What can I do as a single person to support immigrants in the United States? Hi. I’m Jim Hacking Immigration Attorney practicing law here in Saint Louis, Missouri. We get contacted by a lot of people who are very supportive of immigrants and we have a lot of friends in the immigrants’ rights community. Sometimes we want to join those people together. How do we get people who are of like mine in the United States who understand the value that immigrants bring to the United States who understand that many immigrants are very hard working, trying to contribute to society the best that they can, and who want to support those people?
We came across a very interesting organization here in Saint Louis. We’ve been working with them for a while, now. It’s called the Saint Louis Mosaic Project. We had a meeting recently out at Monsanto, which is one of the bigger employers in Saint Louis and, coincidentally, one of the biggest employers of international workers. They hosted an event for the Saint Louis ambassadors. The Saint Louis Mosaic Ambassadors are people who care about immigrants, who want to support immigrants, who want to help our region grow by boosting the number of immigrants in the United States and specifically in Saint Louis by the year 2020.
Betsy Cohen, the lady who runs the Mosaic Project has marching orders from county executive Charlie Dooley and Mayor Francis Slay to make Saint Louis one of the ten fastest immigrant growing cities in the country by 2020. It’s a very exciting goal. It’s a very tremendous goal, and it’s a goal that we think can be reached. We’re very supportive of the project. We went to the event and there were over 100 people there who are dedicated to helping immigrants feel welcome and included in American society and they have a lot of interesting projects going.
One is trying to connect international students at our many great fantastic universities with employers. This is one of the real hurdles. I got to talk to some of the students who are from around the world and would really, really like to stay in the United States and specifically in Saint Louis, but because it’s so hard for employers to navigate the immigration paperwork and all the headaches associated with employing an international worker, that they really sort of are left scratching their heads.
Of course, that’s where immigration attorneys come in. We can try to simplify the process, but overall, there’s a whole lot of education that needs to happen to allow employers to understand that it is doable, it is possible to hire foreign born workers and to include them in the Saint Louis community.
If you’re interested in supporting the Mosaic Project, I encourage you to go to their website. I’ll put it on our website down below this transcript and you can get information about perhaps being an ambassador or working with Betsy to spread the word. If you have large groups of which you’re a member that you think would benefit from having Betsy come speak or someone else speak on behalf of the Mosaic Project to explain what our goals are, how we’re working together, it’s a very exciting project. We’re really happy to be a part of it. We really hope that you think about supporting immigrants in this way. There are many other organizations/groups that help refugees that come here, groups that help people network, immigrants as they are around the world come from many different backgrounds, many different economic levels, and so there’s really many ways to support the immigrant community in Saint Louis.
If you’re interested in this and you can’t get a hold of Betsy, give us a call, 314-961-8200, or you can email me, [email protected] Thanks.