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.
Tom Wahlrab from Welcome Dayton speaks to Global Detroit.
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.”
Slowing down in the second year? Michigan Governor Rick Snyder delivers his State of the State address tonight. Rick Pluta of the Michigan Public Radio Network reports the governor’s speech won’t have as many new initiatives as the last one. Snyder’s first year in office was busy. As the Detroit Free Press put it: “He came, He saw, He got what he wanted.”
Ranking cities The Chicago Tribune has a write-up of a new study that tracks economic growth in cities worldwide. The report, from the Brookings Institution, ranks Chicago 139th out of 200 global cities that were studied. What the Tribune doesn’t mention is that Chicago was ranked lower than a number of other Midwestern cities. The Detroit Free Press takes a look at Detroit’s jump in the rankings from 192nd a few years ago, to 72nd today. But the highest ranking in the Midwest goes to Milwaukee, at 56th. And Indianapolis had the lowest ranking of all Midwest cities, at 183rd. But, really, it’s not great news for anyone in the U.S. The study’s authors say 90 percent of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the world were outside of North America and Western Europe.
Huzzawha? The Illinois Statehouse News reports on an economic paradox. Taxes have increased in the state, but so has the number of businesses and the number of jobs. But, the unemployment rate is also climbing. If that sounds confusing to you, you’re not the only one.