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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Causa Oregon to participate in National Immigrant Integration Conference in Baltimore

Causa Oregon to participate in National Immigrant Integration Conference in Baltimore

Defending immigrant civil rights to be key conference topic

(Baltimore, MD) — The largest national conference to bring together a cross-section of immigrant integration leaders and advocates, the National Immigrant Integration Conference 2012 (NIIC 2012), will be held Sept. 22-25 in Baltimore, Md. NIIC 2012 will focus on finding practical solutions to ensure immigrants have the opportunity to become integral members of the U.S. communities they call home. Causa’s leaders will join conference participants and highlight our success in working with the Oregon Latino community on immigrant integration issues.

The conference will focus on empowering immigrants to build stronger, healthier communities. Important topics that will be addressed include access to education, the political process, health care, religious institutions and commercial resources, like banking.

“It is critical that our communities realize and value the contributions immigrants make,” said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of Causa Oregon. “Only then will we, as a unified community, truly be able to fulfill the promise of the American Dream.”

The plenary “A Paramount Democracy: The Federal Role in Defending Civil Rights,” will feature Tom Perez, the assistant attorney general for the civil rights division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The plenary will include questions from national immigrant leaders from election battleground states in a year in which the presidency could be determined by immigrant voters.

Immigrants play a valuable role in our communities, our society and our economy and it’s of the utmost importance that they are assured equality and freedom. Throughout American history, immigrant integration has been impacted by civil rights challenges. Ensuring freedom from discrimination and constitutional abuses is a core element of the multipronged approach to integrate immigrants into communities and states across our country.

NIIC 2012 will open Saturday, Sept. 22, with a New Americans Festival that will feature an inspirational U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services naturalization ceremony. On Sunday, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will give the conference opening address. He will highlight how his state is leading a growing movement of state and local governments across the country – from Baltimore to Dayton to Detroit – to recognize and promote immigrants’ contributions, and develop comprehensive efforts to attract and welcome them.

Additional high-profile speakers include:
• Alejandro Mayorkas, director, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
• Brenda Dann-Messier, assistant secretary for vocational and adult education, U.S. Department of Education
• Bob Annibale, global director, Citi Microfinance

Nearly 40 million immigrants live in America, comprising 13 percent of the total population and 16 percent of the total labor force, and immigrants are key drivers of small business growth. Immigrants are also more likely to live without health care and more vulnerable to workplace violations. Immigrant integration, a two-way process that strengthens the systems and tools that allow immigrants in the U.S. to participate fully in their communities, benefits us all by providing people with the opportunity to contribute to their fullest capacity to their families, jobs and communities.

For more information or to register for the conference, visit


About Causa Oregon
Causa, Oregon's Statewide Immigrant Rights Organization is the largest Latina and Latino civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit

About the Partnership
The National Immigrant Integration Conference 2012 (NIIC 2012) is the largest national conference to bring together immigrant integration leaders and advocates from across the country. The conference is the signature event of the National Partnership for New Americans. Participants represent a broad cross-section of professionals whose day-to-day work can inform this conversation, including experts on immigration and refugee policies, service providers, academics, government officials and advocates — all of whom are committed to finding innovative and effective ways to develop policies and programs that promote active citizenship and a just and welcoming democracy for all.


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