New York Department Becomes Model for Integrating and Empowering Immigrants

As cities across the Unites States look to lure immigrants to grow their populations and economies, many are turning to a program in New York for advice. Kirk Semple looks at the city's pioneering Office of Immigrant Affairs.

"In the past few years, New York’s Office of Immigrant Affairs has become a prime resource — even a model — for cities around the world seeking to better accommodate and serve their increasingly diverse populations," writes Semple. "[Commissioner Fatima Shama] and her staff have provided direct assistance to more than 20 cities in the United States and abroad — including Baltimore, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as Florence and Turin in Italy — and at least 10 eventually set up their own immigrant affairs offices."

"The office’s mandate is to serve as a bridge — 'the connective tissue,' Ms. Shama called it — between the immigrant population and city government, providing policy analysis and recommendations to the mayor as well as improving immigrants’ access to city services."


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