Detroit’s Immigrants Sustain City as Debate Consumes Washington

November 20, 2014. As President Obama puts immigration back on the front burner of the national debate, a story in Bloomberg Business Week focuses on the important role immigrants are playing in the Detroit economy, using some data from a Fiscal Policy Institute report to make the case:

The 18th-largest U.S. city ranks 135th in the number of foreign-born residents, said Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit, a nonprofit agency that promotes legal immigration as an economic catalyst.

Still, in 2007 they accounted for 11 percent of the economic output in a four-county area that includes Detroit while making up 9 percent of the population, according to the most recent data from New York’s Fiscal Policy Institute, a research organization.