Mayor's Office Press Release

City of Houston Garners Distinction for Government Leadership and Service to Immigrant Communities

November 16, 2020 -- The City of Houston’s Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities (ONAIC) has received two distinctions in the areas of Government Leadership and Community from New American Economy (NAE).  The recognition is based on the findings of the third annual NAE Cities index, a national assessment of local integration policies and socioeconomic outcomes across the 100 largest cities in the U.S.

A division of the Department of Neighborhoods (DON), ONAIC spearheads innovative initiatives to benefit the city’s diverse immigrant and refugee population through the delivery of services, stakeholder engagement, community partnerships, and the promotion of Houston as a welcoming city.

“As one of the most diverse cities in the country, Houston is proud to receive NAE’s recognition of our strong commitment to serving all communities,” said Mayor Sylvester Turner.  “In the area of government leadership, we work with experts and leaders representing our diverse immigrant communities to learn about issues of concern and how to best address them.  At the community level, we collaborate with neighborhood-based agencies and civic groups to provide services responsive to the needs of residents.  As a welcoming city, we recognize the value of diversity, inclusiveness and equity in everything we do to serve all Houstonians.”

“We are extremely proud of our Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities and the work they do, communicating with representatives of our many racially and ethnically diverse population sectors and building strong relationships across many networks to deliver services to residents,” said DON director TaKasha Francis. “ONAIC is recognized as national model for strategic community outreach as past recipient of the NAE and Welcoming America 2016 Gateways for Growth Challenge award, and we are pleased to receive this honor recognizing the innovative leadership of our dedicated staff.”

About the Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities
The Office of New Americans and Immigrant Communities (ONAIC) is a division of the Department of Neighborhoods. The office builds partnerships with community organizations, educational institutions, and the private sector to serve as a clearinghouse for information about services and language access resources available to immigrants and refugees. ONAIC facilitates communications between city officials and community leaders to address issues and concerns. The office partners with local organizations to sponsor citizenship forums, multicultural celebrations and community townhalls.

ONAIC serves a large and fast-growing constituency. The Houston region is home to an estimated 1.6 million immigrants representing more than 120 countries of origin and over 140 foreign languages. For more information visit