While the political, legal and socioeconomic fallout from Alabama’s tough immigration law continues to play out, people in Dayton, Ohio are taking about as opposite a tack on immigration as you can imagine.
Leaders in Dayton, a legacy industrial town hard hit by the recession, are actively recruiting immigrants to their city as a tactic to help reverse its economic fortunes. In an initiative called “Welcome Dayton” that municipal leaders adopted earlier this month, immigrants are being encouraged to settle in the city by offering incentives such as making information about public services and language education readily available and grants and marketing help for immigrant entrepreneurs.
The plan includes a section on education that makes providing ESL teachers and literacy courses for immigrants a top priority.
It’s a staggeringly different viewpoint on immigration that the bad economy has triggered in many other places around the country.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.