Why Embracing Immigrants Brings Growth To Rust Belt Cities

How are communities around the country becoming more prosperous by creating inclusive policies for immigrants and refugees? For insight, we turned to David Lubell in Atlanta, founder of Welcoming America – a network of over 160 “welcoming cities.” Here he shares how communities can use this turbulent moment to transform themselves, how business leaders can plug in, and why welcoming is for everyone – not just those among us who are newcomers.

Ashoka: Why should business care about welcoming?

David Lubell: When we start signaling that America doesn’t need immigrants anymore, we’re losing our edge as a competitor in the global economy. The U.S. needs to be able to attract talented people from all over the world. There are already labor shortages in many industries, most heavily reported in agriculture. In addition, studies overwhelmingly show that a diverse workforce is more effective because more perspectives bring more possible solutions. And if your company imports, exports, has any interaction with other countries, be concerned because global companies and consumers elsewhere have options besides the U.S. market and some are already taking their business elsewhere. On every level, this closed stance is bad for business, and short-sighted.

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