Monday, November 17, 2008

Cleveburgh Immigration Initiative

In the wake of the controversy surrounding Northeast Ohio's understanding of promoting entrepreneurship and weighing pro-immigration policies, Richard Herman has churned out a steady diet of links to studies that conclude that immigrants are instrumental to a healthy regional economy. A recent article in the Philadelphia Business Journal provides more support for Mr. Herman's position:

Immigrants fueled nearly 75 percent of Greater Philadelphia’s labor growth since 2000 and it appears the area is re-emerging as an important destination for the population, a study released Thursday morning said.

The integration of the population, which has helped counter population losses and fill and create jobs, should become a shared regional goal, according to the study, “Recent Immigration to Philadelphia: Regional Change in a Re-Emerging Gateway.”

I think the study referenced is the one that is available at the Brookings website.

I'm of the opinion that we are beyond debating whether or not to actively promote immigration. Cleveburgh desperately needs to increase the number of foreign born in the Tech Belt. What we need to work on is the best (i.e. cost effective) way to achieve that end.

If certain key stakeholders still need convincing, then they must be pushed aside because they are holding the region back. Figuring out how to attract more immigrants is hard enough without adding ignorance or xenophobia to the mix. I'm curious to find out if any Philadelphia initiatives proved to be successful in selling the region to immigrants.


The Urbanophile said...

Clearly boosting international in-migration is a critical component, though not the only component, of an economic development strategy.

Did you see this article out of Indy? A big series in the Sunday Star about international immigration:

Indy's foreign born population up 69% since 2000 to over 100,000 people. And not just Latino. Included are 26,000 Asians and 10,500 Africans. The stats are compelling.

This is one of the reasons Indy is leading the Midwest in growth. A slowdown in the recent tough economy is a cloud on the horizon, however.

Dave said...

I've long thought our immigration policies were hurting our cities. To me we need to fix the H1B situation and essentially begin recruiting immigrants to our universities in connection with international youth programs.