Harrisonburg is among those cities with a significant increase of skilled immigrants, which can be a great source for the workforce and enhance its economy. Regrettably, those skills are not utilized because there is no system of integration for people with professional skills. Therefore, Harrisonburg should create a system that profits from the talents and skills of immigrants.
A single phone call made all the difference for Skyline Literacy and the educational programs they provide. The non-profit organization, headquartered in Harrisonburg, which focuses on providing instruction for literacy skills and assisting legal immigrants in applying for U.S. citizenship, recently was awarded a $250,000 grant.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has worked its way into the consciousness of Harrisonburg in a way that few federal agencies have, especially among those concerned that immigrants’ rights are being violated.
Local Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) personnel wanted to reconfigure the office in a way that wasn’t possible in their current building. By moving across the street, ICE is getting that new layout – and lots of new scrutiny from community members who say the agency should “have no place in the Friendly City.”
According to a new study by the Pew Research Center, Harrisonburg’s population would have shrunk last year had it not been for international immigration. Instead, the report says, the city was one of nine localities in the state to realize a population increase – quite small, in Harrisonburg’s case – driven entirely by immigration.
Ben Cline spent part of December reaching out to his new constituents, starting with the four communities he lost in November as the longtime Republican state delegate from Lexington prepared to go to Congress. But the Washington experience, which officially begins with his swearing in Thursday, will likely get tougher for Cline as he enters the minority party caucus in a divided Congress and amid a government shutdown.
Happy New Year! Now that 2018 is officially history, it’s time to look forward at some of the key questions and issues facing Harrisonburg in the new year. Here you’ll find 19 key storylines The Citizen will be following in 2019.
While he opened the restaurant, Ridwan also began working toward another goal: American citizenship. On the advice of a friend, he wound up enrolling in a citizenship preparation class offered by Skyline Literacy. He was sworn in as a new citizen at the federal courthouse in Harrisonburg – “a very happy moment.”