Lincoln and Lancaster County unveil immigrant welcoming plan

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – The City of Lincoln and Lancaster County unveiled a plan called “The Welcoming & Belonging Strategic Plan” to help successfully integrate immigrants and refugees into the area.

The plan includes six action steps that aim to provide:

  • Equitable access to services for all residents
  • Civic engagement and community connections
  • Access to education
  • Economic opportunity
  • Safe and healthy communities
  • Affordable and quality housing

Lancaster County Commissioner Christa Yoakum said Lincoln has accepted refugees and immigrants for a long time.

“For decades, Immigrants have contributed to the cultural vibrancy and economic prosperity of our community,” she said in a press release.

“Today, people who are immigrants and refugees build our homes, provide medical services and care for our loved ones, work in our manufacturing and in food production and most of all, they are our neighbors,” Yoakum said. “And we want our neighbors to put down deep roots in our community. Implementing the actions steps outlined in the Welcoming & Belonging Strategic Plan are necessary to shape a more supportive, safe, and successful community for all of us.”

Immigrants have been consistently moving into Lancaster County.  According to the American Immigration Council, between 2014 and 2019, the county’s population increased by 6.5% and the immigrant population grew 16.2%, meaning over 18% of the total population growth came from immigrants.

Officials say this plan is necessary to shape a more supportive, safe, and successful community for everyone.

Also, with the war raging in Ukraine, millions of people have fled their homes into neighboring countries, and some are even relocating to the U.S.

Recently, President Joe Biden said the U.S. would welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees.

Lincoln has a long history of welcoming refugees, recently accepting people who fled Afghanistan, and Mayor Leirion Gaylor Baird said it is ready if it is called on again.

“Should there be an opportunity to welcome former Ukrainian residents into our community, we stand at the ready to do that,” Gaylor Baird said.

 

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