Bill Text (PDF)

Washington (July 27, 2023) – Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06) today announced the reintroduction of the National Office of New Americans Act. The legislation would establish a National Office of New Americans within the White House to support immigrants and refugees in overcoming common obstacles to naturalization, including language barriers and challenges navigating the search for employment. In addition, the National Office of New Americans Act would strengthen coordination between federal, state, and local governments to support the social, economic, and civic integration of immigrants and refugees.

“Our economy and communities are stronger because of the immigrant families who have enriched our nation since its founding,” said Senator Markey. “The National Office for New Americans Act provides new immigrants with the resources to participate fully in our economic and civic life so that they can not only survive in our nation—but thrive. I thank Congresswoman Meng for her partnership in advancing legislation to reform our nation’s immigration system so that it is sensible, safe, welcoming, and humane.”

“Queens is the world’s borough, and the immigrant communities that make up my district only deepen the beautiful tapestry of cultures in Queens. This vibrancy is something I think the rest of the nation can benefit from as well,” said Congresswoman Meng. “Our immigrant communities face unique challenges when transitioning into our nation, which is why I introduced the National Office of New Americans Act. This bill would provide resources to new Americans and support them in overcoming challenges along their immigration journey. We are a nation built and made stronger by our immigrant communities, and this legislation will further support immigrants and refugees.”

“I want to thank Congresswoman Meng and Senator Markey for their leadership on this transformative piece of legislation for immigrant inclusion,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of National Partnership for New Americans. “This bill reflects and reinforces our country’s widespread commitment to immigrant inclusion. Dozens of states have offices for new Americans—and with the establishment of a National Office of New Americans, building off of the work of White House Task Force on New Americans, immigrant inclusion efforts at the national, state, and local levels will be better coordinated and supported. We urge Congress to pass this critical bill, which will help build a long-lasting welcoming infrastructure at all governmental levels.”

Cosponsors in the Senate include Senators Mazie Hirono (D-Hawai’i), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

A copy of the legislation can be found HERE.

The National Office of New Americans Act is endorsed by more than 100 organizations, including National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), New York Immigration Coalition (NYIC), National Immigration Law Center (NILC), The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC, Make the Road New York, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), United We Dream, Church World Services (CWS), American Immigration Council, Anti-Defamation League (ADL), African Communities Together (ACT), UnidosUS, Hispanic Federation, Asian American Federation, CASA, Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA), National Korean American Service & Education Consortium (NAKASEC), Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Center for Victims of Torture, Immigrant Legal Resource Center, OneAmerica, AsylumWorks, National CAPACD – National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development, Association of New Americans, U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, Comunidades Unidas, Center for New Americans, We Are All America, African Services Committee, Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, Arkansas United, Causa Oregon, Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Global Cleveland, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Junta for Progressive Action, Latin American Coalition, Maine People's Alliance, Michigan United, Nebraska Appleseed, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, Promise Arizona, Somos Un Pueblo Unido, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition, The Resurrection Project, Texas Organizing Project, Voces de la Frontera, Unite Oregon, Michigan Immigrant Rights Center, Oxfam America, and NETWORK Lobby.

Senator Markey has been a longtime advocate for comprehensive immigration reform, as Republicans continue to obstruct efforts to enhance the immigration and refugee admissions processes. In February, Senator Markey called on the Department of Homeland Security to stop using its CBP One App, which has glitches and raises privacy concerns for asylum seekers. In January, Senator Markey sent a letter to the Biden administration concerning vigilante groups—who sometimes collaborate with or receive approval from local, state, federal law enforcement agencies—patrolling the Southern Border while intimidating, harassing, and detaining immigrants. Last September, Senator Markey led his Massachusetts colleagues in urging the Department of Treasury to investigative Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for misusing federal pandemic relief funds from the Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Fund through the American Rescue Plan to relocate vulnerable immigrants from Florida to other states across the United States.