Immigrant integration is a complex concept that is fundamentally tied to the ongoing debate about the role of immigrants in our society and our different visions of a thriving America. GCIR's Immigrant Integration Framework builds on the vision that the United States, to remain strong and prosperous, must continue to be the land of opportunity where people of all colors, cultural backgrounds, and walks of life can put down roots, build a better life, and become contributing members of society.
Guided by this vision, GCIR defines immigrant integration as a dynamic, two-way process in which newcomers and the receiving society work together to build secure, vibrant, and cohesive communities. We believe that integration should be an intentional process that engages and transforms all community stakeholders, enriching our social, economic, and civic life over time. Mutual responsibility and benefits, multi-sector involvement, and a multi-strategy approach are the cornerstones of GCIR's Immigrant Integration Framework. We believe these elements are critical to any effort to integrate immigrants.
GCIR utilizes the term "integration" and not "assimilation" to emphasize respect for and incorporation of differences and the need for mutual adaptation. "Integration" also reflects an appreciation of diversity instead of the homogeneity that "assimilation" has come to connote.[source] In addition, the literal meaning of integration--combining and coordinating separate elements to create a harmonious, interrelated whole--captures our belief in the importance of immigrant integration to our society.