As growing stacks of research debunk the anti-immigration views of President Trump and his base of support, Detroit has earned a Top 10 U.S. ranking for it’s welcoming approach to immigrants and refugees.
The rankings were compiled by the nonprofit New American Economy (NAE) after completing a study of cities based on a variety of criteria. The NAE researched 31 policies and practices at the local level, as well as 20 different socioeconomic outcomes, to assess America’s 100 largest cities based on their efforts to integrate immigrants and refugees.
Detroit’s ranking is derived from welcoming policies and life-transitioning initiatives, plus workforce training and entrepreneurial programs that assist immigrants and refugees in their shift to U.S. culture.
“This ranking affirms a decade of hard work and planning that have placed Detroit among America’s most welcoming cities. Building an inclusive city is a critical component of revitalizing and sustaining vibrant neighborhoods that attract and retain diverse residents,” said Global Detroit Director Steve Tobocman, a former state representative who authored the original 2010 Global Detroit blueprint that led to many of the current initiatives.
The creation of Global Detroit, a nonprofit group, goes well beyond the Trump era, back to 2010. Their efforts inspired Welcoming Michigan, another nonprofit organization that, with the support of Gov. Rick Snyder, hopes to
make Michigan the “most pro-immigrant state in the nation.”
In Macomb County, Executive Mark Hackel has embraced those efforts, creating the One Macomb designation to promote diversity and create “vibrant communities” that add to the county’s enticements.
The newly released, first-ever NAE rankings present a list based on the atmosphere in the nation’s 100 largest cities.
At the same time, the Pew Research Center, which has studied U.S. immigration patterns for decades, has unveiled new data that are revealing, and in contrast to political views on immigrants over the past several years.
Based on new facts and figures released on Friday, here are some of Pew’s most important findings:
- Starting in 2009, the greatest number of immigrants entering the U.S. came for Asia, not from the combined category of Mexico and other Hispanic countries. That trend continued throughout 2016.
- As the number of unauthorized immigrants has declined for more than a decade, the newcomers have higher education levels than the overall U.S. population. Some 17 percent of all new arrivals have a bachelor’s degree — among those, about 13 percent have earned a post-graduate degree. These highly educated immigrants derive mostly from Asia, the Middle East and Europe.
- About one-fourth of the immigrants into the U.S. in recent years are undocumented, while the remainder live here legally.
- Overall, Pew found that the first- and second-generation U.S. immigrant population, as has been the case for two centuries, remains diverse in its efforts to assimilate. Pew found that, among those immigrants 5 years old and older, 43 percent of Hispanic immigrants speak Spanish at home. About 16 percent speak English only on the homefront. But more than one-third of those who stick to their native language around the kitchen table include Chinese, French, Filipinos, Hindus, Vietnamese and Arabs.