Global Cleveland's Statement on Upcoming Immigration Policy Changes

January 22, 2020 – Global Cleveland, a nonprofit economic development organization, advocates on behalf of international newcomers in Cuyahoga County and the surrounding region. We believe in and work daily to create a welcoming community for all international newcomers.

As the local organizing leader in ensuring we increase the number of immigrants coming to Cleveland and Cuyahoga County, we will work to support and push for any policy that achieves our mission of strengthening our city by welcoming the world

With the Inauguration of President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. as the nation’s 46th President, our excitement grows with each immigration policy announced thus far. We have compiled a list of the policy updates we are both tracking and supporting under the Biden-Harris administration. Changes are happening on city, state and national levels. We will work with anyone to make Cleveland and Northeast Ohio the most welcoming community in North America.

When our sisters and brothers immigrate to the United States, they bring with them a wealth of experience, fresh ideas and boundless entrepreneurial energy. We receive each new policy with eagerness and the anticipation of the great impact expanded immigration will have on our community.

For more information, or to help, contact Global Cleveland at, visit our website at, or contact Joe Cimperman at 216-215-6765.

Immigration Update: January 2021


Gateways for Growth

  • Gateways for Growth awards organizations with assistance and support with help from New American Economy and Welcoming America.
  • Gateways for Growth awarded Global Cleveland with research support to promote and improve immigrant inclusion in Cleveland.

Welcoming Week Proclamations and Resolutions

  • Global Cleveland received 51 Welcoming Week resolutions and proclamations from cities in Cuyahoga County in 2020 to celebrate and recognize immigrants living in Cuyahoga County.
  • Cleveland always has been a welcoming city and Global Cleveland is excited to see that Cleveland is still a welcoming city today!


Launch of OBIS

  • Ohio Business for Immigration Solutions (OBIS) launched in December 2020.
  • OBIS issued the Ohio Compact on Immigration to promote immigration reforms that will strengthen the economy and bring new immigrants and businesses to Ohio.

Launch of Vibrant Ohio

  • Immigrant integration network, formerly known as OWIN, with members in Toledo, Bowling Green, Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati


DACA Restored

  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was restored in December 2020 and people can now apply again.
  • “DACA gives protection from deportation to undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children.”

Muslim Ban Lifted

  • President Biden has lifted the Muslim ban order that has been in effect since 2017.

Southern Border Wall Construction

  • President Biden has paused the Southern border wall construction and is looking for ways on how the funds can be redirected.

Defer Deportation of Liberians

  • President Biden is extending the Deferred Enforced Departure (DED) program to protect Liberians living and working in the United States.

Naturalization Changes

  • Fee for becoming a naturalized United States citizen was changed from $640 to $1,170 in October 2020.
  • The number of questions to prepare for the naturalization test increased from 100 to 128.

My Experience Living in the U.S. - by Natalia Sgrinhelli

My Experience Living in the U.S.

- Written by Natalia Sgrinhelli

            I spent half of my life strongly asserting that I would never live abroad. I had many arguments to prove how attached I was to my family, friends and culture, and I was willing to list them to whoever insisted a cultural exchange out of country would be a good experience for me. But after many years of insistence of two great friends and a long conversation with a coworker about her own experience abroad, I found myself considering the possibility myself.

At the time I was stagnated in a career that wasn’t fulfilling to me, my home country, Brazil, was showing the first signs of an economic crisis and I had little opportunity for growth. I suddenly understood that being fluent in a second language would improve my professional prospects greatly and I decided to commit to a year of a cultural exchange program in U.S.

It was not an easy process and the emotional challenges started at packing. I will never forget the feeling: it was like I was leaving half of my life behind. The arrival in the U.S. was shock with the language posing as a barrier itself. Very simple tasks, like grocery shopping or using public transportation, demanded all my energy and concentration. On the other hand, I will also never forget the day I could obtain a Social Security Card by myself. I was in the country for a couple weeks only, but the sense of achievement I felt remains with me to this date.

My exchange program allowed me to meet many young women from different countries, that I now consider my dear friends. It is strange and marvelous how we became a type of family to each other, considering not even our native languages are the same. I also formed a bond with the program counselor, a strong and kind woman that guided all of us while we were here. I learned so much from her and all the girls about diversity when hearing the stories from their home countries. I learned to respect differences and to look at people with more kindness, because each person has a personal journey which we know nothing about.

I was also very fortunate to live with an amazing host family that opened their house to me like it was my own. With their guidance and support, I enrolled in an MBA program. I had never imagined I would be able to attend university in a foreign country. It was one of the biggest challenges of my life to obtain a diploma using my second language.

My hardest task, however, was dealing with homesickness. This is the only word I know to define feelings that I cannot put in words. I like to describe my life in U.S. as a roller-coaster: some days I believe it is the best decision I have ever made and others I cannot explain why I decided to be away from Brazil. Luckily, I have had more days on the top. As time passed, I felt more immersed in the American culture. Everything became more familiar and less overwhelming.

I have been living in the U.S. for four and half years and this situation became more permanent now that I am happily married. My time here was only meant to advance my professional career but ended up being my most significant period of personal growth. After all this time, I realized that I did not leave my life behind, as I can barely remember the things I could not fit in my suitcase. I understood that my feeling of loss came from separating from my family and friends and, although time really does help us heal, I still miss them. Most importantly, I learned that my perception of belonging is strongly influenced by the ones around me. I came to love many people from a different country that I now dread having to separate from the same way I did when I left my home country years ago.

How Living Abroad Changed the Way I Interact with Newcomers - by JP McMaken

How Living Abroad Changed the Way I Interact with Newcomers

- Written by JP McMaken

            People move sometimes, and they move for a ton of different reasons. Chances are you have either moved somewhere new, or have come across someone in that situation. I personally, at the age of 11, moved across the Atlantic Ocean to Switzerland, where I lived until the age of 15. Living there was the best and worst experience of my life, but it was nothing if not transformative. Until that point, I had rarely left my hometown, and I had very little interaction with people who didn’t live less than 20 minutes away from my house. After being thrust into a completely new continent, environment and culture, I became the newcomer, the stranger. Living abroad gave me the chance to experience what it was like to have to adapt. Looking back on it now, it is possible to see how I was treated, and mistreated, to discover how to interact and welcome newcomers I come across in my own space.

The Stress They’re Dealing With

Do you remember the stress of your first day at a new school? Or maybe your first job interview? The fear of an environment you are unfamiliar with, the knowledge that you are being watched and judged by people that are in said environment. That stress is similar to what newcomers have to experience for a long period of time. This is only worse if the newcomer doesn’t speak English as their first language (or whatever language is spoken in the area). The environment becomes not only new, but near hostile when you can’t understand what the people around you are saying. Speaking from personal experience, this level of stress can dominate your thoughts on a near daily basis, especially if there is nobody there to help out.

Stereotypes: They Don’t Help

While this concept is reinforced everywhere, it is still important to mention. There are stereotypes for everyone, every nationality, profession. I personally was bullied a lot when I was living abroad based on American stereotypes. I was told that Americans were stupid, fat, and entitled. I found myself trapped in a defensive battle with these bullies, trying unsuccessfully to prove through my actions that not all Americans were like that, but that only served to inflame them further whenever I made a mistake. For example, I’m a slow eater, like very slow. Kids would see me eating for longer than everyone else, and assume that I was just a fat American eating my second or third helping, when I was just taking my time.  I didn’t think I fit those stereotypes, nor did I think that the other Americans I met abroad fit them either. People aren’t defined by stereotypes, and every person is different. This fact is important to remember, because it is so easy to just fall into sorting people based on stereotypes.

What I Learned

In school in Switzerland, I wasn’t placed in a regular classroom. I, along with about 10 other international students, were separated from the rest of the student body and placed in their own class, in order to focus on the development of speaking French. While that would make sense academically, that decision without a doubt ruined my class’s chances socially. Interacting with other local students during gym class and recess became a nightmare. Because we didn’t work together, and were only seen during times of little teacher supervision, I never had the chance to be introduced to these kids. They didn’t know me, and therefore I was a target. Not only did the bullying not help me, but it also hindered my language development. A lot of language use is in casual conversation, not just in academia. If I had even one local student reach out to me, it would have helped significantly, in both reducing my stress of being new and my language development. It is surprising how much of a new language you can learn by interacting with people outside of learning in an academic setting. I can assure you that newcomers you may meet in the future will be grateful if you reach out to them first to try and ease them into their environment. After all, it is the one you’re comfortable with.

- By JP McMaken

Cleveland Police Commission (CPC) Requests

Il CPC vorrebbe avere notizie dalla comunità, ora, come sempre.


1) Se ha assistito a una condotta non bene appropriate dalla polizia, presenti un reclamo all’Ufficio Cleveland Office of Professional Standards (OPS) tramite il Modulo di reclamo per cittadini OPS o inviando un’e-mail a


2) Il CPC si riunirà presto per discutere le proteste di questo fine settimana. Vorremmo sentire da voi. Vi invitiamo a inviare storie e / o immagini di ciò che ha visto o vissuto a:


3) Rimanga in contatto seguendoci su Facebook e Twitter o iscrivendovi per ricevere la newsletter CPC cosi da rimanere aggiornati. Questo continua ad essere un momento critico nelle responsabilità della polizia.


Hindi Ghazaal Cleveland Police Commission (CPC) Requests

सामुदायिक पुलिस आयोग-सीपीसी अब समुदाय से सुनना चाहेगा।


1) यदि आप पुलिस कदाचार के गवाह हैं, तो ओपीएस सिटिजन कम्प्लेंट फॉर्म के माध्यम से  OPS Citizen Complaint Form या पर ईमेल करके क्लीवलैंड ऑफिस ऑफ़ प्रोफेशनल स्टैंडर्ड्स (OPS) के साथ शिकायत दर्ज करें।


2) इस सप्ताहांत के विरोध पर चर्चा करने के लिए सीपीसी जल्द ही बैठक करेगा। हम तुम से सुनना चाहते है। हम आपकोपर अनुभव की गई कहानियों और / या चित्रों को भेजने के लिए प्रोत्साहित करते हैं।


3) कृपया हमारे अगले चरणों पर अपडेट होने के लिए सीपीसी न्यूज़लेटर प्राप्त करने के लिए फेसबुक और ट्विटर पर हमें फॉलो करके या साइन अप करके संपर्क में रहें। पुलिस की जवाबदेही में यह एक महत्वपूर्ण समय है।

Global Cleveland’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd

Global Cleveland’s Statement on the Death of George Floyd

As our Cleveland Community gathers to mourn the senseless, violent death of George Floyd, Global Cleveland joins the African American community to condemn acts of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, violence, and the “othering” of our sisters and brothers here and from around the globe. We keep Mr. Floyd’s family, friends and community close in our hearts as they grieve. We call for the end of systemic racism and all policies that embolden nationalism, white supremacy, the hatred that seeps through the fabric of our collective consciousness, and the unjust killing of innocent lives like Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and Pamela Turner. We call for justice for our African American family, and an implementation of policies and actions that put truth to the ideal of a beloved community.

Global Cleveland has stood with, for, next to, and behind our international sisters and brothers since our founding ten years ago. From policies that deny people food or health care based on their nation of origin, to the language of calling someone’s nation a derogatory term or the policy of separating Central American families, mothers and fathers from their children at the border, we have spoken out against, lobbied, protested and worked toward an ideal of inclusiveness, shared prosperity, and equality and equity here in Northeast Ohio and throughout our nation. When members of our federal government labeled the global pandemic the “Chinese virus”, or the decision was made to lessen the number of refugees allowed to come here, or synagogues and mosques were bombed, we stood and stand with our family here and say NO to this fear and to this darkness.

So too we say NO to the murder of our neighbors, our black families, affected by centuries of racism and bigotry in the United States. Our original sin of slavery has yet to be confessed let alone expunged. We must address this now.

Each of us must start at home and in our own families, and in the mirror with ourselves, as we challenge our own unconscious biases on racial equality and inclusion. At Global Cleveland, our values of loving the newcomer are rooted in our embracing, acknowledging, and welcoming our neighbor as our family -no matter if they are native born, immigrant, refugee, African American, Latin American, Asian American, or life-long Clevelander. We have taken on soul-changing work as a city and region before. This is our most important test ever. Please stand with us as we stand together.

With much love.


David Fleshler                                     Joe Cimperman

Chairman of the Board                       President

Global Cleveland                                 Global Cleveland


Thank you video message to our funders

Thank you video message to our funder from our president, Joe Cimperman, on behalf of Global Cleveland.

Thank you video message to our volunteers

Thank you video message to our volunteers from our president, Joe Cimperman, on behalf of Global Cleveland