Fort Wayne, Ind.
El Paso, Texas
New York City
It’s not surprising that Columbus, named for the explorer who first made Europeans aware of the continent on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, would be a pioneer in immigrant assimilation. With 68,857 foreign-born residents (out of 729,369), the city has a compelling reason to do so regardless of its name.
In office since 2000, Mayor Michael B. Coleman began the New American Initiative in 2002 to address the challenges faced by new immigrants. Focusing on language, housing, and health care, the initiative has partnered with realtors, the local housing authority, community organizations, and even mortgage and financial companies that can provide financial services for Muslims that comply with Islamic Sharia law.
Looking forward, the program’s health goals will target increasing incidences of sexually transmitted diseases, tuberculosis, diabetes and certain cancers in the immigrant community. Photo Credit: kla4067