Center for American Progress

Start the Process of Integration at the First Points of Contact for the Immigrant Community
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Start the Process of Integration at the First Points of Contact for the Immigrant Community

The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to create resources for newly arrived immigrants should be encouraged and expanded, and be included as part of the initial visa application process in U.S. embassies around the world.

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The Department of Homeland Security’s efforts to create resources for newly arrived immigrants should be encouraged and expanded, and be included as part of the initial visa application process in U.S. embassies around the world. At the local level, law enforcement authorities often become one of the most visible points of contact, setting a tone for wider community relations in their interactions with immigrants.

Too often, police lack the resources to communicate with non-English speaking newcomers, who frequently distrust law enforcement because of experiences in their homelands. A focus on immigration status, rather than a holistic approach that also views newcomers as potential victims and witnesses, can further antagonize relations.
 

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