Inspire! Event on Immigration
Immigrants, both documented and undocumented, are an integral part of Ottawa County
Ottawa County has the highest migrant worker population in Michigan
Ottawa County has required Cultural Intelligence Training for all of its employees, and it is working!
add $2 trillion to US GDP
pay $13 billion into Social Security but only take $1 billion
pay in $35 billion more to Medicare than they use
pay $12 billion in State and Local Taxes
are more likely to go to college
are less likely to commit crimes
There are 43.3 millioin foreign born individuals residing in the US; 22.6 million are non-citizens and only 11 million are unauthorized.
Samantha Pepprock, Immigration Attorney from Robert E. Robbins PC
The path to citizenship is very difficult. To generalize, there are two primary paths to citizenship – through family or through work.
There is a multi-step filing process and that can take up to 20 years to complete depending upon your country of origin because of quotas.
The process can cost $5,000 or more, depending on if you obtain legal representation.
If you already reside in the U.S. you generally have to return to your country of origin to complete your VISA interview.
Sarah Yore-Van Oosterhout from Lighthouse Immigrant Services
Lighthouse is a non-profit, tax-exempt law firm that serves immigrants in Holland.
Lighthouse has served over 600 families.
The community is in desperate need of low-cost immigration services.
On October 21st, Lighthouse is sponsoring an Immigrant and Refugee Rights Summit. The information can be found here: http://lighthouseimmigrantadvocates.com/summit/
Sonya Hernandez, Commissioner with the Hispanic/Latino Commission of Michigan
This is a 15 person advisory commission appointed by the Governor.
Provide advice and guidance on Bills that reach the Governor’s desk.
Sonya is willing to provide advice and guidance to the HRC.
Reyna Masko, Ottawa County Cultural Intelligence Committee Chair
Ottawa County has the highest migrant worker population in Michigan.
Ottawa County has now made a successful business case for cultural intelligence training. Almost all county employees have received this training and it is making a difference.
Ottawa County believes that to ensure the future prosperity and well-being of the community, we need to champion diversity.
St. John’s Episcopal Church
The Church has an Immigrant Ministry.
They are in the process of exploring the implications of becoming a “Sanctuary Church” in the future, but for now they are working on a rapid response team to support immigrants (and families) who are subject to deportation.