Diversity is One of Our Greatest Strengths
Unity is Our Power

4
Ed & Franci Collins

Dear friends and supporters of Immigrantinfo.org

We are happy to announce that on July 1st, 2022, we transferred the administration of Immigrantinfo.org to Adrian Avila, who works with Silicon Valley DeBug.

In 2001, we created Immigrantinfo.org to meet a need. Lack of English was overwhelmingly identified as the main obstacle to successful integration and financial stability for immigrants, refugees, asylees, and other newcomers to the US. Many providers were offering ESL and citizenship services, advertising on separate websites, flyers, and other outreach channels. But it was unlikely that those with limited English capabilities would be able to access the information and understand their options. We needed a way to funnel all of the classes into a searchable database that would allow people to compare the choices. All the providers in the county were contacted and the details of over 1100 ESL and Citizenship classes were manually input into a specially designed database, accessible to the public on the internet. We knew that people lacking English, money, and often higher education would not be likely to utilize the internet at that time, but the site made it very easy for service providers and advocates to seek out Specific ESL and Citizenship classes, and make referrals for clients or students.

Immigrantinfo.org was an immediate hit, and over time it became obvious that we should do the same thing for other resources and information that would be helpful for people who might be unfamiliar with how things work and what is available for them in the US. A new database was created to centralize multi-language information about free or subsidized resources and services. Over the years we have added photos of local events and ethnic communities to allow the website to also be a showcase for the beautiful diversity of Santa Clara County.

Immigrantinfo.org’s Mission

To support a healthy and resilient community for everyone, through successful integration of immigrants, refugees and asylees into our society. We strive to create a collaborative space that celebrates diversity and facilitates connection, cooperation, and focus on our common goals.

It has been our privilege to develop and maintain Immigrantinfo.org for over two decades. We are really pleased to turn it over to Adrian, who values collaboration and appreciates the need to help vulnerable people to understand their rights and meet their basic needs. We will provide support through the transition. The site will undoubtedly evolve under Adrian as it did for us, but we are confident that the essential spirit of Immigrantinfo.org will continue.

Sincerely,   Ed and Franci Collins

Adrian Avila

Adrian Avila migrated to the US from Mexico at the age of five and found San José as his new home. For the past 20 years Adrian has been an active member of the immigrant community and uses this involvement to guide and better understand the complex immigrant experience. As a part of Silicon Valley De-Bug he has been able to gain an appreciation for the power of story telling and how it can be used to humanize individuals or groups who might otherwise be under represented and under valued.

 

Santa Clara County Office of Immigrant Relations

Through numerous County investments, the Office of Immigrant Relations (OIR) has served as a leading resource that has helped local governments and other entities to understand the issues, needs, and contributions of immigrants. OIR has worked with local agencies on immigrant integration programs and to prepare hundreds of community members for civic engagement and cross-cultural understanding.  The mission of OIR is to:

  • Provide ongoing analysis of local impacts to ensure effective planning in response to various policies and practices that affect immigrants
  • Promote effective coordination of services to facilitate full inclusion of immigrants and entire immigrant communities
  • Identify, promote, and apply best practices in immigrant integration
  • Provide ongoing research and analysis of existing and emerging immigrant community needs
  • Heighten community awareness of immigrant contributions
  • Collaborate and support organizations working to improve the lives of immigrants

Santa Clara County Citizenship Collaborative 

Formed in 1997 to address the needs of immigrants by providing information, referrals, and direct citizenship application services. Through general fund monies, Santa Clara County invests in immigration legal services with local accredited agencies in Santa Clara County to provide assistance with immigration legal issues.

These services are designed to help immigrants with immigration issues such as family visa petition, employment authorizations, removal of conditional status; assisting immigrants to obtain permanent residency under the Violence Against Women Act; helping victims of domestic violence, sexual abuse and human trafficking to obtain work authorization, permanent residency leading to path to citizenship, etc.

Currently Santa Clara County funds a number of agencies including: