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Mission & History
The Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition is a diverse coalition that represents the needs of immigrants, migrants, refugees and other new Americans living in Pennsylvania to policy makers, public officials, and the general public. We seek to educate the public and develop support for fair policies that welcome and sustain immigrants.
PICC began meeting as an informal coalition in 1998 as advocates struggled with the impact of immigration reform and welfare reform measures enacted in 1996. This interfaith, interagency coalition responded through advocacy, training, and leadership development.
After the tragedies of September 11, 2001, a climate of fear led to the targeting of many innocent immigrants. The Immigration and Naturalization Service was dramatically reorganized into three separate agencies under the new Department of Homeland Security. The United States refugee program decreased the number of refugees that it accepted, causing several programs that work with refugees to downsize or shut their doors. PICC responded by stepping up advocacy for efforts and working to build a broader statewide coalition. We continue to work to expand our geographic scope.
PICC is part of the national effort to fix our broken immigration system at the federal level.
Since 2003, PICC has worked with the City of Philadelphia to improve the accessibility of its services through programs such as Global Philadelphia, a language access campaign that has been further expanded under the current administration. We have worked with the Philadelphia Police Department to develop and implement a language access policy to allow all Philadelphia residents to report crime and be part of community policing efforts. We work locally and at the state level to educate lawmakers about immigrant contributions, and the negative impact of local anti-immigrant ordinances, including the well known ordinance in Hazleton. We work in local communities to promote immigrant integration and address barriers to services and participation.
In 2006 we expanded our New Citizens= New Voters initative, to provide voter education as well as help with voter registration for newly naturalized citizens. In 2008 we launched the Immigrant Access Training Project, to increase capacity among service providers and immigrant communities, and to develop new leaders in immigrant communities. Our Citizenship Promotion project brings information, resources and free legal clinic days to underserved communities.
PICC was incorporated in September of 2003 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization. Our work is funded by membership dues, charitable foundations, and private donations.
Visit our programs page to learn more about current PICC work.