Editorial: Buffalo Relies on Immigration

February 8, 2018. An editorial in The Buffalo News discusses the impact of the federal administration’s cut to legal immigration and “chain migration” in Buffalo. Although the Trump Administration has created a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers, he is hurting upstate cities like Buffalo by cutting legal migration. Buffalo was already hurt by the cut in refugee resettlement. Immigrants will only be able to bring their children and spouses to the U.S., not other family members. The editorial goes on to discuss how immigrants and refugees have helped Buffalo reverse population decline, revitalized Buffalo’s far West Side and Black Rock and Riverside neighborhoods, and have contributed to job and business growth. The editorial discusses how immigrants might flee to other states, such as Ohio where the governor is inviting them and Buffalo’s workforce will shrink due to these cuts in legal immigration.

David Dyssegaard Kallick, director of the Fiscal Policy Institute’s Immigration Research Initiative and Eva Hassett, executive director of the International Institute of Buffalo, co-authored an Another Voice piece in the News last year. In it, they cited Buffalo’s population decline and that immigrants and refugees are “already reversing population loss.”

And what about the shrinking workforce? Businesses complain about how it is difficult to find qualified new workers, especially in skilled trades. Baby boomers are retiring. State training programs are rushing to fill the gap but also find it challenging to convince parents that their children should go into manufacturing.

Immigrants drive population and workforce growth. They start with nothing and work hard, buy homes and start businesses. They are key to Buffalo’s future and to that of the nation. They always have and will continue to embody the American dream.

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Here is the link to The Buffalo News.