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Abstract

This qualitative case study reveals the impact of immigration on one rural Midwestern community and its longtime residents. The 123 phone interviews and sessions conducted with two focus groups provide compelling insights into residents’ perceptions of immigration and immigrants as well as their ensuing personal and collective struggle with and adaptation to an immigration process that forever changed the community. The residents offer prudent insights for policy makers, immigrants, and other communities facing similar challenges. While the focus of the study is on the macro conversion of the community through the eyes of its residents, the author stresses the need for social workers to refresh their professional roots in community organization and highlights the vital role they play in helping communities adapt effectively while negotiating the needs of residents and immigrants alike.

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