Our cities have long been a destination for immigrants, bringing economic, social and cultural benefits to our communities. There are numerous policies and programs cities can adopt to better welcome and integrate immigrants. These include:
- Center your city’s immigrant population in policymaking.
- Do not participate in the enforcement of federal civil immigration law. For more information, see our page on Immigration Enforcement.
- Support immigrant communities with words and actions.
- Institutionalize supportive services, such as an Office of Immigrant Affairs.
- Ensure language access to all local government services.
- Protect low wage workers, who are disproportionately immigrants, and support entrepreneurs and local small businesses, as immigrants are more likely to start businesses. See our sections on Enforcing Employment Laws and Supporting Local Businesses.
- Improve access to the banking system and provide financial education.
- Provide legal aid or advice on immigration status and citizenship issues.
What Cities Can Do
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Statement of Support from City Leadership
Institutionalization of Immigrant Supportive Services
A number of cities provide municipal IDs, which help residents access services, including New Haven, CT. Cincinnati, OH and Durham, NC accept “Faith IDs”, which are identification cards issued by religious institutions for municipal purposes. This has the benefit of keeping any personal data private and not subject to open records or request by ICE.