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About The Program
The Program on Immigration and Democracy leverages the resources of New Jersey’s flagship public research university to explore the challenges and opportunities stemming from significant levels of immigration — across the state, the region, the nation and the world.
We bring to the table scholarly research, public education, community outreach/organizing and policy analysis.
Immigrant integration highlights policies and incorporates practices conducive to private enterprise, civic participation, equality of opportunity, democratic pluralism, community leadership, and social cohesion.
Successful integration requires adaptation by all parties: immigrants, established residents, government, and non-governmental organizations.
WHY IMMIGRATION AND DEMOCRACY?
Our name reflects the close intertwining of immigration and democracy as central themes in the American experience. Throughout our history, immigrants fleeing oppression and injustice in their home countries have affirmed the nation’s commitment to our own democratic principles. Democracy has provided a framework for the growth and development of the individual, alongside the flowering of communities rooted in the past but nourished by the diversity of the present.
Immigration may also test the limits of democracy by expanding the body politic, destabilizing the cultural and economic status quo, heightening intergroup tensions, and imposing change on both immigrants and the larger society.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
Across the US, few states have been shaped in such profound and enduring ways by immigration as New Jersey. New Jersey currently ranks third in the nation, behind only Hawaii and California, for its share of immigrants. According to the Global Commission on International Migration, the movement of people across national boundaries is likely to increase in the years to come as advances in communications, education, transportation, and global commerce create opportunities for geographic and social mobility that never existed before in human history.
Those nations and regions of the world best positioned to harness the creative force of human migration and control its combustibility are likely to achieve positions of leadership in the global economy. At the Program on Immigration and Democracy, our aim is to enhance the knowledge base and policy framework that are essential to the growth and prosperity of our state, region, and nation.