Mayor Emanuel welcomed 25 new citizens representing 18 countries of origin during a naturalization ceremony for Chicago's newest citizens in the City Council chambers at City Hall. The ceremony was the 12th hosted by Mayor Emanuel, and his final as Chicago’s mayor.
“Since my first days in office I have sought to make Chicago the most immigrant-friendly city in the world,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Chicago’s strength is drawn from the vibrant diversity of our neighborhoods and historic communities, and our future will met by continuing to further our legacy as a Welcoming City for every family who wants to make Chicago their home.”
Since taking office in 2011, Mayor Emanuel has launched a series of initiatives that improve the immigrant community’s access to service, expand new and existing immigrant businesses, and welcomes and celebrates Chicago’s diverse immigrant communities.
These initiatives have included the creation of the City of Chicago’s Office of New Americans in July 2011 dedicated to improving services and engaging Chicago’s global immigrant communities, and the “Chicago Is With You Task Force” in December 2016 to collaborate on mental health, legal services, diversity training for employers, and education to ensure the City is delivering comprehensive services to immigrant, refugees and other disenfranchised communities.
Other initiatives have also included the Welcoming City Ordinance, “One Chicago” campaign, and launching the Cities for Citizenship Campaign with the Mayors of New York City and Los Angeles, which has grown into a bipartisan effort which works with nearly 40 City and county leaders across America.
Mayor Emanuel also created the Legal Protection in partnership with the National Immigrant Justice Center to assist thousands of immigrants and refugees threatened with deportation. Since January 2017, Legal Protection funded has trained 644 Community Navigators. Meanwhile, it has also supported over 1,600 “Know Your Rights” trainings and other presentations, which have been attended by nearly 60,000 participants in total.
For more information on the services available to Chicago's immigrant and refugees communities, please visit the ONA website at www.cityofchicago.org/newamericans .