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Mayor Assures Inclusion for all Residents

Formation of Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs Begins with Official Launch Summer 2017

February 7, 2017

Albuquerque, NM- In July 2016, Mayor Richard J. Berry and the City of Albuquerque were awarded a multi-year grant from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to launch an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) within the City of Albuquerque. After a year of in-depth community dialogues, today, Mayor Berry kicked off this initiative that will fully launch in summer 2017.
The City’s OIRA will connect immigrants and refugees to services that improve family and economic well-being. A cross-sector, collective impact approach has been taken to connect these groups with culturally-relevant, linguistically appropriate services within city government, improve access to services offered by community partners and the city’s public facilities, and to inform city policy as it relates to immigrant and refugee affairs. The OIRA will establish a central point of contact within city government to assist in navigating city and community resources, including workforce development, early childhood, business development, legal services, and other support services to strengthen families.

“Here in Albuquerque, we are an inclusive and safe place to live and raise our families,” said Mayor Berry.  “I will do everything I can to make sure that diversity of thought, race, gender, culture and religion is not only tolerated, but celebrated. While the national discourse centers on immigration reform and boarder security, I am committed to supporting and welcoming the immigrants and refugees in Albuquerque.”

The formation of this office builds upon decades of work previously done to support to these groups. Most recently, the city has worked on the Molino Project, which stemmed from the Living Cities Albuquerque Integration Initiative, focuses on wealth-building through the establishment of successful microenterprises and main street businesses for all city residents within these populations. The City has also launched TrepConnect to bring resources available to immigrant and refugee entrepreneurs in one centralized online platform to better assist those in their entrepreneurship process.

As the OIRA office plans to formally launch in summer 2017, staff has convened multiple organizations in Albuquerque who have a history of outreach and support for immigrants and refugees to identify how this office can best serve the immigrant and refugee populations. They have also looked into best practices in OIRA offices across the country.

If you or your organization would like to give input on the office please submit your feedback at [email protected] or call at 505-768-3040.


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