DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas City Council unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday “to establish itself as a Welcoming City and accept a Strategic Welcoming Plan to guide the city’s efforts in the economic inclusion and social integration of immigrants” for the next three years.
“We applaud the steps taken by the Welcoming Plan Task Force to move our city forward by leveraging the strengths immigrants bring to our City,” said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings. “This work will integrate new residents from around the world into the social fabric of our city so that we can celebrate their talents and experiences in meaningful ways.”
In a news release Wednesday afternoon, the city explained the Welcoming Plan consists of five “over-arching goals,” 26 recommendations and strategies that will focus on leadership and communications, safe, healthy and connected communities, civic engagement, equitable delivery of services, economic and educational opportunity.
The Welcoming Task Force consists of 85 leaders that includes immigrants and refugees.
“As a native of Dallas with immigrant roots, the first in my family to go to college and law school, it is great to see the City Council and the City at-large come together to embrace diversity in all its forms,” said task force member Juan Garcia, who was present during the Council meeting.
“This Welcoming Plan reflects the work of many and acknowledges that refugees and immigrants are valuable members of our community,” said Linda Abramson Evans, a task force member and longtime human rights advocate.
“The plan is inclusive, and it brought many community voices and perspectives to the table,” said Councilman Omar Narvaez. “I look forward to guiding it through the implementation process.”
“Implementing this plan recognizes Dallas’ reality and makes our community more socially cohesive,” said Councilman Philip T. Kingston.
“With the City Council’s vote today, we can move forward with plan implementation and seek certification which sets the standard for other cities and counties throughout the nation” said Liz Cedillo-Pereira, Director of the Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs.
Dallas received a Gateways for Growth Challenge award in 2017 that included a research report on immigrants’ contributions to the Dallas economy and support for its strategic planning process. Highlights from the research, released in February, include:
Immigrants households in Dallas earned $7.9B in 2016 and contributed over $2B in federal, state and local taxes that year.
Immigrants account for nearly one-third of the city’s entrepreneurs and generated nearly $500M in business income in 2016.
The DACA-eligible population in Dallas contributed $161 in taxes and held nearly $700 million in spending power in 2016.