More than a million legal immigrants enter the United States every year. Over the last decade, these immigrants have emerged as a major force shaping American life, and research shows that legal immigrants are a vital part of state economies and communities. Governors realize that states have a significant role in assisting legal immigrants to become fully integrated and contributive members of society. One way states can help is by making the path to citizenship more streamlined for immigrants, which can lead to increased economic prosperity and greater civic engagement.
The NGA Center is helping states to understand the benefits and challenges of immigrant integration and to seize the opportunities to take action through a project focused on helping governors design and implement immigrant integration efforts. The project, funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, includes two roundtable meetings, two Webcasts, and an issue brief. The issue brief focuses on sharing innovative and pro-active steps states can, and are, taking to help immigrants integrate into the social and economic fabric of their communities.