Last year, Alabama enacted the country’s most restrictive laws against illegal immigration. One week later, Dayton, Ohio, set out a welcome mat for immigrants. And it’s not alone.
In the second part of our look at immigrants and the Midwest, we’ve found many local governments are trying to attract immigrants as an economic development strategy.
Dayton got attention from all over the world last fall when its city commission unanimously approved a plan called Welcome Dayton to make it an “immigrant-friendly city.” Since then, the town has been inundated.
“We have people calling us from South Africa that read about us in the local paper,” Tom Wahlrab, one of the plan’s architects, said recently in Detroit. “We have people from North China that want to immigrate here, they thought we could help them.”