We all know how important immigrants and refugees can be in revitalizing America’s cities, so I’m glad to say that the Detroit Free Press recently published an op-ed on that topic. I co-authored “Immigration Can Be a Key Driver in Detroit’s Future” with Mark Stutrud, President and CEO of Detroit-based Lutheran Social Services of Michigan (LSSM). It’s an honor to share the byline with the head of LSSM, an organization that is doing incredible work with refugees and many other groups of people throughout Michigan.
The op-ed takes as its starting point the recent release of “Detroit Future City,” a framework aimed at bringing new life to the city’s neighborhoods and businesses.
The Detroit Works Project and its supporters deserve high praise for their strategic framework plan for the city’s future. The level of attention to detail, and the plan’s sweeping vision, are remarkable in an era when sound bites drown out substance.
As professionals in the field of immigrant and refugee resettlement and integration in Detroit and across the nation, we are compelled to lift up the matter of immigration, and the economic benefits it can hold for the more secure Detroit that this plan envisions.
“Detroit Future City” reveals that “the population moving into the city is primarily made up of new immigrants, singles, students and young professionals, but Detroit is attracting newcomers at only half of the rate of the U.S. average.” Given the punch of this statement — that Detroit is staunching its outflow of residents with immigrants, but only feebly — we think immigration should be a key element in making this plan successful.
You can read the entire piece by clicking here. It would be really helpful if you would leave a positive comment, tweet the link, and Recommend it on Facebook. All of those things let the newspaper editors know that readers care about this issue and are receptive to the message that welcoming immigrants brings net gains for neighborhoods. Thank you!