Karla Molinar-Arvizo

Program Assistant, Immigration and Refugee Policy


Karla Molinar-Arvizo

Karla was the Program Assistant for Immigration and Refugee Policy for 2019-2020. In her work, Karla tracked key legislation on congressional appropriations and funding, collaborated with partner organizations, and uplifted the values of FCNL through congressional visits and lobbying. She believes in the importance of maintaining relationships with constituents, and advocates for an immigration system where everyone is treated with dignity and respect.

Karla graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.A. in both political science and international studies with a concentration in global governance and political institutions in Latin America. While at the University of New Mexico she co-founded the Annual Educators Summit, where over 75 educators learn about a multitude of ways to support undocumented students.

She also co-founded New Mexico Dream Team, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the state. Additionally, she lobbied the New Mexico legislature on early childhood and minimum wage bills through the Center for Civic Policy as their Policy and Advocacy Fellow. Prior to joining FCNL, she worked at the Institute for Policy Studies as the New Mexico Fellow.

Articles by Karla Molinar-Arvizo

Update On World Refugee Day We Call on Congress to Strengthen Refugee Protections 

The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) joins the celebration of World Refugee Day. As a Quaker organization, FCNL is dedicated to pursuing policies that uphold and sustain the inherent worth, contributions, and dignity of each person including refugees. We commemorate as well the 40th Anniversary of the Refugee Act of 1980.

Update Oppose the President’s Unfounded and Cruel Immigration Order 

Using this global pandemic to enact restrictive and cruel policies is immoral.

On April 21, the President announced he would temporarily halt certain immigration through executive order. As a Quaker organization, FCNL rejects using this crisis as leverage to further cruel and harmful policies (immigration or anything else).

Update Everyone Deserves Protection—Regardless of Immigration Status  

Legislators must not neglect immigrants in future COVID-19 relief efforts.

These are difficult times for everyone. But immigrant communities are facing particularly severe risk and hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Background For-Profit Corporations Have No Place in the Justice System 

In its 2019 session, the California State Legislature banned the state from entering into contracts with for-profit prisons, including for immigrant detention. As a Quaker organization, FCNL applauds this initiative. Private business interests have no place in the justice system. For-profit corporations exacerbate the horrific effects of detention felt by millions of people and families.

Update Our Hopes and Fears for the 2020 State of the Union 

Between the escalation with Iran and the impeachment hearings, Congress has been abuzz with activity so far this year—and advocates have been hard at work, too. The president’s State of the Union address, set for Feb. 4, will serve as an important point of reflection for FCNL and all those working to create change in Congress.

Statement The Only America We Know Is an America at War 

As young adults, we only faintly remember what life was like before Sept. 11, if we remember at all. Since the U.S. invaded Afghanistan, we have made it through elementary, middle, and high school. We’ve applied to colleges, finished our degrees, moved away from home, and entered the workforce—and the entire time, the U.S. has been carrying out military actions halfway across the world.

Update The U.S. Must Assume Responsibility for Climate Displacement 

Twenty-four million people are displaced on average each year due to severe weather events. As the climate crisis worsens, and the frequency and intensity of severe weather events increases, this figure is set to grow even larger.

Update With Looming DACA Decision, Congress’s Spending Choices Are Even More Crucial 

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on Nov. 12 regarding the future of 800,000 Dreamers living in limbo. While the Court weighs the fate of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, Congress can keep the well-being of DACA recipients in mind in upcoming spending decisions.

Update Congress Can Halt Overspending on Immigrant Detention and Enforcement 

Under the guidance of the Trump administration, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has dramatically ramped up immigrant detention and enforcement efforts. As a result, DHS significantly overspent its budget. Now they are siphoning billions of dollars from other accounts to sustain these cruel practices, and are spending well beyond their congressionally approved funding levels.

Background ICE is Spending More Money Than Congress Intended: How is This Happening? 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now incarcerating around 10,000 more people than Congress has approved. Congress has said that ICE must stop increasing beds in detention facilities, but the overspending continues. Where is the money coming from?