Ali Noorani is the executive director of the National Immigration Forum, an advocacy organization promoting the value of immigrants and immigration. Growing up in California as the son of Pakistani immigrants, Ali quickly learned how to forge alliances among people of wide-ranging backgrounds, a skill that has served him well as one of the nation’s most innovative coalition builders. Prior to joining the Forum, Ali was executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and he has served in leadership roles within public health and environmental organizations. In 2015, Ali was named a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations. He holds a Master’s in Public Health from Boston University and is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.
Featured Writings and Talks
"There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration" Prometheus Books; "Immigrant families make America great" USA Today; "Build bridges, not walls" San Antonio Express News
Ali Noorani on...
Fear of Immigrants:
"As I've been talking to organizations and people across the country, what I've realized is that folks, they love the Jose or the Mohammed that they know, but they're worried about and afraid of the Jose or Mohammed they don't know."
"[Law enforcement says]: 'We don't want to live in a sanctuary city. We want to live in a safe city.' A safe city is a place where every cop on the corner is able to fulfill their oath to serve and protect the entirety of their community and the only way for them to do that is to not be seen as taking on an immigration enforcement responsibility."
Achieving an American Identity:
"People through their lives, through generations of families, that sense of identity changes but at the end of the day as people are becoming American they're looking to influence America. Running for office, owning businesses, playing that leadership role in whatever way they see fit."