We are happy to announce that Jayson Vega López joined our team this week as KIAC’s Executive Director! As Jayson steps into the role, he will inherit a stable organization that has greatly expanded its services over the last several years.
This past year, KIAC’s Interim Executive Director Thangam Chandrasekaran has continued KIAC’s transition from being a small nonprofit staffed almost entirely by volunteers, to a thriving organization with a growing paid staff that works with and coordinates our volunteers to provide a wide array of immigration legal, family and business services to over 2,000 immigrants annually.
Jayson comes to KIAC with extensive experience in public service work, with the past fifteen years focused on housing equity. Jayson moved to Bremerton earlier this year from Ponce, Puerto Rico, and brings a bilingual skillset to his leadership experience. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and has used his education to work with the Autonomous Municipality of Ponce, the Sociedad Pro Niños Sordo’s de Puerto Rico and most recently, the Bremerton Housing Authority.
When asked what he looks forward to the most about this new role, Jayson said, “When you arrive in this country and you don’t have much or know what is available to you, having a place like KIAC is a true gift. Using my skillset to be of service to immigrants is a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am excited to join the KIAC team.”
Welcome, Jayson, to the KIAC team. We are so glad you’re here to build upon the hard work and successes of KIAC’s past.
Midterm elections are nearing, and we are hearing a lot of anti-immigrant rhetoric that is not based in fact. Here at KIAC, we believe that facts matter to you as much as they do to us. In addition to our role as THE hub for immigrants in our region, we are also here as a hub of information for those who might wonder about the realities faced by immigrants and immigration policy.
To continue fulfilling our role in combating misinformation, here are three facts about immigrants:
There is substantial evidence that immigrants, regardless of immigration status, are less likely to commit crimes than native-born Americans.
Immigrants are less likely to utilize public assistance benefits and, when they do, they generally use a lower dollar value than native-born Americans.
Fentanyl isnot being smuggled in by migrants – migrants who are often turning themselves in to seek asylum. Most fentanyl is brought across the border by cartels and is smuggled through official ports of entry, hidden in vehicles.
This year, in the face of instability driven by the pandemic, politics, wars, and climate issues, KIAC has held strong and continues to be a hub for immigrants and for immigrant-centric information and facts. Check out our mid-year report below.
KIAC’s Legal Services Director Larry Chin (pictured in this photo at a recent asylum workshop) will be speaking at Enlighten Kitsap in one week! Mark your calendars and RSVP to attend this engaging informational session. Larry will give a brief history and overview of United States immigration law and offer insights into how past events inform and impact patterns of immigration with particular focus on new immigrant groups in Kitsap County and Washington State. We look forward to seeing you there! For more information and to RSVP visit the Enlighten Kitsap Registration Page!