Local organization provides resources to Rockford’s immigrant population

Local News

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Not all Rockford residents are born in the Stateline.

Saturday, United Way hosted an Immigrant Resource fair.

Organizers want to make sure immigrants are living happy and healthy in the Stateline.

The goal of the fair was to help foreign born residents learn about their community, and have any legal questions answered.

Those in attendance came from countries near and far.

“Today most of them are from Kongo and a few from Syria and a few from Iraq,” said organizer Mustafa Abdall.

Abdall said that the immigration population is in fact large in Rockford, and its reputation makes it an ideal city for people moving to the United States.

According to the United States Census website, there are over 17,000 immigrants in Rockford.

Rockford is a very friendly, safe environment for immigrants,” said Abdall.

Several local and state legal representatives came to the fair to answer attendees questions.

Jesse Dorner of United Way said that the resource fair also walks attendees who are not yet citizens through the steps to become one.

“With this it’s kind of a one-stop shop, and to be able to get a lot of those questions settled right now to be able to move on to the next steps,” Dorner said.

Lori Beard is the Office Coordinator of Rockford Township, she was invited to showcase how the community can help its immigrant population.

“Anything that we can do to help out in our community, our doors are always open,” Beard said. “There are so many agencies, organizations out here that are willing to extend a hand and to help you with whatever situation you may be going through.”

Organizers want immigrants in the Forest City to realize that there is help out there.

“I just see a lot of compassion when it comes down to events like this,” Beard said.

The Resource Fair was just a one day event, but the Rockford Strong House is open everyday ready to give assistance to anyone that comes in.

More information on the Strong House can be found at this link.

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