FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, March 9, 2020

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New Deal for New Americans to be introduced in the Senate

Bill Would be a Game Changer for Immigrants and Refugees

BOSTON – In a step that could make citizenship a reality for millions of eligible residents, the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and member organizations, Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition and the Florida Immigrant Coalition (FLIC), joined U.S. Senator Ed Markey (D-Mass.) today in announcing the introduction of the New Deal for the New Americans Act of 2020 (NDNA) in the Senate.

 

“We know immigrant families want the opportunity to contribute to their communities and to provide for themselves and their loved ones. The New Deal for New Americans Act provides that opportunity not just to survive in the United States, but to fully thrive. It is a clear vision of what a humane and welcoming immigration system looks like, including comprehensive support for legal, economic, and language needs. The legislation promotes and supports immigrant and refugee inclusion, as well as coordinates efforts of federal, state, and local governments to ensure social, economic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees.” said Sen. Markey.

 

The bill, strongly supported by NPNA and its member organizations, makes a real commitment to the issues that make a difference in immigrants’ lives, like funding of workforce development and English-language learning programs, access to justice and due process through legal services, and ensuring that vulnerable refugees get the help they need once they arrive in the U.S.

 

“The New Deal for New Americans Act represents what a welcoming and inclusive country can look like if it celebrates and invests in immigrants and refugees,” said Diego Iñiguez-López, Policy and Campaigns Manager at NPNA. “Based on the best of our morals and principles, the bill is a proactive and aspirational guide towards expanding access to citizenship and refuge, increasing our shared prosperity through workforce development and English-language learning programs, and ensuring that our communities have due process and justice.”

 

Among the most forward-thinking proposals is the creation of a National Office of New Americans (NONA). The federal executive office would coordinate with federal and local agencies to facilitate immigrant and refugee integration and inclusion. It would also eliminate needless obstacles to citizenship, enhance community integration programs and training for immigrants, and provide help to communities to welcome and resettle refugees.

 

“This bill embodies a vision of America that millions of us already embrace: a land of opportunity where people from around the world can not only find safe harbor, but truly thrive,” said Eva A. Millona, co-chair of NPNA and Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. “Immigrants and refugees are vital parts of our communities and make enormous contributions to our economy and our society. This bill sends a strong message that we value and welcome New Americans, and lays out a proactive policy agenda that will benefit our entire nation by enabling global talent to thrive here.”

The NDNA also increases the minimum refugee admissions threshold to 110,000, closer to the pre-Trump era numbers and in line with global needs, and provides access to justice to immigrants pursuing residency and citizenship.

 

“There is an urgent need for the creation of an office like NONA that would lead the nation in ensuring immigrants and refugees become full-fledged Americans,” said Basma Alawee, Florida Refugee Organizer for FLIC. “Instead of making the process of citizenship more expensive and reducing refugee admissions admissions, we should embrace our diversity and support vulnerable people struggling to engage in the social, economic and civic life of America. Congress must pass this bill to ensure our country’s future is bright for all.”

 

For more information about the New Deal for New Americans Act, please see the bill summary and section-by-section analysis on our landing page.

Video of the press conference here.

List of organizations endorsing the New Deal for New Americans Act here.

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The National Partnership for New Americans is a national, multiethnic, multiracial partnership of 35 immigrants and refugee rights organizations across 37 states who work to promote citizenship and integration among our diverse immigrant and refugee communities for the benefit of all Americans.