My Mission: New Jersey is home to 8.91 million people.  Within this population, there are several groups of individuals who migrated here from other parts of the world, giving the Garden State variety and diversity that is uncommon to many other parts of the country.  Immigration grants people opportunity and experience where they would otherwise miss out and be at a disadvantage in their home nations. One nationality or nation does not define immigration due to its complexity.  In one way or another, individuals can connect and relate to the narrative of immigration, whether they are born into immigrant families, know them on a personal level, or are immigrants themselves. Especially in today’s political climate, immigration proves to be a topic for debate. Immigrants experience stereotypes, different treatment, and misrepresentation within society. My mission throughout my project is to provide you with the story of immigration as well as how it impacted New Jersey the way we know it to be today. Although I focus on qualitative data throughout my analysis, I provide demographic data for the three counties with the highest number of immigrants as well as quantitative analysis. Taking all accounts into consideration, you will be able to see immigration through different scopes and varying points of views instead of basing all perspectives on media’s depictions. Immigrants transcend time. This is the magic within the countless number of stories of immigration. People become forced to leave their homes due to personal reasons, political reasons, or for more promising futures full of opportunities. No matter the reasons, individuals who maintain their cultures and identities add to the value of New Jersey’s diversity; they do not take away. New Jersey provides its residents with access to different cuisines, languages, and traditions that are unlike anywhere else in the nation. Without the ongoing generations who experienced immigration, New Jersey would not be as colorful as it is today. Before making judgements or drawing conclusions, be sure to evaluate all aspects of immigration, not just base opinions off of preconceived notions. Everyone has a story, and immigration is the story of how New Jersey developed, changed, and adapted.

This is me: the image is from August 2019, taken in front of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy. My family and I went on a vacation where we traveled across different regions of Italy.


About Me: I am Illiana, a sophomore Economics major attending Ramapo College of New Jersey.  For our social issues website project, I wanted to focus on immigration because of its great significance to me.  I am the daughter of two immigrants, and both of my parents migrated to New Jersey at eleven years of age and sacrificed alongside their families and for my sister and me, just as many other immigrants have done for their own families.  My sister and I are both first generation college students, and despite being born in the United States, we still hold our Italian heritage near and dear to our hearts. My parents, now U.S. citizens, keep their origins alive and continue to instill those traditions within us so we can pass them along to future generations.