Cincinnati Will Be A 'Friendly' City For Immigrants

Mayor John Cranley cited several new initiatives he expects Cincinnati to take in making the South-west Ohio city the “most immigrant-friendly city in the United States.” Cranley hopes to oversee an Immigration Task Force, which Cranley started in 2014, to help create international attraction.

Among the initiatives the Task Force looks to bring forward are creating a center for new Cincinnatians that helps connect immigrants to services and other residents, launching a training program to help companies recruit international job candidates, providing immigrants with financial literacy training to help them navigate money management and home buying and marketing Cincinnati as an ideal location for manufacturing.

Another angle the Task Force looks to take is training police officers in cultural sensitivity, which could have something to do with the recent happenings in Cincinnati involving violence among the police force. Cincinnati is trying very hard to re-brand the local police force.

Given that the primary goals are creating jobs and spurring local growth, Cranley could be looking to primarily attract immigrants in the EB-5 program; where entrepreneurs and investors from overseas will come to the United States to invest in a commercial enterprise to help create jobs. The process is mutually beneficial to the Targeted Employment Area and immigrant alike, as the immigrant looks to attain Green Card Status through the program. There is also a Regional Center located in Cincinnati. Cranley may see that is the greatest opportunity to fund several projects around the growing city.

“This is a country of immigrants,” Cranley told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “We’ll all be richer and better by being a friendly city to immigrants. Cincinnati can’t miss out on this opportunity.”

Cranley and his Task Force have thought up many more short-term and long-term goals, all of which hopefully will be completed within the next five years. The task force’s five subcommittees are focused on talent retention, rights and safety, economic development, international attractiveness and resource development. The goals and ideas came from all five subcommittees brainstorming for the better part of the last year. In one way, that shows the city’s commitment to the idea of attracting immigrants. On the other hand, the sheer amount of time the city spent just thinking about potential ideas (eight months) also brings to question whether the city will come through in finishing any of these goals within the five-year deadline for their long-term goals that was suggested by city officials.

The process will likely take several baby steps and will not be finished overnight, but hopefully the hub for new Cincinnatians will be created sooner rather than later. Immigrants, especially those who are refugees looking for a new home, could use a place to handle all of their immigration matters without having to spend a lot of time trying to navigate through a new place. For starters, Cranley and city officials said the center could first be a website to help immigrants moving to the city before an actual building is built.

Cincinnati’s movement is not unique to other cities around the country. As many people around the world are struggling to have a normal life in their respective countries, the United States is warming up more and more to the idea of taking in those immigrants and being much more open than in previous years. Over 60 cities have a welcome center like the one Mayor Cranley proposed and more than 100 cities have made websites for local immigrants. Mayor Cranley and the city of Cincinnati must keep the foot on the gas to become one of those cities and catch-up with a growing trend around the United States.

How to Contact Us

If you have questions about immigration and/or you need help in an immigration process, please contact our immigration attorneys or call The Law Firm of Shihab & Associates, Co., LPA at the nearest office close to you to consult with an attorney. Our law firm handles various matters including Green Cards and Permanent Residence, family immigration, immigrant visas, non-immigrant visas, employment visas and H-1B visas, investors-visa, PERM applications and many more.

Additional Resources

1) Cincinnati compiles ideas on attracting immigrants, Hunt, Amber, Cincinnati Enquirer/, Oct. 28, 2015.
2) Mayor Cranley announces plan for immigrant welcome center,, London, John,, Oct. 28.