Global Cleveland's Position on White House Public Charge Immigration Rule


Joe Cimperman, President, Global Cleveland
January 27, 2020

Global Cleveland, a nonprofit organization that exists to connect immigrants and newcomers to economic, social and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, opposes the current interpretation by the Trump administration of the “public charge” rule.

The organization sees first-hand the positive impact immigrants have on the region’s economic success. Limiting the ability for immigrants to become permanent residents of the United States would adversely affect the entire country’s economy and will push both high-skilled workers and international students to seek education and employment opportunities in other countries, therefore limiting the U.S.’s economic growth in the long-term.

Global Cleveland’s President Joe Cimperman said, “We are deeply disappointed the Supreme Court lifted the injunction to pave the way for this new interpretation to take effect. Immigrants not only make our country stronger economically, they also bring their creative genius to start businesses and employ Americans. We should work together to create a welcoming climate that is inclusive of people from all places, faiths and cultural traditions. We promote equity and inclusion practices throughout our region and the Trump administration’s new rule would adversely affect every American’s prosperity.”

The changes to the public charge will create a chilling effect, and already has, which is affecting immigrants. Enrollment rates are dropping. Parents are being forced to choose between applying for a green card or using SNAP benefits to feed their family or take their sick children to the doctor. In what world is that right? In what nation is that acceptable?

Public benefits are a safety net to help families get ahead when times are good and help families stay out of abject poverty when times are bad. They allow people to go to school to become better educated and earn more instead of working just to make ends meet. The public charge changes will now use that to deny an immigrant the right to stay here or the right to adjust their status and get on track to become full citizens. As it stands, 1/3 of U.S. citizens would fail the public charge criteria if it were applied to everyone. Do we want every third neighbor forced out simply because they do not earn enough money? What about the immigrant student who has a degree from a great university but doesn’t earn a high enough salary? Shouldn’t they be allowed to stay?

The new rule would effectively stop legal immigration, a process which was open to ALL of our forebears. Let’s not limit and close that same process that allowed us to be Americans to others just because they are different from many of us.

Global Cleveland’s mission is to attract, welcome and connect international newcomers to economic, social and educational opportunities in Cleveland and Cuyahoga County. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming voice for immigrants and newcomers to Cleveland. By promoting a spirit of welcome and regional prosperity, we set the table for internationalization and economic growth.


GLOBAL CLEVELAND Opposes Exorbitant Fee Hikes for Citizenship, DACA, and Other Forms of Status

*** MEDIA ALERT ****


GLOBAL CLEVELAND Opposes Exorbitant Fee Hikes for Citizenship, DACA, and Other Forms of Status

Proposal Would Price out Working Class and Low-Income Immigrants who Already Struggle with High Cost of Application Fees

November 11, 2019 –  Today, GLOBAL CLEVELAND as a member of the National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), condemns the Trump administration’s proposed fee hikes that seeks to limit access to citizenship, asylum, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), and other immigration benefits to those who are eligible.

This announcement comes one week after NPNA, its members, and national allies stood with U.S. Representatives Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), Jesús García (D-Ill.), and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) who acted with foresight to protect access to citizenship and the legal immigration process when they introduced the New Deal for New Americans Act, a bill that would write into law the protections needed to prevent the administration’s discriminatory proposal from going into effect.

The proposed rule would increase the U.S. citizenship application fee by 83 percent, changing it from $640 to $1,170. It would also increase the fee for DACA renewals from $495 to $765, giving Trump a tool to prevent DREAMers from applying, if the U.S. Supreme Court allows the program to continue.

Additionally, it would add a $50 fee for certain asylum applications. If implemented, the fees would make the U.S. just the fourth country in the world to charge those seeking asylum.

"The proposed fee increase is a shameful barrier that, if implemented, will limit access to citizenship based on wealth and class and undermine our values as a welcoming and diverse nation with equal opportunity,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “Instead of making it harder for low-income and working class immigrants to naturalize, we need federal leadership and legislation that invests in them, expands access, and benefits us all."

The proposal would also take $207.6 million that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) collects from application fees and transfer it to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for enforcement purposes.

“As a community organization that helps low-income and working-class immigrants naturalize and obtain other immigration statuses every day, we know how difficult and cost-prohibitive application fees already are,” said, Joe Cimperman, President of Global Cleveland, “This is why we condemn this rule, that seeks to limit access to what people are eligible for and recommit to working so that all of our community members are welcome here.”

Contact Elizabeth Cusma for more information:




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Talking Points for Public Charge Changes


The proposed rule change so broadens the definition of “Public Charge” as to include millions of people who are already contributing members of society and the economy.  It implicitly and incorrectly assumes that people who receive benefits now cannot become productive contributors in the future.

Most immigrants are not eligible for public benefits until they have had been in the US for 5 years. So, if at any point they need assistance, they will now need to choose to receive public benefits or have the chance to apply to be a legal permanent resident and eventually a citizen-where one has full rights to apply for and use public benefits. For many immigrants, education and income guidelines will affect their ability to get a visa possibly more than the use of public benefits themselves.

Instead of keeping the current definition of a “public charge” as someone “primarily dependent on the government for subsistence,” DHS would start denying green cards and temporary visas to anyone who is deemed likely at any time in the future to receive any government benefits from a specified list.

Under current rules, you are not considered “likely to become a public charge” as long as you have a sponsor who demonstrates income greater than 125% of the federal poverty guidelines (currently $20,575 for most couples without children. Congress requires most green card applicants to have a financial sponsor – typically a family member who is a U.S. citizen – who declares their willingness and ability to support their relative and prevent them from becoming dependent on government benefits.

This will change with the new standards. Now there will essentially be a wealth test imposed on new immigrants.

The only way to ensure not being affected by the new criteria would be to demonstrate a household income above 250% of the federal poverty guidelines. That’s currently $41,150 for a couple with no children and $73,550 for a family of five.

The Migration Policy Institute used Census data to estimate the impact of the 250% income threshold and found that some 56% of all family-based green card applicants could be denied.

If this new requirement were strictly enforced by both DHS and the State Department, then the administration could begin denying more than half of all marriage green card applicants each year. That could force nearly 200,000 couples annually to either leave the United States together or live apart indefinitely, according to a new report by Boundless.

40% of all green cards issued are for family reunification, but if those family members are poor, older, or less educated their visa will be denied. Grandparents, young children, and non-working spouses contribute in significant ways to our society even if they do not meet this wealth test.

The new standards will scare people off from applying for benefits-even people who qualify for them. This is known as a chilling effect, and there is good evidence to show this will happen in the current situation:

In 1996 a welfare reform law was passed. Food stamp use by noncitizens dropped by 43%. Refugee use of food stamps fell by 60% EVEN THOUGH THEY WERE ELIGIBLE AND NOT ADVERSELY AFFECTED. Families with at least one U.S. Citizen child legally entitled to benefits fell 53%. The perception alone of a negative consequence to their immigration status was enough to scare them away from using benefits to which they were entitled.

An estimated 24 million people in the United States would be affected by the chilling effect of the public charge regulation changes. Not all will face a public charge determination, but all are likely to be nervous about applying for benefits, and some portion will in fact disenroll from benefit programs.

In Cleveland, only 13.3% of eligible immigrants are naturalizing. Anyone thinking of applying for a green card will lose that opportunity if they use public benefits or do not earn sufficient income. Naturalized immigrants earn more than unnaturalized immigrants, yet these changes hamstring their opportunity to take care of themselves and their families during the interim. 

Yet Ohio’s immigrants pay into the U.S. entitlement programs they many cannot now use- to the tune of $412.1M to Medicare and $1.5B to Social Security, according to the New American Economy. They also contribute $2.1B in taxes, with no right to use the system.  

The Greater Cleveland Food Bank served 55.3 million meals in 2017

  • Over 4500 children, 10,450 seniors, and 4,600 low-income clients with health problems served.
  • Assisted with over 22,000 SNAP applications submissions
  • Made over 17.5 million meals available through SNAP

If immigrants are not eligible or afraid to use SNAP benefits it puts further stress on existing resources.

Immigrants help stabilize our population. In Ohio, there were 150,000 estimated lawful permanent residents in 2014, according to DHS. 737 refugees settled in Cleveland that same year and nearly 1,100 refugees resettled in Cleveland in 2016, according to the Refugee Service Collaborative. Many of these immigrants fill important jobs, bring new ideas to our community, and are more educated than the native-born population.

A 2018 report on Ohio’s New Americans found that 42.1% of Ohio’s immigrants have a 4-year degree or higher, according to the latest figures from the Census. That ranks Ohio as the most educated state in the nation for immigrants, tied with Maryland. Ohio’s 513,5929 immigrants have an oversized impact in ensuring that Ohio is globally connected.

By comparison, only 26.7% of native-born Ohioans are college-educated. That difference in college educational attainment between Ohio’s immigrants (42.1%) and their native-born counterparts (26.7%) is 15.4 percentage points: the largest divide in the nation.

Immigrants work in growing fields and fill employment gaps. The New American Economy found that the top Industries with Highest Share of Foreign-Born Workers are:

9.1%    Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services

7.7%    Educational Services

7.6%    Manufacturing

7.2%    Health Care and Social Assistance

7.1%    Transportation and Warehousing

Ohio’s immigrants primarily work in the Management, Business, Healthcare, and the Arts—a diverse professional services sector that includes industries such as education, hospitals, and other health facilities, and computer systems and legal services. Specifically, 43.6% of Ohio’s immigrants in the labor force work in the professional services sector: the second-highest concentration in the nation. Over seventeen percent (17.3%) work in Production and Transportation, ranking in the top 20 nationally. If these workers come upon hard times and cannot apply for benefits to support themselves and their families, will they quit? What kind of labor shortage will this cause? What kind of strain on the economy will workers who are not well fed and have medical care create?

About 20% of Ohio’s college-educated immigrants are underemployed—the fiscal effects are significant, with half a billion lost in foregone earnings and an associated $53 million in unrealized payroll tax receipts, according to the Migration Policy Institute. Public benefits can help support these immigrants while they work to obtain stronger language skills or acclimate appropriately to enter the workforce. It is important to support our immigrants so they can be as successful as they can and achieve their American Dream.

The New American Economy found that NEARLY 44% OF AMERICAN’S FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES WERE FOUNDED BY AN IMMIGRANT OR CHILD OF AN IMMIGRANT, and the children of these immigrants, who generation after generation have found even more success than their parents, have played a central role in shaping America’s economy. Immigrants pay into public benefits anyway, pay taxes anyway, and then go on to entrepreneurs. The least we can do is offer them support when they need it without tying their “self-sufficiency” to a green card.

The Fiscal Policy Institute found that immigrants applying for green cards based on family status or employment would be primarily affected. These types of immigrants are the ones who create stable home environments for the most growth and wellbeing of their communities, hence severely handicapping the economic security of those families as well as local economic growth.


Having an income of under $15,000 for a single person or $31,000 for a family of four would be weighed negatively, and could lead to a denial. Thus, coming from country with lower standards of living makes it practically impossible to pass the public charge test-codifying the racist, xenophobic rhetoric used by the President regarding which immigrants are worthy to be in the United States.

6.9 million children who are eligible for public benefits may not receive them because their parents are afraid to apply because of the parents’ status, thus weakening families and denying children the right to grow up healthy.  

NEO has the densest population of foreign-born residents in the state of Ohio. The immigrant population in the state at large is 4.3%, in Cleveland it is 5.2% but owner-occupied housing in Cleveland is 41.8% vs state rate of 66.1% makes denying immigrants use of public housing even more problematic.

13% of immigrants in Cleveland speak another language than English vs 6.9% statewide. Public charge changes would significantly affect Clevelanders at a disproportionate rate.

Median household income in Cleveland is $27,800 vs $52,400 statewide. Public charge changes would have a negative compounding effect because immigrants in poverty would not have any social safety net.

Ohio's population lost about 183,000 native-born Ohioans over the past six years. But over that same period, nearly 113,000 immigrants moved into the state, "helping stabilize Ohio's population, and are, in fact, a source of growth." (

42.1% of Ohio’s immigrants have a four-year degree.

43.6% of Ohio’s immigrants work in the professional sector.

62.2% of Ohio’s immigrants are married with children.


Cuyahoga: 47.6% Native, married-couple family; 65.5% foreign-born, married couple family

Divorce rate: 9% vs 14% Foreign-born vs. Native-born

(Source: ACS 5-Year 2015 Percent of Married Family Households.)

Immigrants in Ohio are well educated but may not come with enough income to be awarded visas, change of status, or green cards, but that doesn’t mean they are a drain on our economy, they in fact help it by stabilizing the population and workforce.

It’s not just high-skilled immigrants Ohio needs, but low-skilled immigrants as well. In fact, many of America’s fastest-growing occupations require no secondary education at all, including construction and leisure and hospitality. Here, 18.1% of Ohio’s immigrants work in the service sector—including janitorial, housekeeping, and the food and beverage industry—while 6.5% work in construction and maintenance. The lower-skilled occupation that’s in most demand, however, is in personal care and home health, with an additional 1.1 million care providers needed by 2024. Yet the supply of workers is increasingly unmet.





Foreign-born workers play an increasingly important role in the stabilization of our economy and labor market as badly needed labor as baby boomers retire the growing labor force gap grows. Immigrants and their U.S. born children will mitigate this growing labor gap over the next several decades.

Home health aides, for instance, earn an average $10 per hour. To that end, there’s substantial evidence that shows immigrants fill the nation’s most demanding jobs in large part because native-born Americans won’t. (

23.3% of employed foreign-born persons 16 years and older work in service occupations-health care support, food preparation, building and grounds cleaning and maintenance, personal care and service.

It is often cited that immigrants take jobs and reduce wages. In fact, foreign-born workers add jobs by increasing consumer demand and they specialize in jobs that enhance demand for native-born workers by making the latter more productive (Cato Journal, Vol. 37, No. 3).

How many mothers, with the support of a foreign-born nanny, go back to work after having children? Or how many middle professionals can employ a foreign-born home health aide to help with their ailing parent and not have to take extended leaves from work? But it is precisely these immigrants that the proposed public charge changes effect because these kinds of jobs tend to not pay living wages, which precipitate the need for public assistance, which can get this caretaker deported if the proposed changes go into effect.

A total of 8.3 million children who are currently enrolled in Medicaid and CHIP or receiving SNAP benefits are potentially at risk of disenrollment, of whom:

5.5 million have specific medical needs:

615, 842 children with asthma,

53,728 children with epilepsy,

3,658 children with cancer, and

583,700 children with disabilities or functional limitations.


Nearly 2 million children are at risk of being disenrolled from these programs as parents choose between applying for a green card or receiving Food Stamps and Medicaid for their children. (JAMA Pediatrics. Published online July 1, 2019. doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2019.1744)

Some children will themselves be subject to the Trump Rule. A far greater number live in families that will likely experience a chilling effect. In the United States, 9 million children under 18 years old live in families with at least one non-citizen family member and that have received one of the benefits specified by the Trump Rule. The large majority, 7.8 million of the 9 million, are United States citizens with a right to those benefits.

Legal immigrants use federal public benefit programs at lower rates than U.S.-born citizen

32.5% of native-born citizen adults receive SNAP benefits

25.4% of naturalized citizen adults receive SNAP benefits

29% of noncitizen adults receive SNAP benefits

In addition to immigrants’ lower rate of SNAP usage, they also receive lower benefit values, costing the program less, according to the National Immigration Forum.


29% of people born in the United States would be deemed unacceptable if they were subjected to the same test. (

The USDA calculates that every dollar in new SNAP benefits results in $1.80 in total economic activity in Ohio. There are over 37,000 households receiving SNAP benefits in Ohio.

3.5% are Latino/Hispanic households

38.4 are white households

50.3% of households have children under the age of 18

Over 60 million dollars a year are awarded in SNAP benefits, that generates more than 108 million dollars in economic activity produced.

Boston Medical Center’s Children’s HealthWatch’s study in 2018 surveying over 35,000 immigrant families have found that SNAP enrollment has dropped 10% in the first half of 2018, showing that the chilling effect started before these standards were even put in place.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities and the Economic Policy Institute ran a simulation just regarding the use of the two most popular public subsidies: SNAP and Medicaid. The economic impact of potential disenrollment is HUGE.

Simulated Impact of Trump Rule

15% Disenrollment in SNAP and Medicaid 25% Disenrollment in SNAP and Medicaid 35% Disenrollment in SNAP and Medicaid
Reduction in Benefits $7.5 billion $12.5 billion $17.5 billion
Potential Economic Ripple Effects $14.5 billion  $24.1 billion $33.8 billion
Potential Jobs Lost 99,000 164,000 230,000


If money on this scale is withdrawn from the economy, there would be predictable ripple effects to businesses and workers. Withdrawal of SNAP funding means a reduction in spending in grocery stores and supermarkets. When families lose health insurance, hospitals and doctors lose income. Other spending would be reduced as well, as families struggle to pay food and health costs.

SNAP and Medicaid, along with other public benefits serve as an important economic stabilizer: they create a bigger stimulus during an economic downturn and less in a period of high growth, according to the Fiscal Policy Institute.

The chilling effect will hurt workforce development. As our nation continues its efforts to build a skilled workforce it is contending with record low unemployment. Businesses are struggling to fill open positions, particularly for middle-skill jobs.

Immigrants account for one in six U.S. workers. They are essential to closing this skill gap. The proposed rule would undercut immigrants’ ability to access training for middle-skill jobs. Even though the public charge proposal does not apply to some categories of immigrants (such as refugees), does not include education and workforce programs, people are nevertheless expected to withdraw from a wide array of public programs out of fear and confusion.

Thus:  the chilling effect goes far beyond the scope of the rule itself.  Immigrant participation in publicly funded adult education and workforce programs is expected to decline, which we see happening already with food and medical subsidies.

When basic needs cannot be met, dropout rates for training programs increases and fewer students enroll in education and training programs. Adult learners and jobseekers will have to decide between dis-enrolling from health and nutrition programs and jeopardize their ability to complete their training or to stay enrolled in the programs and potentially jeopardize their immigration status. Without being able to use public benefits such as SNAP and Medicaid to take care of basic needs, how will immigrants ever get past the economic hurdle to becoming economically self-sufficient?

Under the proposed regulation, one could be barred for having a child with a chronic illness, a home mortgage, a past dispute that has impacted one’s credit score, or an annual income under $63,000 a year (above the median household income for U.S.-born families), to name just a few of the numerous potentially disqualifying factors.

As a result, many immigrants who are working full time, supporting a family, and contributing to the economy could be barred admission or denied permanent residency. Legal status could be denied even to immigrants who are up to 95 percent self-sufficient, according to the CATO Institute.

Regarding Employers:

A U.S. employer is going to find it more difficult and much less predictable to extend the status of a highly skilled worker on an H-1B visa or to help switch a key recruit from a student visa to an H-1B.

Unless the employer is paying the worker more than that newly made-up threshold – 250% of the poverty line – they might not be able to renew their work visa and stay in the United States. Assuming $73,550 for a family of five, that’s potentially going to be some portion of H-1B professionals.

According to DHS the new public charge rule would affect over 500,000 temporary visa applications each year and compliance costs could top $1.3 billion over the next decade, which doesn’t include if the State Department starts applying the same standards to millions of applicants abroad.

Applicants’ approval process will become even longer, which is a burden on employers due to a new “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency form and the accompanying evidence.


Any of the following factors could become a “negative factor” that convinces DHS you are likely to become a public charge:

  1. Prior or current use of certain public benefits.
  2. Being older than 61.
  3. Being younger than 18.
  4. Having any medical condition that could interfere with school or work.
  5. Not having sufficient resources to cover such a medical condition.
  6. Not having private health insurance.
  7. Having several children or other dependents.
  8. Having financial liabilities.
  9. Having “bad credit” or a low credit score.
  10. Having no employment history.
  11. Not having a high school diploma or higher education.
  12. Not having “adequate education and skills” to hold a job.
  13. Not speaking English.
  14. Receiving an application fee waiver from DHS.
  15. Having a sworn financial sponsor whom DHS feels is “unlikely” to follow through.

These factors in any combination mean only wealthy, educated, working-age people are deemed worthy enough to reside in the United States and maybe eventually become United States Citizens

When you have to choose between getting a green card and taking your child to the doctor or letting them go hungry, there is a problem, and it is not that immigrants are depleting public resources.  The public charge changes deny humans the chance to contribute economically and socially, and by default will cost our taxpayers billions, our employers great workers, and our dignity as a nation of immigrants.


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Compiled by Elizabeth Cusma for Global Cleveland, July 2019

The Irish are Coming


Everyone knows that the Irish-American connection is strong. Cleveland has a great relationship with our Irish partners, as evidenced by the recent visit by The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland and Enterprise Ireland to Cleveland on August 8th.

Enterprise Ireland is the Irish Governmental Agency that supports Irish companies expanding to global markets. The American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland represents the 700 American firms in Ireland and trade from the $446 billion in U.S. investment in Ireland.

Mr. Redmond, Chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland and Mr. O'Rourke, Chairman of Enterprise Ireland came to Cleveland as part of a multi-city visit to meet with companies and evaluate markets. Cleveland-native Mr. Edward Crawford was just named United States Ambassador to Ireland, and so the trip here was particularly meaningful to our guests.

In collaboration with the Irish Network of Cleveland and TeamNEO, Global Cleveland helped arrange a packed day of meetings. To begin, the group met with ParkOhio, Ambassador Crawford's company, Eaton Corporation, JumpStart, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, and RelateCare-a rapidly growing Irish company in Cleveland. They had an early afternoon stop at the Irish Cultural Garden where Councilman Blaine Griffin welcomed our guests to Cleveland and commemorated the great history between us. The evening ended with a reception in the Red Room where representatives of  these firms were able to mix and mingle.  City Council President Kevin Kelly was in attendance along with Councilmen Kerry McCormick, Martin Keane, and Brian Kazy-all of Irish descent. President Kelly presented Mr. O'Rourke and Mr. Redmond with a Welcoming Scroll each which honored our partnership and welcomed them and their business to Cleveland.

The purpose of the visit to CLE is for the AmCham to launch a “How to Invest in the U.S.” guide, - Mindy McLaughlin from Team NEO and Mark Owens of the Irish Network of Cleveland helped with area introductions. Together we showed how strong our Irish-related/business assets are in Cleveland. It was meant as a ‘plant a seed’ type visit for future visits by Irish companies who have expressed an interest in expanding/investing in the Cleveland area, but Messers O'Rourke and Redmond seemed very pleased with their visits, so we expect to bear more fruit in the months and years to come. 

On behalf of Global Cleveland, we would like to thank The Irish Network of Cleveland, TeamNEO, IDA Ireland Enterprise, IBM, Cohen &Co, American Chamber of Commerce in Ireland, Eaton Corporation, Jumpstart, Cleveland Clinic Innovations, RelateCare, and Cleveland City Hall for such an amazing day.

Updates From Our President

Three days, 2 ups and  1 down, three opportunities to make Cleveland, Cuyahoga County and Ohio more welcoming. One week.

This past Thursday I had the opportunity to speak with representatives of the Executive Branch in Washington, DC. I was invited by the National Jewish Federation to speak to the policy being considered now known as the Public Charge. This policy, last in place in the 1880s, would create a scenario that would punish green card holders and long-time permanent visa holders (all legal immigrants) for accepting government food assistance, housing, health care, or even public education. The punishment? Denial of green card or visa renewal based on the acceptance of any of these widely offered often temporary measures of survival.

Our position at Global Cleveland is straightforward. All too often these orders do not take into account the pain on newcomers AND the pain on the native-born population. As an example, the nursing homes and skilled living facilities are great employers of immigrants and international newcomers. Cleaning rooms, changing beds, caring for our elderly is tough work. Without these internationally born individuals who lovingly care for our elderly and vulnerable, care would be compromised.

So, is it the Bosnian nurse’s aid who will suffer if food stamp acceptance becomes a do or die when it comes to visa renewal? Yes.

Will the residents of any one of the thousands of nursing homes suffer when an already tight and short labor market is strained even more because the Bosnian nurse’s aid is hungry, sleep-deprived, or quits? Yes and yes.

So it is with our work as fierce advocates for immigrants.

Wednesday we hosted the full faculty of University School at Thomas Jefferson International Newcomers Academy, the nation’s only pre-k through 12 English as a Second Language School. There are a lot of things that I am proud of regarding Global Cleveland’s strengths. Introducing the organization of Leadership Cleveland and over 1000 greater Clevelanders to this special school on West 46 and Clark is one of them. So often being an advocate for the immigrant community is opening a door. Opening a door for the newcomer to have access to the networks native-born Clevelanders take for granted, opening a door to someone borne here to the incredible energy and humanity of those born in another country. This is what we do daily and we do well. The joy of the faculty in learning about this school, the hopes voiced of how collaborations could take-off during this upcoming school year, all of this brings such happiness to me, to our team, to people who visited this school for the first time.

And last night I had the honor of attending the ChildLife Foundation presentation by Dr. Robbani who traveled to Cleveland from Karachi, Pakistan. Dr. Robbani is disrupting the high rate of mortality for children under the age of 5 in Pakistan. In the regions where his team of medical professionals is saving lives, the rate of children recovering from serious illness and surviving has gone from an abysmal 15% to 90%+. I couldn’t help but think of our own city’s unacceptable infant mortality rate and how much we could stand to learn from our sisters and brothers in Pakistan.

So often we feel as if we have knowledge to share with the world, and we do. And the world has a lot to teach us, a 241 years young nation. I say all this to illustrate how wide and varied the work of advocating for immigrants in Northeast Ohio is every single day. All with the purpose of making our community more welcoming, more friendly, with more newcomers moving here every year.

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Guest Blog: Inclusivity and The Future of America

by Davidione C. Pearl

There is a burgeoning recognition that is emerging again throughout the nation. A force that once heralded the coming of the Industrial Age - fires that would forge and define an era from sea to sea, continuing through to the height of its power on the world stage, cementing what would carve out history and become our legacy as a global leader.

A spirited force that swept America like no other, of which all her many moving parts of innovation and advancement relied; this was the force of America’s newly defined people, the empowerment of welcoming empowerment of her immigrants, and consequently, the empowerment of the United States as a whole.

Global Cleveland, a non-profit organization focused on regional economic development through attracting international newcomers to employment and social opportunities understands this very intimately, and has steadfastly become the area standard bearer of inclusion and unique ways to foster nations apart from our own.

With a mission geared towards economic development, educational exchange, and cultural enrichment, Global Cleveland seeks to build bridges that stand upon the foundation of a nation’s most precious resource, it’s diverse people, and all that they have to offer - to actively connect with and welcome the skills and talents of recently relocated immigrants from afar, while continuing to cultivate local relationships with existing immigrant communities established long ago.

Headed up by former Cleveland Councilman Joe Cimperman, Global Cleveland understands the importance and core need for inclusion as it relates to the cultural and economic successes of any city.

May 1st – 3rd 2019 marked Global Cleveland’s Inaugural Sister Cities Conference, hosted by the Cleveland Public Library in partnership with The Cleveland Foundation.

In an encouraging intersectionality of promise and heartfelt pride, the conference brought in representatives from six of the twenty-three sister cities worldwide that shared the value and importance of work being accomplished between our cities, an interfaith panel of local Judaic, Islamic, Coptic Orthodox, and Roman Catholic community leaders that spoke to the fundamentals of peace and understanding, as well as panels on immigration, education, and economic development.

The common thread throughout was the significance and urgency of releasing misconceptions and identifying creative ways to close the gap of marginalization to flourish in a way that fully reflects the truer essence and garden of humanity. To help each other be even greater, and consequently help our communities and ultimately our nations be even greater.

Founded in 2011, Global Cleveland is now poised to pull even further ahead of conventionality with establishing regional models geared towards attracting ever increasing numbers of sister-cities to partner with in pursuit of effective outcome measures, as they relate to immigration and shared prosperity.

Dismantling unavailing walls of perception one brick at a time…