January 31, 2011

ONE OF THE AMUSING THINGS ABOUT THE NATIVIST SPASM...:

The Midwest needs immigrants (Conor Williams, January 29, 2011, Washington Post)

The Midwest needs more immigrants - not fewer.

Ask John C. Austin, a nonresident senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and president of the Michigan State Board of Education. "The economically most vibrant big Midwest communities - specifically Chicago and the Twin Cities in Minnesota - are in part that way because of dynamic immigration inflows."

There are data to back his claims. The Midwestern cities that are surviving - and thriving - in the 21st-century economy are those with high percentages of immigrants. Between 18 percent and 22 percent of the residents of the Chicago metro area are foreign-born. Pawlenty aside, leaders in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area have been reaching out to attract immigrants for years (8.7 percent foreign-born). Meanwhile, cities without robust immigrant communities struggle. Only 4 to 5 percent of Cleveland residents are immigrants. Author Richard C. Longworth quotes Ronn Richard, president of the Cleveland Foundation, as lamenting, "We even have a hard time attracting illegal immigrants." No wonder that Cleveland is opening an immigrant welcome center. (It's not just because Lebron James shattered Clevelanders' faith in exclusive reliance on locally grown talent.)

Meanwhile, Detroit (8.3 percent of its residents foreign-born) isn't waiting around to see whether it needs more immigrants. The recent "Global Detroit Study" concluded that "southeast Michigan's foreign-born residents provide enormous contributions to the region's economic growth and will play a key role in our economic future." The area's immigrants produce "130 percent more of regional economic output than [their] overall share of the regional population." Immigrants are a key resource in the region.

Some Republicans, like new Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder, are recognizing how critical immigrants are to the nation's economy. In his "State of the State" address, Snyder said, "Immigration made us a great state and a great country; it's time we embrace this concept as a way to speed our reinvention."


...is that as native fertility declines we're all going to bribe immigrants to choose us. Spain, for example, has already begun.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 31, 2011 5:26 AM
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