“I focus on the fact that most of us don’t know that there are around 2,200 immigrants detained in northern NJ. I speak about the immigration detention process and the conditions in which local detainees are held and I then speak about how local residents can help organizations such as First Friends help immigrants. I’m going to bring an immigrant who has been released and helped by First Friends so that the audience can hear firsthand about the experience.”
First Friends of NJ & NY is a small nonprofit organization that runs the largest and oldest detention visitation program visiting ICE detainees in four NJ jails. While we visit hundreds of detained immigrants annually, we also pick up just-released friends at jail parking lots and provide shelter, food, and other necessities until they can either be reunited with their loved ones or connected to a large social service agency. That means finding a home or a hotel, oftenwith little notice and in the middle of the night.
Victor Salama joined First Friends of NJ & NY in January 2019 as the organization’s Executive Director. Prior to joining First Friends, Victor ran his own consulting company that focused on helping nonprofits expand strategically. He has over 25 years of experience creating international partnerships in both for-profit and non-profit sectors and has extensive experience in nonprofit management. He has taught entrepreneurship and problem solving workshops internationally.
Victor has a J.D. from Washington College of Law, The American University (Washington DC), an M.A. from the School of International Service, The American University and a B.A. from Franklin and Marshall College.
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