Cleveland City Council member asks for help with new immigrants

Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 11:53 AM EDT|Updated: Jun. 7, 2023 at 2:20 PM EDT
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CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Cleveland City Council’s only Latina member is asking for help from Cleveland and Cuyahoga County organizations for help with immigrant or newcomer families in need.

Councilwoman Jasmin Santana said she receives weekly for workforce and housing assistance.

“The city of Cleveland and Cuyahoga County needs a plan as we see an influx of newcomers to the region. I hope the meeting today moves us forward,” said Santana.

Santana added she recently received news that 25 families from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic had migrated here without assistance.

“We really need to start getting involved in this process. We talk a lot about the city of Cleveland’s population declining, but yet we’re not creating a plan so that we can increase the population by serving immigrants and newcomers to the city of Cleveland,” she said.

Earlier this week, the United States Conference of Mayors adopted bipartisan legislation sponsored by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb, with others, calling on federal lawmakers to create a Heartland Visa to boost communities and economies throughout the country by attracting skilled immigrants.

Santana organized a meeting on Wednesday with several community groups and organizations in hopes of developing a plan to better welcome migrants to Cleveland.

“I want everyone, beyond the social service organizations that are helping but stretched beyond their capacity, to discuss how to create a more coordinated Immigrant/Newcomer plan,” said Santana. “We talk a lot about the decline in population or the lack of capacity in the construction field and manufacturing companies yet we don’t take advantage of this great opportunity to train, place, and assist the immigrant population.”