By Celia Seupel
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The strength, vitality, and contribution of America’s new immigrants were as much the themes of Colin Powell Center’s conference on immigration as were immigrant needs and government policy. Entitled “National Concern, Local Action: Immigrant Integration in New York,” the half-day conference on February 5 included keynote addresses by Dr. Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation and a Powell Center Advisory Council member, and General Colin L. Powell, founder and distinguished scholar of the Powell Center. The conference also featured leaders in immigration policy and the advocacy community, who discussed the policies and means of facilitating the successful integration of immigrants into American society, particularly at the local and state level. The event drew more than 300 attendees.
Dr. Gregorian set the tone early. Think of immigrant integration not merely as an issue of jobs and rights, he challenged participants, but also as an issue of dignity and respect. “I, for one, don’t believe that immigrants come here only for economic opportunity,” said Dr. Gregorian, who arrived in the U.S. from Iran more than 50 years ago. “The prize is citizenship.… As the late Martin Luther King said, ‘We came in different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.’” More
Read about General Powell's Immigration Address
Lili Salmeron on the Pre-conference Dinner