Four Ways to Improve the Immigrant Experience

The Center for American Progress recently released a report outlining four strategies U.S. communities can implement to improve relations between native-born and immigrant populations.

CAP says encouraging positive leadership is crucial for the integration of immigrants into a community’s social fabric. Respected, mainstream leaders engender community goodwill by advocating for immigrants, the report states.

The second strategy CAP recommends is fostering contact between foreign-born and native populations, saying that by interacting, community residents may learn they share common goals.

CAP’s third strategy involves building partnerships between state and local governments and immigrant residents. Because government programs significantly impact the lives of immigrants, it is imperative that law and policy makers reach out to this demographic to learn how to best serve it.

Finally, CAP says immigrants and their allies should work to counter misperceptions regarding who immigrants are and what their expectations are regarding life in the United States.

The CAP report’s foreward was written by David Lubell, executive director of Welcoming America and co-founder of the Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition. TIRCC recently released a report alleging Shelbyville, Tennessee, police have been engaging in racial profiling to increase deportations of illegal immigrants living in the area. TIRCC said immigration raids undertaken after the report was released were meant to intimidate local immigration rights activists.