Mayor Duggan’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Hosts Business Roundtable on Citizenship

Communications Manager

September 13, 2016

Detroit — Local business and government partners met today for a roundtable discussion about the National Immigration Forum’s New American Workforce, a citizenship service worksite program, and immigrant integration and the resulting economic impact.

Mayor Mike Duggan’s Office of Immigrant Affairs joined the National Immigration Forum and leaders from local businesses to discuss the economic contributions of immigrants to the region and workforce and local immigrant integration efforts. They also discussed the opportunity of offering citizenship services at the worksite through New American Workforce, helping nearly 100,000 Detroit immigrants achieve citizenship.

The following are quotes from speakers at today’s event:

Lawrence Garcia, President and CEO of Garcia Law Group PLLC and Representative of the Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce:
“1 in 6, a total of 55 million people in the Detroit area, are Hispanic. They are starting more businesses per capita in the area than any other group, so programs like this that impact this vital population are very important.”

Bing Goei, Director of New Americans, State of Michigan:
“We are committed to ensuring that all immigrants are offered the opportunity to contribute and enjoy quality of life as Michiganders. Investing in New Americans benefits businesses – employees will return the investment, and even more importantly, this will help to increase the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”

Tricia Kenty, Compliance Manager, Strategic Staffing Solutions:
“We are a global employer based in Detroit – and we’re very diverse. One of the main pillars of our organization is that we change employee’s station in life – this program aligns with that organizational mission. We are happy to partner so that our employees can have hands-on assistance.”

David Muusz, Assistant Director for Faculty and Staff Immigration Services International Center, University of Michigan:
“As an employer, New American Workforce was very successful. We had so much interest from our employees that we had to cut it off until the next round.”

Fayrouz Saad, Director of Immigrant Affairs, City of Detroit:
“This was a great first step in engaging the business community in this work and to add to our immigrant integration efforts across the city. The Detroit Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs continues to seek ways to engage, and with Citizenship Day and Welcoming Week approaching, this was a perfect time to bring people together on this issue”

Beatriz Aguirre, Employee Participant, Administrative Assistant, University of Michigan:
“When I heard of the program, I was interested because I had been putting it off for almost 20 years. I knew it was smarter to become a citizen than to continue renewing my green card. Right now, I am waiting for me interview.”

Ali Noorani, Executive Director, National Immigration Forum:
“We applaud Mayor Duggan and the City of Detroit for offering so many opportunities to their immigrant constituents, and we’re proud to partner with them through our New American Workforce program. The city is ensuring that their foreign-born residents have access to resources to gain the opportunities, skills and status needed to reach their fullest potential, while strengthening the greater community. Together, we are encouraging the business community to offer citizenship services to their employees right at the worksite – enabling their final step in their American dream.”