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.
Fascinating article by Farm Credit Canada (FCC) because it hones in on agriculture and animal farming as it relates to consumer demand of new Canadians (i.e., immigrants) . They point out quite a few interesting facts, but I will leave you with one:
“…In 2011, immigration contributed 66 per cent of Canadian population growth while natural growth (births minus deaths) accounted for the remainder. Statistics Canada projects immigration will comprise nearly 80 per cent of Canada’s population growth by 2030 because of declining birth rates and an aging population. ”
Cleveland’s population growth is negligible, not only because of birth rate but because of how many people leave. The FCC article says 66% of Canada’s population growth can be attributed to immigration.
Cleveland is mentioned and there is a focus on Dayton Ohio and their efforts to tell immigrants to come to Dayton and make it your new home. New York Times article on Ailing Midwestern Cities Extend A Welcome To Immigrants.
Dayton’s mayor was approached by a Turkish immigrant already in Dayton who said he wanted to get other Turkish families interested in moving there. The mayor said “… the worst thing that could happen is that 4,000 Turkish families could come to Dayton and fix up 4,000 houses,” the mayor recalled. “So how do we facilitate their success?”
Read the article to see how they began accomplishing this. Fascinating and wonderful. While Cleveland is mentioned as pro-immigrant, are we really doing everything Dayton is doing?
Who knew? Not me! Current laws forbid companies from hiring undocumented workers. But for those who came to the United States as youngsters with their parents, creating their own LLC’s, working with the U.S. banking system and business law is second nature (unlike their parents who might still be fearful of this).
This LA Times article opened my eyes to the intricacies of legally acting as a consultant or forming your own limited liability company. In this article, one featured undocumented young person talks about her epiphany: ‘I can’t get hired by a U.S. citizen, but I can hire a U.S. citizen.’ Hat’s off to Cindy Carcamo of the LA Times for the good information.
CBS News featured a story on the benefits of new immigrants to a community. The greater Cleveland area, for example, is still trying to recover from the vacant housing issues in some neighborhoods. The opinion of one policy expert is this:
“Immigration yields a significant impact on home values across the country, occurring most notably in relatively affordable metropolitan areas and neighborhoods,” according to the report. “Controlling for other factors, when an immigrant moves into a community, the price of the average home rises by 11.6 cents.” If 1,000 immigrants arrived, in other words, a home’s value could rise by more than $11,000.”
The above article highlights other points as well, in a new report just released. It’s a good read and interviews other people not involved in the report who provide further analysis.
The Church (now a Basilica), the Bishop, and parishioners all weighed in on the need to embrace immigrants. Very cool article about why some people in Wilmington, North Carolina are hoping for comprehensive immigration reform.
Key points to the League of Latin American Citizens (LULAC) report for the entire Nation are provided on their site. Some things make perfect sense.
1. Because increased immigration brings with it an enrichment of culture, tourism would grow nationally.
2. GDP would rise, the Federal Deficit would be reduced – LULAC estimates – by $850 million over the next 20 years.
You can read more about it on the LULAC site here.
Of keen interest to all of us in NE Ohio would be their report on how the reforms (using the Senate Bill as a model) would affect the State of Ohio.
They suggest if immigration reform was in place by Fall of 2013, the increase in workers paying taxes and adding to the economy by the end of 2014 would be 10,000 new people.
Me? I always like the original source. Who came up with these stats, anyway? Regional Economics Models, Inc., that’s who. They are headquartered in Massachusetts and have other interesting things on their site like webinars. They also do economic modeling for other issues.
The idea that Congress is going to deal with immigration reform and put more sensible laws in place before December of 2013 is nice but probably not happening. I guess we could all be pleasantly surprised…