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Immigration Across the Nation

Immigrants are an integral part of the cultural mix making up America. Map the Impact, an interactive map website, explains how immigrants impact each state.

Map the Impact of Immigration Across the Nation with this interactive map that provides state-specific data when hovered over.

Map the Impact of Immigration Across the Nation with this interactive map that provides state-specific data when hovered over.

Across the country, from large cities to small, rural communities, immigrants contribute to the U.S. economy by filling labor shortages and starting businesses. Foreign born students make up a significant portion of university science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs. Their participation in higher education helps drive innovation which fuels job growth. According to Map the Impact, immigrants also started and owned businesses at much higher rates than native born people.

Despite their significant potential for contribution, many immigrants’ successes are stunted by obstacles including visa approvals and immigration policies.

Each state page breaks down the immigrant population by country and presents statistics about the immigrant community. The pages also explain the economic impact, foreign innovations and workforce makeup of immigrants in that state. The Spotlight section is a personal anecdote or example from that state. Explore your state’s data and see how immigration contributes to your community.

State-specific pages break down statistics and provide an in-depth explanation of immigration in your state.

State-specific pages break down statistics and provide an in-depth explanation of immigration in your state.

Syrian Refugee Crisis in the News

The July 25, 2013 front page of The Guardian

The July 25, 2013 front page of The Guardian

The Guardian is devoting the day to covering the Syrian refugee crisis. Head over to their website to check out what they have in store. We recommend the “Day in the Life” section, featuring a running tab of posts.

Oh, Baby!

Seventeen-year-old new mother Rawan holds her newborn son Baker (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

Seventeen-year-old new mother Rawan holds her newborn son Baker (Photo by Raad Adayleh)

The world is abuzz with babies!

On July 22, His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge was born. However, his birth is not the only monumental birth happening in the world. Every day, about 13 babies are born in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan, adding up to an estimated 30,000 total births by the end of the year. The Zaatari camp is home to 160,000 Syrian refugees fleeing the civil war ravaging their country. (more…)

2013 World Refugee Day Recap

Photo courtesy of Missourian photographer Quint Smith

Photo courtesy of Missourian photographer Quint Smith

We would like to thank everyone who came out to Broadway Christian Church on Saturday to celebrate World Refugee Day with us and our refugee community! Your support is so important to us in honoring the strength, courage and determination of refugees and in welcoming them into our community. We had approximately 200 people show up for games, crafts, music and a potluck featuring dishes from around the world (plus some generous donations from some local restaurants).

KOMU, the Missourian and the Columbia Tribune all covered the event. Check out their stories, and head over to our Facebook page to look at behind-the-scenes photos of our hardworking volunteers and to see some photos from the celebration itself.

A huge thanks to everyone who made this day possible! We hope to see you all next year!

Today Is Our World Refugee Day Festival!

Join us for our World Refugee Day Festival, 2013

Join us for our World Refugee Day Festival, 2013

Today is our World Refugee Day festival! Starting at 5 p.m. we will be having live music, a potluck and games at Broadway Christian Church at 2601 W. Broadway, so be sure to join us!

Meanwhile, read about last year’s festival and check out the photo gallery to see what we have in store for this year.

Voices from Iraq

Our blog post from Tuesday shared the Stories from Syrian Refugees site. Through platforms like these, refugees have a chance to tell their stories, putting a face to an international crisis that is often hard to comprehend for those who are not living it. By sharing their stories, refugees can bring awareness to their situation, educate others about the plight of refugees and encourage aid and participation. (more…)

July 18: Mandela Day

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July 18 marks the birthday of Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid leader and former South African President. In 2009, in honor of his birthday, the United Nations declared July 18 Nelson Mandela International Day. This day is meant to inspire people to take action to change the world for the better. (more…)

Syrian Refugee Outflow Escalates

The UNHCR site has photos, videos and personal stories from Syrian refugees.

The UNHCR site has photos, videos and personal stories from Syrian refugees.

According to the UN Security Council, the outflow of refugees fleeing Syria’s civil war has reached an alarming rate, one that has not been matched since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The UN estimates that as many as 100,000 people have died in Syria’s 26-month civil war, and that now an estimated 5,000 Syrians are dying each month. (more…)

Announcing World Refugee Day 2013

Join us for our World Refugee Day Festival, 2013

Join us for our World Refugee Day Festival, 2013

This year marks the fifth annual World Refugee Day Festival. On June 20, the world celebrates World Refugee Day to honor the courage, strength and determination of those who are forced to flee their homes under threat of persecution, conflict or violence.

The Columbia refugee community celebrates this day a month later with our World Refugee Day Festival to support the heritage and cultures of local refugees and immigrants who now call Columbia home. The free event will be 5-10 p.m. on Saturday, July 20 at Broadway Christian Church (2601 W. Broadway). It’s open to the public and we encourage the whole community to come out for a potluck, music, games and crafts.

If you are interested in volunteering at the event, please contact Katie Freehling at kfreehling@cccnmo.org. We welcome help of any kind, including set up, clean up, photography and everything in between.

More details will be posted on our Facebook page as July 20 draws closer. We hope to see you there!

Special U.S. Citizen Naturalization Ceremony at Glacier Point

RIS hopes you had a happy Fourth of July! This weekend we celebrated our nation’s birthday with the many refugees and immigrants who now call the United States home.

What better way to celebrate Independence Day than by opening our arms to new Americans? RIS also welcomes the 65 new U.S. citizens who were naturalized during a ceremony in Yosemite Valley’s Glacier Point on June 27. We are grateful for the diverse individuals that make up our nation.

Yosemite Park Blog

Sixty-five people became naturalized citizens of the United States at Yosemite Valley’s most famous overlook on June 27, 2013. In a special ceremony commemorating Independence Day, candidates received their own American flag before taking the Oath of Allegiance. They then recited the Pledge of Allegiance as newly certified U.S. citizens. Conducted at the Glacier Point amphitheater, the ceremony takes on particular significance as the view overlooking Nevada Fall with Half Dome looming in the background reminds citizens of what is known as “America’s Best Idea” – the national park system.

The ceremony’s speakers included Yosemite Superintendent Don Neubacher and representatives from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services offices in Fresno and Sacramento. The citizen candidates came from all around the world including Mexico, Fiji, Cambodia, Russia, and Guatemala.

The new citizens were joined by their family and friends as they celebrated the end of their journey to become American citizens…

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