Cities coping with population loss are trying creative ways to get people to move in. Niagara Falls is offering to pay student loans for recent college grads who take up residence. Baltimore is encouraging immigrants to come to town.
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake (D) has told Latinos, in particular, that she is counting on them to help Baltimore gain 10,000 families within a decade. As a first step, she signed an order in March prohibiting police and social agencies from asking anyone about immigration status — and in the order, she explicitly asked federal immigration authorities to tell anyone they arrest that they are not agents of the city.
Baltimore joins an increasing number of U.S. cities, most of them manufacturing behemoths fallen on hard times, that are courting immigrants to reverse half a century of population loss.
The Global Detroit effort includes programs that help immigrants start small businesses, get driver’s licenses and learn English. As part of the Welcome Dayton Plan adopted last year, the Ohio city sponsors a soccer tournament for immigrant teams. Not to be outdone, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel (D) says he wants his home town to be known as the most “immigrant-friendly city in the country.”
Could Rochester benefit from such an effort? The city is already trying to attract immigrant investors to fund an apartment project at the U of R.
The census shows 8.4 percent of Monroe County’s population is foreign-born. That’s 62,633 people who surely contribute much to our community.
On a related note, Brookings Institution studied the number of skilled workers getting H-1B visas to work in the United States. There were 743 visa requests in Rochester 2010-11, most in technology fields. The University of Rochester, Wipro Limited and Rochester General Hospital were among top employers of those with H-1B vias.
Links of the Day:
- “There’s no way I biked 3,000 miles to come to this theater and get killed in it.” A Syracuse University graduate tells his story of surviving the Aurora shooting.
- Medicaid saves lives. The states that have expanded coverage, including New York, have lower death rates, a study found.
- Bison burger, anyone? A Central New York farm is raising bison, drawing curious onlookers.