More than 250 attend event meeting on immigration at City Hall

Mayor Lora and IACO partner to inform local immigrants of their rights


Melissa Reyes

City Hall held an informational meeting for local immigrants on Oct. 26.

Passaic Mayor Hector Lora and the Immigration and American Citizenship Organization (IACO) partnered to inform immigrants how to integrate in society, providing information and legal consultations for anyone at City Hall on Oct. 26.

More than 250 people attended the event, with 30 lawyers providing consultations to anyone free of charge. Several booths were set up to provide information regarding the 2020 Census, health insurance, and country consulates.

“We are going through uncertain times, certain changes in immigration have generated fear for our community and today, more than ever, we must unite efforts, share experiences and learn from each other,” said the executive director of IACO, Gustavo Ramirez

There were lawyers there that informed people about what they can do to get their residency or help a family member out.

— Lissette Rios, junior at Prep

Ramirez, alongside other speakers, spoke about the importance of immigrants to our city.  A representative of Phil Murphy, governor of New Jersey, delivered a statement regarding IACO’s efforts to inform immigrants.

“It is fitting that we set aside Oct. 28 as a day of celebration in honor of immigrants welcomed by the torch of our lady liberty. Therefore, I, Phillip D. Murphy, governor of the state of New Jersey, hereby proclaim October 26, 2019 as Immigrants Day for the state of New Jersey,” said the representative.

After the speeches, younger attendees were led to a youth workshop about the importance of being involved in the law. Those seeking legal consultations had to register to have their situations heard. 

Attendant Lissette Rios, a junior at Passaic Prep Academy, said, “It was an amazing idea to hold this event because many people don’t know what they can do when it comes to immigration. There were lawyers there that informed people about what they can do to get their residency or help a family member out.”

Facts from the Presentation:

  • 1.3 million immigrants make up of 27.8 percent of the labor force in New Jersey (2015)
  • Immigrants make up 22.1% of the state of New Jersey
  • Immigrants make up 70% of the City of Passaic.