September 20, 2018


Detroit welcomes immigrants to spur the city's revival (Jason Margolis, 9/18/18, PRI: The World)

"Right now, immigrants are the only growing source of population in the city of Detroit," says Steve Tobocman, the director of Global Detroit, a group partly funded by the Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce and dedicated to helping revive derelict neighborhoods by making Detroit more attractive and welcoming for immigrants. "Michigan is the only state that lost population in the 2010 census."

Michigan's population has since stabilized and has grown by roughly 80,000 since the 2010 Census, with foreign-born making up 6.4 percent of the state, about half the national average, but relatively high compared with other Midwestern states. 

"They are a source of life and vibrancy, and they are creating jobs that help everyone in the community," says Tobocman, speaking at an Indian restaurant in a neighborhood known as "Banglatown," a community straddling the cities of Detroit and Hamtramck with a lot of South Asian residents. "[Immigrants] are providing retail services that make this community thrive, and providing a tax base. And frankly, occupancy to the vacant structures that are critical to retaining the African-American residents in the region so that this neighborhood doesn't fall the way that some of the more disinvested ones have."

Posted by at September 20, 2018 6:18 PM