MIAMI —This week, Mayor Daniella Levine Cava and The Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade (ONA) announced the launch of the ‘Miami-Dade New American Task Force’, an initiative designed to support immigrant residents as they navigate through their new community. Launched in 2016, Gateways for Growth (G4G) offers an opportunity for localities, such as Miami-Dade County, to receive research support and/or technical assistance from New American Economy and Welcoming America to improve immigrant inclusion in their communities. Miami-Dade’s Office of Office of New Americans was this year’s recipient of G4G’s ‘Research And Technical Assistance’ Award, which spurred the creation of the Miami-Dade New American Task Force.
Established in 2017 to help increase the number of legal permanent residents becoming a US citizen, ONA is a countywide initiative to raise awareness about the importance of citizenship. With the mission to empower immigrants eligible for naturalization to become more civically and economically engaged in our communities, ONA facilitates access to the resources needed to attain citizenship and ultimately prosper.
“Miami-Dade County is a vibrant immigrant-majority, multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual community that serves as a reflection of the future of America,” said Krystina François, Executive Director of the Office of New Americans of Miami-Dade. “Our participation in the Gateways for Growth cohort will enable ONA to address the full economic, civic, and social integration of our residents, so that we have a healthy, secure, and engaged citizenry.”
In light of the scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gateways for Growth Challenge this year prioritized localities that demonstrated a public-private commitment to better integrating immigrants into recovery efforts and emergency management systems. In Miami-Dade, tens of thousands of our immigrant residents are essential workers, entrepreneurs, small business owners, construction workers, healthcare providers, and other crucial support staff. All of whom need trustworthy and reliable information, access to funds to offset the costs for citizenship fees, basic needs, and business operation and multilingual resources that are available across the county. As the country looks to rebuild and set a more inclusive path forward nationally, Miami- Dade County, as part of the G4G 2020 cohort, will lay the groundwork and build the infrastructure for economic, civic, and social inclusion at the local level.
“Helping to welcome and engage new aspiring Americans is how we continue building a stronger, more inclusive community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Through this key initiative, the Office of New Americans – which I was proud to help found in 2015 – will build on their great work helping more Miamians chart a path to citizenship and access resources needed to create a strong economic foundation in our county.”
“We are thrilled to see the Gateways for Growth Challenge expand to another set of localities that reflect the diversity of our nation,” said Christina Pope, Senior Network Director at Welcoming America. “With each cohort, there is an opportunity to support and connect local leaders making their communities more welcoming and resilient places where everyone, including immigrants, can prosper and belong.”
“The Gateways for Growth program helps communities quantify what many people already know -- that immigrants play a key role in driving growth,” said Mo Kantner, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “We’re excited to see how these communities can use data and technical assistance to support their work to ensure that all residents are welcome and have pathways to success.”
The Miami-Dade New American Task Force initiative is now live and available to provide support for eligible residents. For more information, please visit: www.officeofnewamericans.org.