A non-profit organization to help support immigrant groups throughout America was recently launched by Henry Cisneros. The former Mayor and Housing Secretary and current CityView Executive Chairman, set up the Cisneros Center to “identify best practices among these groups and promote an immigrant “road map” to accelerate their integration into U.S. society.” The idea was also that it should be used as a kickback to the escalation in US immigrant populations. Retired US diplomat Cecilia Elizondo Herrera will be the center’s CEO and first president in San Antonio with Nicolas Perilla as executive director in Washington DC. José Estrada will be the center’s regional manager in Arkansas.
The Cisneros Center will seek to create awareness of the true “urgency” encountered by immigrants on education and other such issues common in their new lives. It will be Cisneros’ “single, focused effort” in civic life. He believes that strong immigrant communities are what will “save our country.”
The main role of the Center will be to assemble nonprofit groups, academics, faith-based organizations and those with a foot in the door of immigrant communities to brainstorm the best ideas to deal with isolation. As Perilla pointed out, there are “new gateways that have experienced dramatic demographic shifts in the last 20 years and are still in the process of building the infrastructure to serve them,” which have “so much potential,” but are lacking the necessary tools.