Immigration issues in focus on Minister’s first trip to United States.
Finnish Minister of Employment Jari Lindström visited Washington, D.C., on 14-17 May. The purpose of the trip was to learn about immigrant integration and employment in the United States. The visit, executed in collaboration with the Finn Church Aid, consisted of meetings with several organizations and companies specializing in integration affairs.
Minister Lindström started his trip by visiting the U.S. Department of State and meeting Mr. Simon Henshaw, Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. Accompanied by the Bureau personnel, the two shared insights on immigration and integration policies in Finland as well as in the U.S.
Among the other meetings was a visit to Shoulder to Shoulder Campaign, an interfaith organization that works internationally to promote dialogue and cooperation among different religions. The participants discussed ways to prevent radical extremism in religious communities and the crucial role that these communities can play in immigrant integration.
In order to further deepen their understanding on the immigration issues, Minister Lindström and his delegation also visited the Brookings Institute's "Cities and Refugees" research project. In addition, they spent an afternoon at the Virginia Community Center, where they met Imam Mohamed Magid, executive director of a local Muslim society.
From Washington, Minister Lindström and the delegation continued their trip to Chicago to get acquainted with the local organizations.