United We Dream Action’s 2022 Endorsement Process
In 2020, United We Dream Action endorsed 29 candidates up and down the ballot in 11 states and Washington, D.C. During a time of great uncertainty, we made immigration a defining issue in the 2020 election to ensure our communities would not go ignored. For the first time as an organization, we endorsed candidates in the presidential race — Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — and through our Free to Move, Free to Stay platform, we got all five Democratic presidential front runners to talk about the issues that our communities most cared about. When Joe Biden won, immigration was one of the top stated priorities of his administration because of our members’ tireless advocacy.
With a broad multi-racial coalition led by Black and brown voters and organizers, we defeated white supremacists in the White House and across the country, advanced a bold vision based on love and collective care, and put people in office who come from our communities and have brought tangible improvements to our lives.
But our work is not done.
Our community feels the pain of having loved ones abducted by deportation agents like Hector from Florida, who was taken by ICE from his wife and two children and whose family was ripped apart. Our community feels the pain of queer and transgender immigrants dying in detention after being neglected and mistreated. Our community feels the pain of DACA recipients and immigrant youth, like Edder from South Carolina, who was targeted and deported. Our community feels the pain of Haitian migrants being physically abused and dehumanized by racist CBP officers at the border.
Our community is threatened by politicians who actively block voting rights, abortion access, and the Green New Deal–Republicans and the Democrats who enable them.
Real talk–our lives are at stake. We must do everything we can to fight the violent and ongoing attacks by white nationalists and to build the conditions for major victories tomorrow. We know that elections have never been a cure-all solution for our problems, and we have to be realistic about what that means for our work. Just as we advocate on the streets and in the halls of power, UWDA’s involvement in elections is another important way for us to show up for our communities. It’s a way to hold both parties accountable for their words and actions. It’s a way to show our power as young people, queer people, people of color. To rebuke the status quo and replace the Republicans and Democrats who are failing us with unapologetically pro-immigrant candidates. Politicians will not save us, we will save ourselves. It’s time for us to take elections into our own hands, to decide our own future.
In 2022, we are once again wielding our undeniable political power by strategically endorsing candidates that are proudly and unapologetically pro-immigrant and will fight for a vision where every person can live and thrive. We are looking for candidates who know that everyone has a right to migrate and seek asylum, access health care, in-state tuition, and COVID relief, and live without the daily fear of being detained or deported by the racist law enforcement agencies of ICE or CBP. We are supporting candidates who will join us and unapologetically fight for our collective future.
To be pro-immigrant also means to have an intersectional understanding of the immigrant experience. It means upholding a pregnant person’s right to have a safe, accessible abortion. It means addressing the effects of climate change on global migration patterns and here at home. It means defunding the military, police, and prison industrial complexes and funding communities. It means recognizing the disproportionate impacts that all these policies have on people of color and immigrants, especially poor and working class Black, brown, undocumented, disabled, and trans people.
United We Dream Action is considering all of the facts and our own wisdom as directly impacted people when making a decision on endorsements. For United We Dream Action, an endorsement is not a decision to become a fan club for any candidate. It is a decision to help our communities interpret the choices before them and to advance our platform for justice.
We know from over a decade of experience that achieving the solutions we deserve requires a strong independent political movement ready to hold our elected officials accountable to deliver. That is why we are shaping the debate now and in 2022 will lead the charge to stop deportations and to help our communities be Free to Move and Free to Stay.
We are excited to share our vision, process and priorities with you below!
Defeating White Nationalism & Defending Our Communities Is Our Top Priority
This election year, the top political goal of United We Dream Action is to defeat the white nationalists and white nationalist narratives that have taken control of our government. We will mobilize with everything we’ve got to defeat white nationalism because our lives, communities, and the future of this country are on the line.
The Voices of Directly Impacted People Will Be Heard
The 2022 election is the time for those committed to defeating white nationalism and to have a national debate about the future we want to create together. This is the time to say what policies, which qualities and what vision WE want the people in office to have. It is a key time to shape the agenda for this year, set the stage for the 2024 presidential election, and continue to build on our legislative wins across the country.
United We Dream Action is making sure that the voices of people directly impacted by detention and deportation agents take center stage. We are taking action in the streets and online and we have created an immigration platform for the future.
Because of the hard work and voices of immigrant youth, the progressive movement is more united than ever on an agenda centered on protecting immigrants.
The Power of a United We Dream Action Endorsement
United We Dream Action has the power to communicate the truth about candidates to millions of people and we have the power to turn that truth into action.
United We Dream Action also has a track record of fierce political independence and will hold all politicians accountable — including those that we have or will endorse — to deliver justice and equity for immigrants, young people, LGBTQ people, and communities of color.
Because of the hard work, strategic vision and dedication of our members, who have poured their hearts and talents into building this community, United We Dream Action is a trusted voice in our communities.
United We Dream Action’s Steps to Decide on Endorsement
Here are the steps we are taking:
Decision to consider an endorsement. UWDA representing different local groups and regions decided to consider an endorsement process as part of our electoral strategies for 2022.
Membership listening sessions. Throughout early 2022, UWDA will listen to the views of members across the country about the issues that matter most to them.
Deep analysis of candidates. UWDA is tracking candidates across the country and evaluating their understanding of and commitment to immigrants through a combination of their lived experience, track record in office if available, and campaign platform. The analysis is ongoing as candidates continue to speak out on their priorities and vision.
Candidate questionnaire. Candidates are asked to complete a questionnaire that reflects the intersecting needs of our members.
Final considerations and decisions. Throughout 2022, UWDA will assess the candidates’ policy positions, responses to questionnaires, public statements, and voting records to make a final decision on whether to endorse candidates.
Accountability after endorsement. UWDA gives its endorsement to candidates not just as a stamp of approval, but also as a standard we expect them to meet on the campaign trail and in office. We reserve the right to rescind our endorsement to a candidate who fails to continue to embody the values of our members and embrace our pro-immigrant platform.
Driving the Debate and Holding Politicians Accountable
Candidates know that United We Dream Action will share the truth about the candidates with our leaders and mobilize millions.
We are committed to justice for all people and will hold any and every politician accountable to stopping deportations, establishing a pathway to citizenship, and ensuring immigrants and people of color can live safely and thrive.
To that end, UWDA and UWDA PAC are committed to mobilizing thousands of voters to the polls in order to elect immigration champions in November. UWDA will continue to organize our people in the days, months, and years to come, not just around elections, to ensure that public officials make good on their promises in office. Elections are the beginning, not the end goal. We are creating an independent political movement that lasts, and we need you to be part of the team.
To find out more about all of UWDA’s programs to educate and advocate for fair policies that ensure immigrants and people of color can live safely and thrive, and to join as a member, sign up here.