Passaic, New Jersey, celebrates its Immigrant Integration Day

Roughly 250 residents of Passaic, New Jersey, and its surrounding areas, gathered at City Hall to participate in the second Immigrant Integration Day last month, hosted by CLINIC affiliate Immigration & Citizenship Organization, or IACO.

Immigrant Integration Day was designed to bring together immigrants and long-term residents for the opportunity to engage with elected officials, organizations, consular delegates and educators as they navigate the journey to successful integration. “It’s our obligation as a community and as an established organization to provide information and create awareness among the state, private entities and community and help facilitate that interaction. It’s beneficial to everyone at the end of the day,” said Ileana Montes, advisory counsel and director of legal services at IACO.

The activities included workshops on topics such as networking to strengthen existing social support among organizations. Staff distributed important information about resources in the community, specifically highlighting the Hispanic Information Center, a bilingual online platform. A youth inspirational workshop focused on higher education, while free individual and confidential legal consultations were given on family, immigration, criminal, labor and landlord-tenant law. Furthermore, consular delegates from Mexico, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Peru and Paraguay met with residents to provide assistance and answer questions.

IACO received strong support from Mayor Hector C. Lora and other local and state officials to host this year’s event. Mayor Lora spoke during the opening plenary, discussing city priorities for promoting and encouraging successful immigrant integration. Speakers from different organizations also showed their support and led important conversations about affirmative action and the importance of legal representation and developing state initiatives and partnerships.

IACO is currently working towards hosting this event on an annual basis. CLINIC applauds IACO and their efforts to bring a community together to learn more about services and opportunities. Would you like CLINIC to feature your organization? Email to tell us how your community is promoting integration.

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Photo courtesy of CLINIC affiliate Immigration & Citizenship Organization.