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Philadelphia Focus

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The City of Philadelphia: The Office of Immigrant Affairs Download

00:28 Download January 23rd, 2020

Amy Eusebio, Director of the Philadelphia Office of Immigrant Affairs, discussed the newly chartered office, which protects the economic and legal rights of immigrant residents, promotes cultural diversity, and highlights the important role they have played in shaping the city, in residential growth and the economy.  The Office recommends programming and policies that can impact the quality of life for our immigrant residents, including the Municipal ID, a PHL City ID provides an inexpensive photo ID that can allow the most vulnerable residents, including the elderly, the undocumented, the homeless, the recently incarcerated and foster youth to access city services and facilities.  It can also be used as a library card and it offers access to area museums and cultural venues.  The Office promotes English lessons and offers Immigrant Worker Academies, an outreach program that works local communities to train – and explain – American worker rights, workplace culture and labor law to prevent exploitation of a class that often has limited English language skills.  We talked about the cultural programs, highlighting the different communities. Finally, a discussion on our often misunderstood ‘Sanctuary City’ status, with an explanation that the city does not use that term, it considers itself a “Welcoming City.’  Noting that crime is at a 40 year low, she explained that trust between police and citizen comes first, for all of us, and so does not allow anyone – including law enforcement – to ask about documentation out of respect for confidentiality.  The city does respect actual judicial orders.

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