The importance of facilitating communication and collaboration among City officials working on a shared immigrant integration agenda is based on the following:
- That cities are experiencing the greatest impacts of globalization and migration;
- That in order to remain competitive, cities must attract and retain newcomers;
- That in the face of federal inaction and state interference, cities are left to respond to immigration-related challenges;
- 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
- 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 their assets, challenges, resources and opportunities. Cities that make similar commitments to increasing their immigrant-friendliness will reap the rewards of increased civic participation, engagement, and economic mobility among their residents.