If you have been around the FAIR community for a while, you’ve probably seen us asking you to join our Facebook Page and Twitter account. Our social networks are a great way for you to stay updated on the latest, most important immigration news and opinion. Becoming a fan of Facebook and following FAIR on Twitter are not the only ways to get involved and stay updated on all-things immigration. Twitter hashtags also provide you with a quick and easy way to stay informed about immigration news online.

Here’s a quick Twitter hashtag primer.

Our Twitter followers have no doubt noticed that almost every tweet from FAIR ends with #afire or #immigration. These are “hashtags”, which basically serve as keywords or search terms for the Twitter community. Hashtags are used for categorizing a discussion or narrowing down a much larger topic. By utilizing the pound (#) sign before a word, your tweet is entered into the global conversation related to that #word. Any word or string of characters can become a hashtag and you don’t need a Twitter account to follow them. Simply go to Twitter.com, enter the hashtag you want to follow into the search bar, and Twitter will send you to a results page with the most current tweets using that hashtag.

Hashtags are often acronyms for topics with greater meaning. In FAIR’s case, #afire stands for Americans for Immigration Reform and Enforcement. In addition to #afire and #immigration, here are 5 more hashtags that you can use to follow both sides of the debate:

1. #cir – Open-borders advocates use #CIR to promote their “Comprehensive Immigration Reform” or pro-amnesty positions. At FAIR, following #CIR helps us make sure we also have the most recent information from all sides of the debate.

2. #NoAmnesty – At FAIR we use this hashtag whenever our tweets are related to efforts by pro-amnesty forces to provide amnesty for illegal aliens.

3. #DREAMact – DREAM Act. This hashtag is used by both true immigration reformers and open borders advocates to discuss the #DREAMAct.

4. #Border – We use #border for any tweets pertaining to border security issues.

5. #SB1070 – SB 1070 is used to refer to Arizona’s immigration enforcement bill. FAIR is a supporter of #SB1070 and we use this hashtag often to show our support for the pro-enforcement community.