Welcoming Houston

Mayor Sylvester TurnerFriends, Neighbors, and Houstonians,

Houston is a city well acquainted with the value of diversity. I am proud to also promote our inclusivity. Immigrants have made significant contributions to Houston’s culture and its thriving economy. Regardless of where someone is from, who they are, or what they believe, there is a home for them in Houston.

Our city’s future as a global leader depends on immigrants. At nearly a quarter of the metropolitan population, foreign-born residents comprise 32% of the employed labor force and 42% of the self-employed labor force, and are twice more likely to own a business than their U.S.-born counterparts. Immigrants and refugees are our friends, neighbors, business owners, and community leaders, and they are helping make our city better every day.

Recognizing the vital role that immigrants play in Houston, a task force of various community leaders developed a strategic plan to improve opportunities and advance the integration of foreign-born residents. Its recommendations focus on a variety of issues specific to immigrants and refugees. I commend the recommendations that can help foster Houston’s character as a welcoming city.

Best Regards,
Mayor Sylvester Turner

Ten Goals to Making Houston a more Welcoming City

  1. Improve judicial access and fairness for immigrants.
  2. Offer legal information about immigration at locations through the City and find new ways to promote this information to both constituents and City employees.
  3. Develop tools and resources that provide public safety information in different languages and that are culturally sensitive.
  4. Work to increase immigrant representation on City of Houston boards and commissions.
  5. Create City of Houston Welcoming Stations that will provide access to comprehensive information, resources, and services for immigrant Houstonians.
  6. Continue to improve the multilingual and multicultural capacities of employees at public offices and public institutions to better respond to the needs of immigrants.
  7. Create a resource guide that helps immigrants acculturate into society.
  8. Work with the arts community to generate opportunities for immigrants to tell their stories, celebrate traditions, and enhance cultural understanding, through existing events and decentralized local and regional collaborations.
  9. Carry out a community-oriented policing strategy that includes SB4 Know Your Rights information sessions.
  10. Coordinate with the Department of Homeland Security Emergency Preparedness for the development of a disaster preparedness plan focused on immigrants and refugee populations.