At a time when words like “invasion” and “crisis” dominate the immigration discussion, why does the ACLU use the Statue of Liberty to represent its mission and values?
“The Statue of Liberty is a powerful icon across the world. For immigrants arriving to New York City in the early 1900s, to people crossing our borders today, Lady Liberty’s torch symbolizes freedom and opportunity. There is an American tendency to fondly remember earlier immigrants, while fearing current immigrants who are pursuing the same dreams. The ACLU protects the liberties and freedoms enshrined in our Constitution and laws for everyone no matter the headlines or attitudes of the moment. The Statue of Liberty endures, lighting the way for the huddled masses, as we push to achieve liberty and justice for all.”
Brittney Nystrom, Executive Director
“Despite the importance of the U.S. Constitution, our nation’s founding document remains almost unapproachable, a faded piece of parchment hidden behind glass. So when the ACLU sought a symbol to represent freedom and equality, the Statue of Liberty stood tall as the embodiment of our nation’s best ideals. Calmly facing outward to welcome generations of immigrants and refugees to our shores, Lady Liberty and her torch have been the symbol of the ACLU since the 1930s. Today, when immigrants and people of color are constantly under attack, the enduring symbolism of the Statue of Liberty, who has witnessed other trials in our nation’s history, is both strong and comforting.”
Danielle Hawkes, Board President
...from the Spring 2019 Liberty Reporter