“Overwhelming” – A short update on Define American from the team

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"Overwhelming" - A short update on Define American from the team

There is no way our small team here with Define American can possibly describe the last few days. "Overwhelming" would probably be the word that comes closest – and we mean it in the best possible way. On Tuesday night, before the big "coming out" on Wednesday …

There is no way our small team here with Define American can possibly describe the last few days.

"Overwhelming" would probably be the word that comes closest – and we mean it in the best possible way.

On Tuesday night, before the big "coming out" on Wednesday morning, we honestly weren't sure whether anyone would pay attention. We actually talked about the possibility of "what if no one cares that much?"

Of course, that wasn't the case. The response to Jose's story has been unbelievable. We set out to change the conversation about this critical issue, and that is actually starting to happen.

The New York Times Magazine piece "Outlaw: My Life as an Undocumented Immigrant" is the most shared story on the internet this week according to Google. It's not a typo – the whole internet.

Right now we are responding to the thousands of messages we're receiving, sorting stories and hundreds of offers for help, thanking donors, and determining how best to work with partner organizations who have offered their support.

Again we want to be clear about our aims: we are not an advocacy group.

Our request is simple: Let's talk openly and honestly about a seemingly-intractable issue our country is facing.  

We want to know your perspective whatever it may be – and we hope you'll talk to your family, friends and neighbors about immigration as well.

The solutions to our immigration problem are not simple. In fact, there may be nothing more complex. Our policy systems are broken and the conversation is broken. That much is clear, and we know we can't meaningfully move forward as a country until we fix these underlying problems first.

We have dozens and dozens (hundreds?) more stories to share – and that is what we will continue to focus on. Sharing stories and driving conversation.

We know that others will use these stories to their own ends – that's natural, and there's nothing we can do about it. Whatever your background, ideology or position, though, we sincerely hope that you will join in asking more questions, and try for a time to do a bit more listening than telling.

Let's see what happens when we try.

Much more from us over the weekend and into Monday as Jose will be on a number of radio and TV programs.

Let's Talk

Create change, one story at a time.