Cities and Counties Welcome Immigrants!

Cities and Counties Welcome Immigrants!



Immigrants are great for cities, both rising and declining cities. The photo above shows Nashville’s aggressive outreach to attract immigrants. A city of a stereotypical conservative region would even tell its citizens to “Welcome the Immigrant You Once Were.”

Nashville has obvious incentives to welcome immigrants. It population growth appears to be strong, but slowing down. From an explosive growth of over 100% in the 1970’s, the rate has lowered to 10%. Still, even this lowered rate is what cities like Cleveland, Ohio would covet. The Nashville campaign shows clear pragmatism. If there will not be as many native-born Americans moving to Nashville as before, the city should focus on immigrants as well. Like many welcoming cities, Nashville also has a Mayor’s Office for New Americans, to help immigrants adjust to a new life. So far, it is working. The image of Nashville as a welcoming city is known by many.

Immigrant inflow also stopped declines. That is, if native population growth cannot offset emigration, immigrants help stabilize the population. In New York, Erie county’s population has started to grow again, after decades of decline. Main street of Buffalo is now vibrant again, due to immigrant-run businesses. Refugees find work and small businesses run by immigrants raise property values. Like the second largest city in N.Y., other western N.Y. rural counties see similar growth induced by immigrants.

There is still momentum for immigrant attraction. The membership of Welcoming Cities and Counties, a consortium of cities wishing to attract more immigrants, just reached 50. Hopefully, more cities in dire need of industrious immigrants will join. Many member cities and counties have also joined the administration’s defense for executive actions. To such aspiring cities and counties, deferred actions in all forms supply opportunities for immigrants to stay. The cities who have signed the amicus brief are as follows:

Alexandria, VA
Allentown, PA
Atlanta, GA
Austin, TX
Baltimore, MD
Bell, CA
Boston, MA
Bridgeport, CT
Buffalo, NY
Cambridge, MA
Central Falls, RI
Chapel Hill, NC
Charleston, SC
Chicago, IL
Coconino County, AZ
Columbia, SC
Columbus, OH
Dallas County, TX
Dayton, OH
Denver, CO
Dolton, IL
El Paso County, TX
Everett, MA
Gary, IN
Haledon, NJ
Hartford, CT
Highland Park, IL
Hoboken, NJ
Holyoke, MA
Houston, TX
Jersey City, NJ
Kansas City, MO
Little Rock, AR
Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles County, CA
Lucas County, OH
Madison, WI
Milwaukee, WI
Minneapolis, MN
Montgomery County, MD
Newark, NJ
New York, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
North Miami, FL
Oakland, CA
Paterson, NJ
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Plainfield, NJ
Portland, OR
Providence, RI
Racine, WI
Ramsey County, MN
Rochester, NY
Salt Lake City, UT
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Santa Ana, CA
Santa Cruz County, AZ
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Monica, CA
Schenectady, NY
Seattle, WA
Skokie, IL
St. Louis, MO
State College, PA
Syracuse, NY
Tacoma, WA
Tampa, FL
Travis County, TX
Washington, D.C.
West Covina, CA
Yonkers, NY
National League of Cities
U.S. Conference of Mayors

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Richard Herman is a nationally-known immigration attorney with 20+ years of experience representing families and businesses in all aspects of immigration law. Richard was voted for inclusion in the 2015 edition of The Best Lawyers in America© and listed in Super Lawyers© for ten consecutive years, Richard is the founder of the Herman Legal Group, an immigration law firm serving clients in over 12 languages from offices in Cleveland, Columbus and Detroit, whose attorneys have represented diverse clientele, from Fortune 500 companies to undocumented workers, from technology entrepreneurs to NFL teams. He is the co-author of the acclaimed book, Immigrant, Inc. ---Why Immigrant Entrepreneurs Are Driving the New Economy (John Wiley & Sons, 2009). Richard has appeared FOX News (The O’Reilly Factor), ABC News 20/20, National Public Radio, and has appeared in the New York Times, USA Today, BusinessWeek, Forbes, Inc., PC World, Computerworld, CIO, TechCrunch and InformationWeek.


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