‘How do we protect them?’ Dallas leaders look to help immigrants and the economy

Dallas Morning News

Originally Posted: August 14, 2018

We could mess up the so-called Texas miracle.

Cutting off immigration, for instance, “would make it impossible” for the state to keep growing jobs at roughly double the national rate, Dallas Fed economist Pia Orrenius said last week.

Keeping out immigrants would also take us out of the competition to attract top talent, another expert said, and that would undermine the appeal of the state’s workforce.

For these reasons and more — partly humanitarian, partly pragmatic, said Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings — Dallas wants to become a more welcoming city for immigrants and refugees. That means recruiting newcomers and helping them integrate into the community, and navigate the legal and economic landscape.

Last year, Dallas created an Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs to ramp up the outreach. At a committee meeting last week, it unveiled a long list of goals developed with a task force of 85 contributors. Their ideas include boosting the number of naturalized citizens, increasing their participation in local government and promoting growth in minority owned businesses.

These newcomers need help, Rawlings said on Friday, and Dallas needs their help — and the office can make a difference.

“It’s not just do-gooders trying to make us all feel good,” Rawlings told about 85 people at a session on immigration at the Dallas Regional Chamber. “There’s a lot of math and science” that justifies the effort.

Start with this: 40.3 percent of Dallas’ population growth since 2011 has come from immigrants. They now account for almost 1 in 4 city residents, a higher ratio than in the state and nation. READ MORE

By | 2018-08-15T07:32:09-08:00 August 15th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, Political Science, Tower Center|Comments Off on ‘How do we protect them?’ Dallas leaders look to help immigrants and the economy