The readers’ forum

Business and citizenship are winners in Miami

 

How many green-card holders live in South Florida? There are 520,000. Can you imagine our community with 520,000 new American citizens?

What if 520,000 more people could vote, run for public office, obtain a U.S. passport and sponsor their family members for reunification?

The National Immigration Forum’s Bethlehem Project, which launched recently in Miami, offers an innovative program to local businesses to make this a reality for our community. The Bethlehem Project selected greater Miami as its official launch city because we have been a cutting edge, immigrant-friendly community that has tremendously benefited from all that immigrants offer society.

Citizenship and business are natural win-win partners. This free program offers inherent benefits to businesses including onsite services such as legal assistance for the citizenship process, English classes and civics instruction.

These services are automatically included in the business’ employee-benefit package, without any budget implications.

The additional benefits for a business include celebrating the diversity in the company’s workforce; helping with employee recruitment; building employees’ loyalty and the retention of those workers; creating an inclusive work culture and boosting productivity; generating goodwill amid a growing foreign-born consumer demographic in a globally competitive market; and creating positive publicity opportunities.

Companies’ employees are offered free and trustworthy legal services that support them as they seek to achieve the American dream.

As the National Immigration Forum launched the project, they announced their partnerships with the founding business partners: Miami Dade College, InterContinental Miami and The Betsy South Beach.

In offering these services, they have demonstrated that they want to do all they can to support employees who are eligible for citizenship because they want to see the community at its fullest potential.

Not only do we need this project now for our communities’ currently eligible legal permanent residents, but with immigration reform on the horizon, we will need excellent immigration integration services for additional individuals who are awaiting the opportunity for a pathway to citizenship.

We can only make effective opportunities available with the help of our business leaders. In the immediate future, businesses will need to offer these services more than ever before.

Along with Miami Dade College, The InterContinental and The Betsy, I challenge local businesses to join us in imagining our community with these 520,000 new Americans fully engaged. We want business leaders to consider how this not only positively affects our community, but also their companies.

Join us in this effort by joining the Bethlehem Project, www.joinbethlehemproject.org. or call Abbey Chase, CEO of Chase Marketing, at 305-379-0800.

Manny Diaz, senior partner,

Lydecker Diaz, Miami

Read more Letters to the Editor stories from the Miami Herald

  • The readers’ forum

    Why Zo is the Heat’s MVP

    The Miami Heat lost the battle against the San Antonio Spurs for the NBA title and the subsequent battle against the Cleveland Cavaliers for LeBron James. However, the Heat won the more-important war with Miami-Dade County for what has been referred to by some as a sweetheart deal for the AmericanAirlines Arena.

  • New Dade County Youth Fair

    As a lifelong resident of Miami-Dade, a business leader and a member of the Florida International University President’s Council, I would like to thank our Miami-Dade commissioners and Mayor Carlos Gimenez for their reaffirming support to provide additional county-owned land for FIU adjacent to its Tamiami Campus and to find a new, suitable location for the youth fair.

  • Healthcare issues

    Re the article Doctors declining to accept Obamacare plans came at an interesting time for me. I knew it wouldn't be easy carrying insurance purchased through the exchange, as everything comes with a price, but I had no idea it would be so difficult to find a doctor that accepts said insurance.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category