U.S. Cities, Meeting in San Antonio,Vow to Protect Immigrants & Immigration

The International City County Management Association has wrapped up its annual conference in San Antonio with a ringing endorsement of immigration and the role immigrants will play in the future of American cities, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

"For our nation to be prosperous and for the future of our nation's well-being, cities have to work to insure the success of immigrant families," said Rosalind Gold, Senior Director of Policy Research for the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, and a delegate to the conference.

Gold pointed out in her presentation to the IC/CMA that immigrants pay federal, state, and local taxes, start new businesses which hire native born workers, bring diverse skills to the workplace, and generally younger workers, and bring spending power which boosts local economies.

In addition, she says the children of immigrants generally outdo the children of native born Americans when it comes to contributing to economic growth.

"In cities that have ageing, native born workforces, immigrant workers can help invigorate economies," she told News Radio 1200 WOAI.

She encouraged cities to welcome immigrants, by promoting English language learning, naturalization, and workforce skills development, build relationships between immigrants and long term city residents, and create a central office of New Americans to keep ahead of concerns and challenges facing immigrant communities.

Milton Dehoney Jr, who is the Deputy City Manager of Phoenix, says in today's global economy, part of economic development is to seek out global companies to add to the local work force.

"And those companies, a lot of them tech companies that have located in Phoenix, are looking for worldwide talent," Dehoney said.

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