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Immigration Features


Sí, se puede! Grand Rapidians march to support immigrants, farm workers in West Michigan

Grand Rapidians took to the streets for the annual César E. Chávez Social Justice March, calling for the respect, dignity and protection of all immigrants and emphasizing the driving force that migrant and seasonal farm workers play in the economy of West Michigan and the country.

Tetusa Ndalamba works on reading with his daycare kids.

A place to call home: How refugees are rebuilding lives in West Michigan

As the Trump administration fights to keep refugees from entering the United States, a different story is playing out in West Michigan: one of love and inclusion. In our community, residents are banding together to support refugees who are doing everything from starting their own businesses to working with children from countries torn apart by war.

Graci Harkema

RapidChat: Graci Harkema

Days after being born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Graci Harkema was placed for adoption at a local orphanage. After being given only 12 to 24 hours to live, she was adopted by her (now) parents. Following her move to Grand Rapids as a child, Harkema has gone on to become one of the city's most passionate leaders, fighting for everything from LGBTQ rights to racial equality and more.


A taste of home: Martha PeeWee connects GR's immigrant community to much-missed motherlands

For many immigrants in Grand Rapids, coming to the United States is a chance at a better life and opportunities. Martha PeeWee and her family, who moved to West Michigan from Liberia, have been able to successfully achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship by opening up Martha's International Market. This endeavor was made possible thanks to the willingness of her community to share a breadth of knowledge, experience and connections.   

Adnoris 'Bo' Torres, fatherhood coordinator.

Strong fathers, strong families: New program aims to support Latinx community

Two Grand Rapids groups, Family Futures and Strong Beginnings, have partnered to better serve an often marginalized community: Latinx fathers. Tackling issues such as language and cultural barriers, immigration fears, transportation needs, and education, the two organizations developed the research that led to the newly-launched Padres Fuertes program.
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