Learn More about Immigrant Integration

An orange and blue text-heavy graphic showing how OIRA achieves its mission through the immigrant integration spectrum and how our programs help move immigrant residents along the spectrum.

The Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) recognizes immigrant integration along a spectrum. An unauthorized or undocumented immigrant resides on one end (least integrated). A newly naturalized citizen regularly voting and volunteering for the community is on the other end (most integrated).

We differentiate integration from assimilation. With assimilation, immigrants are encouraged or forced to completely disown or stop practicing their culture of origin. With integration, immigrants are encouraged to maintain the practices of their culture of origin, while moving towards increased civic engagement here in the U.S.

We encourage you to learn more about immigrant integration from the immigration thinktank Migration Policy Institute.

OIRA has programs and policies that welcome immigrants and help move them along the spectrum.