#WelcomingWeek Staff Picks

Forget the headlines; here’s what American communities really think about immigrants.

From New Hampshire to Kentucky, Oregon to Georgia, communities gear up to celebrate #WelcomingWeek. And from community potlucks to soccer in the streets, New Americans are being welcomed by their neighbors.

Check out some of these great events happening around the country chosen by Welcoming America staff  including why they think it’s a great #WelcomingWeek event:  Continue Reading »

Rust Belt Cities Embrace Immigrants as Key to Future

WE Global LogoA growing number of Rust Belt cities are embracing immigrants as a means of revitalizing urban neighborhoods and spurring local economic growth, and will be participating in this year’s Dayton Convening. As a more welcoming approach to immigration spreads quickly across the Rust Belt – and pays off for local economies – a new field of practice is picking up steam. Continue Reading »

From Guyana to the U.S.

Louis Woolford Bone

In celebration of Immigrant Heritage Month, Welcoming America’s Keiron Bone Dormegnie shares his grandfather’s immigration story with us. Read on to learn about Louis Bone’s journey to the United States to pursue his passion and a better life for his family. You can read more inspirational immigration stories at

In 1957, my grandfather, Louis Woolford Bone, started a long American voyage. “Louie” left his birth home in the South American colony of British Guiana to enter a doctoral program at the University of Chicago. In his mid-30’s with six children, a wife, and a large extended family in the city of Georgetown, Guyana, he left the country to continue his studies at a renowned institution of higher education. Continue Reading »

New Report on Welcoming in Nashville

Welcoming Nashville ReportToday, Welcoming America released a new study, Welcoming Nashville: Perspectives and Trends, which provides further evidence of how communities are benefiting economically from a welcoming climate for immigrants and all residents.

The study, conducted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Research Center, surveyed community and business leaders around the economic benefits of immigrant welcome to Nashville, which in recent years led the country in job growth. The Center concluded that Nashvilles efforts to welcome and incorporate a vibrant, growing immigrant population has helped create tangible economic gains across the city and across sectors. Continue Reading »

Diversity is essential for Boise’s prosperity and livability

Mayor David Bieter

We are pleased to announce a guest blog post from Boise Mayor David Bieter. Boise was one of the first cities to join our Welcoming Cities & Counties Initiative in 2013, and we are thrilled to share what Boise is doing to welcome all its residents.

Boise is a city built by immigrants. It’s one of our great strengths.

Like my grandfather Lorenzo Garmendia, who arrived in Boise from the Basque Country almost a century ago, the people who have come from around the world to live, work, and raise their families in this beautiful place, decade after decade, have done so with creativity and purpose. And that has helped to make our city, and all of Idaho, stronger and more prosperous.

Our diverse past is documented in Ethnic Landmarks, a book produced by Boise State University in 2007 that details the crucial contributions of 10 separate ethnic groups to the development of Boise.

Our diverse present is exemplified by our Neighbors United Network, a coalition of more than 20 government agencies, educational institutions, health care providers, community groups, and faith organizations that work to assist refugees in becoming economically integrated in our community. Over the past two decades, more than 11,000 refugees have resettled in Boise, adding tremendously to the richness of our ethnic and cultural landscape. Just last week, Neighbors United was praised by the White House Task Force on New Americans in a report, “Strengthening Communities by Welcoming All Residents”Continue Reading »

Ideas that Innovate | WE Global Toolkit

The WE Global Network launches today IDEAS THAT INNOVATE, a collection of state and local public policies that further efforts to pursue immigrant economic development strategies.

Many WE Global Network local actors have been approached by municipal officials, state legislators, and other elected officials who acknowledge the research and economic case for immigrant economic development, but who lack specific public policy measures that they can consider to support our work.

As an increasing number of Rust Belt communities realize the enormous contributions that immigrants make to local economic growth and prosperity, new and innovative economic development initiatives are being launched to build more inclusive and welcoming economies. As rapid as these local programmatic initiatives are being launched, innovations also are being pursued by state and local public policymakers. This collection can assist immigrant economic development players and policymakers working together toward more welcoming and inclusive communities. The chapters provide resources to help you explore replicating these ideas in your community. Continue Reading »

Announcing the WE Global Network




Today, Welcoming AmericaGlobal Detroit, and more than a dozen economic development initiatives throughout the nation’s Rust Belt launched the Welcoming Economies Global Network (WE Global Network). The network is comprised of groups from 10 states across the Midwest working to tap into the economic development opportunities created by welcoming immigrants.

This launch comes on the heels of yesterday’s White House release of a report featuring the WE Global Network as one of its national best practices. Created by the White House Task Force on New Americans, the report affirms that immigrants and refugees contribute significantly to the continued economic prosperity of the U.S. and are critical to our country’s social and cultural fabric. The report is available at
Continue Reading »

History in the Making

Today, the White House announced a historic step toward creating the nation’s first federal integration strategy – one that recognizes the importance of local efforts to build welcoming environments where immigrants and long-time residents join together to create stronger communities. Read the report and fact sheet.

The leadership of our partners across the country who are at the forefront of community-based initiatives helped shape and inspire this strategy and are recognized throughout the report as being among the nation’s most promising efforts.

The report to the President was presented today by the White House Task Force on New Americans, an inter-agency effort to develop a coordinated federal strategy to better integrate immigrants and refugees and build welcoming communities. The Task Force was created as part of the President’s immigration accountability executive actions. The full report and further information – including the Task Force’s plan to carry out its work – will be available soon at
Continue Reading »

Announcing the Paul and Daisy Soros 2015 Fellows

Immigrants are contributors to our country – a fact that this is clearer than ever today as the Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowship for New Americans announces its 2015 fellows. The fellowship provides remarkable first- and second-generation immigrants with the opportunity to achieve leadership in their chosen fields by providing funding to support their graduate studies. This year’s class represents a diverse cross sector of subjects, such as law, music, mathematics, writing, medicine, and business, as well as over 20 countries.  For all their diversity of interests and accomplishments, however, the fellows – and other New Americans like them – share a common characteristic: the potential to make significant contributions to U.S. society and culture. In celebration of this year’s class and the value of all immigrants, below are profiles of a few of the fellows and what they believe communities can do to become more welcoming.

Applications are now open for the 2016 class of the fellowship and are due November 1, 2015 at 11:50pm EST. To learn more, visit Continue Reading »

Welcoming Cities & Counties Reaches 50 Members

50 Cities and Counties Map


The immigrant welcoming movement has hit a major milestone: Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities and Counties program has reached 50 members with the recent addition of the City of Decatur, Georgia. In under two years, the Welcoming Cities and Counties program has grown from 18 members to 50 members, more than doubling the number of municipalities dedicated to welcoming immigrants. “The pace of enrollment continues to pick up; 50 cities and counties is really just the tip of the iceberg. It won’t be too long before all localities will feel they are falling behind if they don’t move in this direction,” Lubell said. Continue Reading »