Immigrant Integration Toolkit

Jun 4, 2014

Immigrant Integration Toolkit

Metropolitan Chicago is home to a number of immigrant communities that contribute to the region's economic prosperity and high quality of life. But municipalities across the region sometimes find themselves ill-equipped to address the needs of their changing demographics.

The Immigrant Integration Toolkit can assist municipalities in addressing changing demographics at the local level. It presents a variety of ways other municipalities have successfully dealt with integration through improved health outcomes, economic mobility, enhanced civic participation, and a culture of inclusiveness.

The toolkit explains some of the most common challenges associated with integration and provides a variety of strategies, local examples, and resources that municipalities can use. The toolkit examines demographics, civic engagement, public safety, health services, workforce and economic development, language access, and housing. Immigrant population data and additional resources for local officials can be found in the toolkit's appendices.

The Immigrant Integration Toolkit taps into GO TO 2040's themes of livable communities, human capital, efficient governance, and regional mobility by exploring the region's changing demographics through the specific lens of immigrant communities. This toolkit is just one example of how local autonomy and regional cooperation can come together to enhance quality of life, bolster economic strengths, and create inclusivity within the region.

Summary of Content

This toolkit is divided into eight chapters. Each focuses on a different topic area that is related to immigrant integration. The chapters present some of the most common challenges associated with municipal integration and provide a variety of strategies, local examples, and resources that municipalities can utilize to assist with local immigrant integration efforts. Download the full document below.

  • Chapter 1: Demographics
  • Chapter 2: Civic Engagement
  • Chapter 3: Public Safety
  • Chapter 4: Health Services
  • Chapter 5: Workforce and Economic Development
  • Chapter 6: Language Access
  • Chapter 7: Education
  • Chapter 8: Housing


This toolkit was created in partnership with the Metropolitan Mayors Caucus (MMC) and the Latino Policy Forum (the Forum), through the CMAP Local Technical Assistance (LTA) program. The MMC Diversity Issues Task Force served as the project steering committee. The Latino Policy Forum provided technical expertise and helped to identify numerous individuals who provided valuable information about best practices in immigrant integration.

Next Steps

CMAP, MMC, and the Forum are working closely with the Diversity Issues Task Force to implement an outreach strategy that ensures local leaders who are interested in fostering better relationships with local immigrants are aware of this toolkit. Future steps may include training workshops for municipal leaders, staff, and others who want to learn more about positive, intentional ways to integrating newcomers into the fabric of their communities. CMAP hopes to support local governments interested in implementing recommendations from the toolkit through the LTA program via training workshops, stand-alone projects, and updates to existing local plans and studies.


Contact Ricardo Lopez ( or 312-386-8766) to learn more, and watch for additional details in our Weekly Updates.

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Immigrant Integration Toolkit

Immigrant Integration in Chicago's Suburbs: A Survey of Current Activities and Efforts