National Welcoming Strategy

Our Vision

Immigrant inclusion is good for community wellbeing and prosperity.

Forward-thinking communities around the country are recognizing that being welcoming to New Americans makes them more economically competitive and vibrant places for all residents. 

Immigrant inclusion today is critical to creating resilient communities and a prosperous future.

Today, one in four children is an immigrant or child of immigrants. When communities extend the ladder of opportunity to these youth and their families, build bridges between newcomers and long-term residents, and create a culture rooted in our foundational American values of inclusiveness, we forge the next generation of leaders and shape a more prosperous and inclusive future for all Americans.

Welcoming America calls for the creation of a National Welcoming Strategy as a key element of any immigration agenda. A Federal commitment that spurs place-based immigrant integration solutions and engages all levels of the receiving community – from native born Americans to local government systems – is essential to creating cohesive and vibrant communities and a more competitive U.S. economy.

Read the Full Strategy Read the Executive Summary

Our Recommendations

  • Spur place-based innovation to institutionalize immigrant integration at the local level by supporting the development of comprehensive welcoming plans, building upon the success of the White House Task Force on New Americans (2015), and partnering with local communities on positive immigrant and refugee communications and infrastructure.
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  • Create a federal infrastructure for immigrant integration to ensure a coordinated welcoming strategy that incorporates the role of federal agencies, localities, and receiving communities by establishing a White House Office of New Americans, an inter-agency working group, and a Presidential Advisory Commission on Immigrant Integration.
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  • Ensure that any new legislation or policy concerning immigrant integration also speaks to shared benefits for immigrants and all Americans alike, and refers to integration as a process requiring the participation of both immigrants and the receiving community.
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State Spotlights

California

As the state with the largest immigrant population, California's cities have long been leaders and trendsetters on immigrant inclusion.

Nearly six million Californians live in an active Welcoming America city, including three of the state’s four most populous cities: Los Angeles, San Jose, and San Francisco. In partnership with the Institute for Local Government, Welcoming initiatives are developing in Redwood City and San Mateo County.

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Ohio

Ohio’s growing roster of Welcoming Cities and Counties are helping tip the scale toward inclusive attitudes and policies on immigration. Five of the state’s six largest cities are active Welcoming America members: Cincinnati, Columbus, Toledo and surrounding Lucas County, Akron and surrounding Summit County, and Dayton. These cities combined represent over 2.2 million people. Cleveland is also engaged via the nonprofit Global Cleveland.

Local Welcoming America members have formed the statewide Ohio Welcoming Initiatives network, which advocates at the state level for immigrant-friendly policies and practices.

Ohio mayors have echoed a proactive and forward-looking message, especially in the face of national flashpoints around immigration. 

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Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania exemplifies the growing momentum around local immigrant inclusion efforts that are picking up steam nationally, and also bubbling up locally to transform state policy. Today, welcoming work is reaching a tipping point in Pennsylvania, prompting plans to open an Office of New Pennsylvanians within the Office of the Secretary of State. Welcoming America members are actively promoting programs and prioritizing new work and resources into municipal budgets, to capitalize on these opportunities.

The state’s two largest cities and second largest county - Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, and surrounding Allegheny County - are active Welcoming America members, along with the City of York, with work also underway in York County. Collectively this represents over 1.7 million people.

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