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First- and Second-Generation Americans Win Local Elections

Immigrants and first-generation Americans made history as they were elected to state legislatures around the United States

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2018’s wave of first- and second-generation Americans running for office continued in 2020. Samba Baldeh, a Gambian immigrant, became the first Muslim in Wisconsin’s legislature. Liberian refugee Naquetta Ricks joined the Colorado House. Indian American Kesha Ram became the first woman of color in the Vermont Senate. And Palestinian American Iman Jodeh became Colorado’s first Muslim lawmaker.

Immigrants played a decisive role in local elections in Arizona also, including Mexican American Melody Hernandez’s election to the Arizona House. Republicans enacted anti-immigration policies in Arizona 10 years ago, spurring a decade of organizing that has resulted in this year’s results, Arizona House Minority Whip Athena Salman (D) said. These organizing efforts have also translated into close margins in Arizona’s presidential race and wins for Democratic Senate candidate Mark Kelly. PRI The World

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