Promoting Civic Participation

Background

Engaging immigrants in the democratic process.

The many immigrants with whom the ILRC collaborates seek to be part of civil society and learn about how best to participate. The ILRC works with immigrant leaders and community members to help them meet multiple goals, including building their leadership skills, developing their organizational structures, recruiting and training new leaders, building coalitions with others who share their goals, and developing expertise in working with the media and public officials. Continual dialogues with our immigrant partners insure that we learn from each other about how immigrants can most effectively participate. The ILRC also organizes community meetings and trainings during which immigrants are given the opportunity to seek answers to important questions that address individual and community concerns and give input to ILRC staff about what immigrants think are the best ways for them to become more civically engaged; educates new citizens and encourages them to vote; and trains attorneys, paralegals, educators, organizers, social service providers and other advocates on the naturalization process and other important aspects of our immigration laws. The ILRC views citizenship as a crucial goal in itself and a vehicle for increasing immigrants' civic participation, as well as an important marker of civic participation. Other such markers include advocating in support of positive change with elected officials and the media, becoming legal permanent residents, and exercising the right to vote.

Here are some of the tools that ILRC uses to promote civic participation: