Immigrant Integration is a dynamic, two-way process in which immigrants and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities. As an intentional effort, integration engages and transforms all community members, reaping shared benefits and creating a new whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.
Immigrant integration is multifaceted and includes several components, focusing on including immigrants' access to mainstream institutions. The University of Southern California's Center for Immigrant Integration evaluates immigrant integration success by assessing "economic mobility for, civic participation by, and receiving society openness to immigrants."
Why is Immigrant Integration Important?
The Migration Policy Institute says that "integration remains one of the most overlooked issues in American governance." Integration of new immigrants has historically been carried out by members of the local community, including family members, community organizations, churches, and to some extent local government.
However, immigrant integration has not been a priority on the national and even state level. In order to have a fully functioning society, not only the system which determines who comes in and stays in the country must be in order, but so must the mechanisms and tools that allow immigrants who are already in the country to function and participate fully in their societies and communities, and to build healthy and valued lives for themselves and their families.
While immigration reform legislation has been the national topic of discussion for some years, immigrant integration policy is essential - on its own and as part of the immigration reform discussion.
Join with the National Partnership for New Americans and attend the National Immigrant Integration Conference to ensure that immigrant integration becomes a policy priority on the local, state, and national level!
The Partnership compiled a helpful list of municipal and state level New Americans programs across the country that work to integrate and support immigrants, refugees, and legal permanent residents. Read the list and find a program near you.