The focus of this report is tohighlight the great work of cities around the country that have recognized the importance of welcoming and supporting immigrants, and to create a space for municipalities to form collaborative partnerships in the development and replication of successful practices in immigrant integration.
The importance of facilitating communication and collaboration among City officials working on a shared immigrant integration agenda is based on the following:
1. That cities are experiencing the greatest impacts of globalization and migration;
2. That in order to remain competitive, cities must attract and retain newcomers;
3. That in the face of federal inaction and state interference, cities are left to respond to immigration-related challenges;
4. That immigrants, regardless of legal status, are residents of cities, and that all city residents must have equal access to services and resources in order to promote general welfare; and
5. That immigrants and immigrant integration benefit the civic, economic and cultural life of cities.
Recognizing these realities, the NYC Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs has provided technical assistance and guidance to numerous cities across the United States and around the world to help them better serve their immigrant residents and allow them to thrive. This collaborative effort has the potential to generate enormous benefits for immigrants and their neighbors around the country and reshape the way cities think about service delivery.
For the City of New York, serving immigrants is about smart policy-making, innovative responses to community needs, and cross-agency programmatic opportunities that better support immigrant New Yorkers. It is important for cities to recognize the assets, challenges, resources and opportunities their immigrant communities provide. Cities that make similar commitments to being immigrant friendly and welcoming immigrants will reap the rewards of increased civic participation, engagement and economic mobility among their residents and foster cultural and economic vibrancy in their cities