By Pilar Arias
The executive director of the National Immigration Forum attended the World Affairs Council of San Antonio luncheon Thursday.
Ali Noorani also recently authored, “There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration.”
“Those of us who advocate for the value of immigrants and immigration, we’ve been making a case to the American public based on politics and policy but what we realized is that the majority of Americans see the issue of immigrants and immigration to the U.S. as a question of culture and values,” Noorani said.
Prior to joining the NIF, a nonprofit organization that advocates for the value of immigration and immigrants to the U.S., Noorani was executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. He grew up as the son of Pakistani immigrants and has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations.
Noorani is a frequent commentator for national and international media outlets.
“I think right now more than ever, perhaps in our history, we are engaged in a national identity crisis,” Noorani said. “What does it mean to be American? What does it mean to look American? What does it mean to be patriotic?”
The author said work for his book made him believe most Americans want to be in a nation that puts America first but is also welcoming.