Immigrants Help Revive Struggling Midwestern Cities

As the U.S. struggles once again to pass comprehensive immigration reform, Midwestern cities like Dayton, Ohio see attracting immigrants as the key to reversing population declines, reviving distressed neighborhoods, and boosting their economies.
October 9, 2013, 7am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Passed two years ago by the City Commission, the Welcome Dayton initiative has shown promising results in supporting the city's immigrant population and attracting new ones. According to Julia Preston, "Other struggling cities are trying to restart growth by luring enterprising immigrants, both highly skilled workers and low-wage laborers. In the Midwest, similar initiatives have begun in Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Indianapolis, St. Louis and Lansing, Mich., as well as Detroit, as it strives to rise out of bankruptcy."

"The new welcome for immigrants reflects a broader shift in public opinion, polls show, as the country leaves behind the worst of the recession," she notes. "More Americans agree that immigrants, even some in the country illegally, can help the economy, giving impetus to Congressional efforts to overhaul an immigration system that many say is broken."

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Published on Sunday, October 6, 2013 in The New York Times
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