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Aurora Ranks No. 1 in State for Immigrant Support on New Index

Aurora Ranks No. 1 in State for Immigrant Support on New Index
Posted on 12/01/2021
Graphic showing Aurora's ranking on the NAE Cities Index of 3.25 overall, 5 in inclusivity, 4 in job opportunities and 5 in community

The city of Aurora has been ranked No. 1 overall in Colorado on the New American Economy Cities Index for its commitment to support its immigrant population. Aurora’s ranking on the index has risen steadily in recent years as the city has prioritized immigrant integration and inclusion in the community.

In the individual categories that the index ranks, Aurora had the highest scores among ranked cities in Colorado in economic empowerment, inclusivity, government leadership, community, emergency management and job opportunities.

"One of Aurora's greatest assets is the diversity of our people, coming from around the world in search of a better life," said Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman. "This ranking shows the important work that's already been done in supporting our immigrant communities and serves as a foundation for our continued efforts to be a welcoming city to all who want to make Aurora their home."

The Cities Index examines and ranks how cities assist and support the immigrant population living within their borders. Most of the index’s categories align with the focus of Aurora’s 10-year immigrant integration plan, titled “Aurora Is Open to the World.” These include supporting vocational training, licensing and entrepreneurship; ensuring access to translated materials published by the city and building language support through vendors and city staff; having an office dedicated to immigrant services and supporting the immigrant population through resolutions and programs; advising City Council on issues related to immigrants and diversity; and providing programs that support and guide immigrants through the naturalization process.

Aurora’s overall score of 3.25 on the Cities Index places the city tops in Colorado and third in the Mountain Region.

“From innovative leadership programs like Natural Helpers, to a wide network of community partners serving our immigrant and refugee community, Aurora has been at the forefront of how to create an integrated city,” said Ricardo Gambetta, manager of the city’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs. “I’m excited to see this work recognized by New American Economy and look forward to continue improving our services and engagement with our immigrant community.”

As the third-largest city in Colorado and one of the most diverse cities in the United States, Aurora is committed to bettering the lives of its immigrant population. It is one of a handful of cities in the nation, and remains the only city in Colorado, to create a strategic plan for immigrant integration. The first plan was unveiled in 2015, and it was followed up last year by a new 10-year immigrant integration plan spanning 2020-30, focusing on 12 goals, including cultural inclusion, entrepreneurism, immigrant leadership and more.

The Cities Index ranking reflects the work Aurora has done in implementing its immigrant integration plans.

New American Economy is a bipartisan research group that advocates for smart immigration policies at all levels of government. Knowing that immigration is vital to the long-term prosperity of the U.S. economy, as well as the success of individual cities, the organization evaluates policies relating to the immigrant population to gauge how well immigrants are faring in their adopted cities. The Cities Index measures and compares immigrant integration across the 100 largest cities in the United States.

The NAE Cities Index helps inform the city’s Office of International and Immigrant Affairs of areas where continued improvement is needed.

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