“Chicago’s vitality has been built on the strength of immigrant populations that have come to enjoy new freedoms and access new opportunities. I want to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world and the Office of New Americans will ensure every law-abiding Chicagoan has access to the resources they need to become productive members of society and contribute to our thriving global city.” –Mayor Rahm Emanuel
The Office of New Americans (ONA) is dedicated to improving services and engaging Chicago’s global immigrant communities through enhanced collaboration with community organizations, academic institutions, and the private sector. Through the creation of the ONA, the City has affirmed and strengthened its support for immigrant communities, entrepreneurs, and businesses.
In July 2011, Mayor Rahm Emanuel created the Office of New Americans and set the aspiration for Chicago to become the world’s most immigrant-friendly city. Just months later, the Mayor convened an advisory committee comprised of nearly 50 leaders representing Chicago’s business, academic, civic and philanthropic communities. The goal of the advisory committee was to identify challenges unique to immigrants, recommend initiatives to be implemented over the next three years, and develop detailed implementation plans for the Office of New Americans and its partners.
The Chicago New Americans Plan outlines a set of initiatives to welcome immigrants and maximize the contribution they make to our city. Improving the ability of Chicago’s 560,000 foreign-born residents4 to augment our economy will lead to economic, social and cultural benefits for all Chicagoans.