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U.S. Conference of Mayors Adopts Mayor Horrigan’s Resolution to Boost Skilled Immigration and Entrepreneurship in U.S. Communities


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of Stephanie Marsh
Published: 06-07-2022

Akron, Ohio, June 7, 2022 — The United States Conference of Mayors has adopted a resolution sponsored by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan with Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean J. Trantalis and Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt, that calls on federal policymakers to enact a “Heartland Visa” program designed to help cities nationwide strengthen their local economies and workforces by attracting skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs.

“Skilled immigration is a powerful ingredient of our city and regional economy,” said Mayor Horrigan. “As a mayor, I know that attracting talented and entrepreneurial immigrants to our community boosts economic opportunity for our residents, helps our city grow, and enables us to meet the challenges of tomorrow. That is why mayors are united in calling on Congress to enact a Heartland Visa program as an important new tool for economic development in welcoming communities like Akron across the nation.”

Skilled immigration can help drive economic growth and innovation in cities across the United States by filling vacant homes and storefronts, strengthening municipal finances, increasing business formation rates, and creating jobs for local residents. However, federal immigration policy is heavily skewed towards a handful of major metropolitan areas, doing little to connect skilled immigrants with welcoming communities like Akron that could benefit most from their presence. A Heartland Visa program would be designed to address the current imbalances in federal policy and support local efforts to attract in-demand talent outside of traditional immigration hubs.

Sharp declines in international immigration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic have exacerbated demographic and economic decline. Eighty three percent of U.S. counties—including Summit County, Ohio—would have experienced greater population growth between 2017 and 2021 had immigration sustained its 2016 levels (the most recent peak). To learn more about why skilled immigration and immigrant entrepreneurs are critical for local economic development and innovation, you can view the text of the US Conference of Mayors resolution here.

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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