Rahm Emanuel goal: “immigrant-friendly” Chicago

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MAYOR EMANUEL ANNOUNCES CREATION OF OFFICE OF NEW AMERICANS TO SUPPORT CHICAGO’S IMMIGRANT COMMUNITIES AND ENHANCE THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS TO CHICAGO’S ECONOMIC, CIVIC AND CULTURAL LIFE

Office will help immigrants access city services and start new businesses; will pursue long-term goal of making Chicago the world’s most immigrant-friendly city

Today, Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced the creation of the Office of New Americans– an office dedicated to improving services and engaging Chicago’s global immigrant communities through enhanced collaboration with community organizations, educational institutions and the private sector.

“Chicago’s vitality has been built on the strength of immigrant populations that have come to enjoy new freedoms and access new opportunities,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I want to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world and the Office of New Americans will ensure every law-abiding Chicagoan has access to the resources they need to become productive members of society and contribute to our thriving global city.”

To advance its mission, the Office of New Americans will forge partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions, and the private sector to:

Establish a centralized language access policy for the City of Chicago that ensures access to important information about education, public safety, healthcare, and City services;

Expand opportunities for immigrant business owners and entrepreneurs;

Enhance coordination between City government and community organizations to increase access to existing city, state and federal programs;

Expand immigrant parent engagement throughout Chicago Public Schools by building on successful models such as the Logan Square Neighborhood Associations’ Parent-Mentor program;

Expand English language educational resources and opportunities in community settings;

Support the launch of the Illinois DREAM Act to ensure Chicago’s students have access to funds to attend to college;

Promote U.S. citizenship by working with community organizations and federal agencies that provide immigration and citizenship services.

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