Brookings Institution: Metros Are on the Front Lines of Immigration Reform

February 20th, 2013

Last month, U.S. President Barak Obama’s second inauguration speech thrilled the country’s immigration reform sector:

“Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity; until bright young students and engineers are enlisted in our workforce rather than expelled from our country.”

As a response to these few sentences and a new bipartisan proposal from members of the Senate, four experts from the Brookings Institution‘s Metropolitan Policy Program (including Audrey Singer) have published a reminder that national leaders remember that cities are critical in this debate.

“Bipartisanship aside, the ultimate success of any reform effort will hinge on how changes are implemented at the local level. Although reforming immigration is a federal issue, the myriad of state and municipal actions in recent years are a pressing reminder that localities are where the effects of immigration, both negative and positive, play out.

National leaders should focus on the experiences of the country’s metropolitan areas, home to 95 percent of the nation’s immigrants. Metropolitan areas are the engines of our national economy, our hubs of research and innovation, our centers of human capital, and our gateways of trade. As such, they have been and continue to be on the front lines of the debate over immigration policy.”

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