Municipal Leaders Convening

Municipal Leaders Convening on Citizenship
Zions Bank Founders Room
March 30, 2023
8:30 - 10 a.m.

Event follow-up

Thank you for attending the Municipal Leaders Convening on Citizenship event, generously sponsored by Dominion Energy and Zions Bank. The event was hosted by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity’s Utah Immigration Assistance Center and EDCUtah’s Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging.

Over 75 attendees navigated the winter storm to join us in exploring the critical role that federal, state, and local partners play in promoting naturalization and the resources available for those on the path to citizenship. We extend a special thanks to the municipal and local leaders from across Utah who attended and contributed to the event’s success.


We also thank our presenters for their insightful presentations and discussions, including:

  • Eva Millona, Chief of the Office of Citizenship, Partnership and Engagement at USCIS
  • Luz Escamilla, Utah State Senator
  • Norman Thurston, Utah House Representative 
  • Nubia Peña, Senior Advisor on Equity and Opportunity and Director of the Utah Division of Multicultural Affairs
  • Ze Min Xio, Director of the Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging
  • Joseph Genda, Salt Lake County Mayor’s Office of New Americans
  • Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of National Partnership for New Americans 
  • Magaly Arteaga, Program and Training Manager at National Partnership for New Americans  

Each speaker was essential in highlighting the importance of naturalization, sharing their stories of becoming U.S. citizens, and its positive impact on our economy and communities.

Scroll down to learn more about the speakers at the event. 

As promised, here is a link to the presentation slides, including the welcome video from Gov. Cox, and information on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Citizenship and Integration grant program.

Please contact Magaly Arteaga at the National Partnership for New Americans Cities & Counties for Citizenship initiative to learn more about their initiatives and resources for local municipalities' efforts to naturalize local citizens. 

Join our efforts with the Utah New Americans Task Force to learn more about immigration and integration in Utah, including our efforts to promote naturalization in Utah. 

Stay tuned in for updates on future resources on immigrant integration on our webpage Utah Immigration Assistance Center or by subscribing to our newsletter, and learn about the Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging.

New Americans are vital to Utah’s fast-growing and robust economy. They arrive in Utah for various reasons, including fleeing conflict or persecution, families reuniting after years of separation, parents seeking a better life for their children, students pursuing their education, or workers who fill critical occupations or professions. The ultimate goal for many is to become naturalized U.S. citizens.

In Utah, an estimated 97,700 individuals are eligible to become naturalized. When they naturalize, they become eligible to vote, earn higher wages, and access better jobs. These activities encourage them to become active community members through homeownership and civic engagement.

This meeting highlights federal, state, and local partners’ critical role in promoting naturalization and the resources available on their path to citizenship.

Thank you for your efforts in welcoming New Americans to our neighborhoods.


8:15 – 8:40 a.m.
Registration & Breakfast
8:40 – 9:05 a.m.
Opening Remarks from State of Utah Leadership
A message from Gov. Spencer Cox
9:05 – 9:15 a.m.
Naturalization in Utah | Center for Economic Opportunity & Belonging
9:15 – 9:35 a.m.
Building Partnerships to Promote Citizenship
United States Citizenship & Immigration Services,
Department of Homeland Security
9:35 – 9:55 a.m.
Mobilizing for Naturalization through Cities & Counties for Citizenship
National Partnership for New Americans
9:55 – 10 a.m.
Closing Remarks | Utah Immigration Assistance Center

Hosted by


Sponsored by



Click on the speaker's name to read their bios.
Natalie El-Deiry

The New American Task Force is led by the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity, the Utah Center of Immigration & Integration, and the economic development centers of Utah’s Center for Economic Opportunity and Belonging. The group works with key stakeholders to identify barriers to New American integration in Utah.

Read the latest report and recommendations from Utah’s New Americans Task Force here.

For more information, please get in touch with Natalie El-Deiry, director of immigration & New American integration, at