The National Immigrant Solidarity Network (NIMN), also known as the Immigrant Solidarity Network, was founded in 2002 by Siu Hin Lee, who serves as the organization’s national coordinator. Lee is also involved with the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, a labor affiliate of the AFL-CIO. Consisting of some 4,000+ members (as of April 2010), NIMN describes itself as “a national coalition to fight immigrant bashing, support immigrant rights, [say] no to the sweatshops [and] exploitation, and [put an] end to the racism on the [immigrant] community.” In practice, NIMN and its primary member organizations – ActionLA (ALA), Peace No War (PNW), the Latin American Solidarity Coalition (LASC), and United for Peace and Justice (UFPJ) – are prominent open-borders lobbying groups and proponents of a radical agenda that also includes anti-war and anti-free trade advocacy.
From its inception in 2002, NIMN operated as an Internet clearing house where activists and illegal aliens could obtain information on causes they could support. NIMN also disseminated “strategic resources” designed to teach illegals how they could avoid detention and deportation. Gradually, through legislative letter-writing initiatives, call-in campaigns, and yearly Memorial Day protests that began in 2006, NIMN was able to achieve prominence in the activist community, working alongside such organizations as the American Friends Service Committee, Code Pink, the Communist Party USA, Global Exchange, Historians Against the War, the Independent Progressive Politics Network, the Institute for Policy Studies, Iraq Veterans Against the War, Military Families Speak Out, Not in Our Name, the Thomas Merton Center, the U.S. Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, the Vanguard Public Foundation, and Veterans for Peace.
NIMN particularly opposed “the racist anti-immigrant xenophobia” of the George W. Bush administration and called for the “birth of a new civil rights movement for the 21st century,” based on the following principles:
No to militarization of the border
No to criminalization of immigrant communities
No to the planned immigrant crackdown across the country
No to the guest worker program
Yes to amnesty for undocumented immigrants
Yes to immigrant family reunification
Yes to a humane path to citizenship
By 2007 NIMN had become a significant activist player, meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s staff to discuss immigration reform. That same year, NIMN organized the National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference at the University of Richmond School of Law, following Siu Hin Lee’s strategy of aligning NIMN with campus activist groups. Oberlin College’s Multicultural Resource Center, for instance, lists NIMN as one of its primary resources for “undocumented students.”
In 2008, the East Coast Asian American Student Union at Cornell University hosted a number of workshops with NIMN’s Lee Siu Hin and Monami Maulik overseeing a panel designed to recruit students into the open-borders movement.
On September 1, 2008, NIMN was one of many groups that marched on the Republican National Convention, calling for an end to the Iraq War and protesting the RNC’s “reactionary agenda of racism, poverty and war.”
In 2009, NIMN’s 4th National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference & Immigrant Rights Film Festival was held in association with the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Student Center West. That same year, Lee Siu Hin was also a plenary speaker at the Working Class Association Conference at the University of Pittsburgh.
In 2010, NIMN sought to rally activists against a “racist” Arizona immigration bill (SB 1070) that “threatens to terrorize, criminalize and profile non-white residents of Arizona.” The bill in question sought to deputize Arizona state police to question suspected lawbreakers in that state — where an estimated 460,000 illegal aliens (out of a total state population of 6.6 million) resided at the time — about their immigration status if there was reasonable suspicion that they were illegal aliens.
NIMN is a member organization of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition.