Mayor Frank Jackson and challenger Ken Lancie spoke to the Plain Dealer editorial board today. They answered a series of questions, including one on immigration and helping to bring in more immigrants to the city. The article can be read here.
I’m not in any way saying I support Ken Lancie over Mayor Jackson, so I’ll get that out of the way from the start. But their answers to the immigration question were vastly different. It was telling, that Mayor Jackson thinks we need to improve the economy and job situation in Cleveland and ‘take care of Cleveland first.’ He doesn’t seem to understand that developing a concerted effort and quality strategy to welcome more immigrants to Cleveland will enhance the revitalization of Cleveland, not hinder it. He seems to be saying that no one will want to come here unless we continue making changes and improvements. That’s telling too.
I know there are people and a few organizations trying to welcome immigrants on their own. But the small numbers coming here? The current city administration’s plan of action tells me why the numbers are so small.
We don’t have to wait for some National immigration reform bill to make things happen, to increase our population and bring in more jobs, businesses and tax payers. Other cities have been doing that well, and within the existing structure of immigration law and restrictions. It’s not happening here because there is apparently only tepid support from City Hall to make this happen.
I wish there was some way to change Mayor Jackson’s mind.