|Posted:||September 12, 2017 12:10 PM|
|From:||Senator Sharif Street|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||Office of New Americans|
|In the near future I will introduce legislation that will provide for the creation of an Office of New Americans within the Department of Community and Economic Development. The office will be instructed to help attract, retain, and integrate immigrants into Pennsylvania society. Immigrants provide an important source of energy, innovation, and entrepreneurial activity, and I believe that Pennsylvania can do more to be competitive in attracting and keeping this pool of talent.
Immigrants face many challenges when they move to a new country, in addition to attaining citizenship. These can be as simple as earning a drivers license, or as complicated as receiving certification or licensure from the appropriate state oversight board for their profession. Learning or perfecting English, finding health care solutions, and moving into new homes, neighborhoods, and school districts all provide challenges that can be resolved with a little coordination from state government and local immigrant assistance organizations, such as the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and Vibrant Pittsburgh.
The legislation will instruct the Office to provide internal coordination of services that commonly affect the lives of immigrants, to promote the state abroad to attract skilled workers, and once here, to help integrate immigrants into their local communities. The duties will include:
The legislation will also create the Advisory Board to the Office of New Americans that will provide advice to the Governor and the office on how to best attract, retain, and integrate immigrants. The office will be composed of key department secretaries, or their designees, and individuals from several non-governmental sectors with expertise on immigration policy. The Board will be composed of 20 members appointed by the Governor.
I hope that you will join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. If you have questions, please contact my Policy Director, Micah Mahjoubian at email@example.com.
Introduced as SB1216