The organization’s mission statement is to examine immigration trends and effects, to create awareness in the American citizen of the benefit of controlled high volume immigration and to propose and advocate for policies that will be of best interests to America’s societal, environmental and economic system (FAIR n.o). FAIR seeks to address the issue of border security, illegal immigration and advocate for immigration policies that will be of mutual benefit to the country USA and to the immigrants.
I am particularly interested in this issue considering the plight of the illegal immigrants and the negative effects to the economy and to the American people in general brought about by uncontrolled immigration. Illegal immigration poses a risk to the immigrants as well as to the Americans security and economic well being. Some individuals tend to take advantage of illegal immigrants who provide cheap labor or are even sometimes enslaved. This is disrespect to human dignity and is contrary to the provisions of the constitution. Illegal immigrants also render Americans jobless as employers unscrupulously employ the immigrants at wages below the national requirement. Illegal immigrants risk losing their lives while immigrating to America since some go to extreme measures to get to America. Those who manage to arrive pose a serious security threat to the citizens. It is therefore necessary to have clear policies and laws that guide this issue.
Marc Zimmerman asserts that the three key components of empowerment are; efforts to gain access to resources, group participation and a critical understanding of the issue in question (Zimmerman 282). FAIR possess all of these qualities or characteristics. FAIR brings together the American citizens in identifying the need of better immigration policies. With better immigration policies, it becomes easier to allocate jobs legally and the citizens and the immigrants are all protected by the law and are able to freely exercise their rights. The organization thus meets Zimmerman’s criteria.
Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Zimmerman, M. A. (2000). Empowerment theory: Psychological, organizational and community
levels of analysis. In Rappaport. J and Seidman E. (Eds.), Handbook of community psychology. New York: Kluwer/Plenum Publishing.