By Alexa Mencia
Immigrant advocates linked arms in solidarity Wednesday morning to “resist and lead” following the jarring Election Day results. Many tried to inspire a renewed call to action for those feeling defeated by Donald Trump’s victory. Although the election of a political figure notorious for anti-immigrant rhetoric may seem like a setback, immigrant groups in Illinois have one clear achievement this election: mobilizing a new voter base.
Illinois immigrant rights organizers registered 25,292 new voters this year, according to Fred Tsao, senior policy counsel at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR).
The group put special emphasis on recently naturalized citizens to take advantage of the imminent election to facilitate naturalization, voter registration and voting with one coordinated effort.
Historically, it has seemed that as “the more recent the immigrant, the less likely that person is to register and vote,” acccording to a report by the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at the University of Southern California. But, this behavioral pattern seems more closely linked to registration than to voting. ICIRR registered 12,000 new voters at naturalization oath ceremonies alone, and once early voting began, the group accompanied the new citizens to polling places. Take a look how the strategy paid off.