CullmanTimes.com - Cullman, Alabama

Opinion

January 29, 2014

SLATE COMMENTARY: Should Detroit be allowed to issue its own visas to immigrants?

WASHINGTON — Gov. Rick Snyder of Michigan is planning to ask for federal approval for a plan aimed at "bringing 50,000 immigrants to the bankrupt city [of Detroit] over five years." Under the plan, immigrants coming to the U.S. under visas aimed at those with "advanced degrees or exceptional abilities in science, business or the arts" would be "required to live and work in Detroit, a city that has fallen to 700,000 residents from 1.8 million in the 1950s."

Brandon Fuller of New York University's business school meanwhile suggests that rather than giving Detroit a share of existing EB-2 visas, as Snyder is suggesting, the federal government should make additional visas available for state-based programs.

Shikha Dalmia, writing at Reason, is skeptical about the idea, writing that "Immigrants aren't pioneers whose survival depends on conquering an inhospitable frontier. Yes, they can put up with far greater hardship than the native-born, but they aren't clueless ingenues who are easily seduced. They have word-of-mouth networks that alert them to places that offer them the best economic and social fit, making it difficult to plunk them anywhere and expect results": http://bit.ly/1lkqABa

               

There's also the problem that a legal mechanism doesn't currently exist to force recipients to remain in Detroit once they arrive. This has been an issue in Canada, where a similar plan has been tried at the provincial level.

 It's true that immigrants aren't a magic elixir that will make the urban desert bloom. But the plan proposed by Snyder, a Republican, comes amid proposals by a number of struggling Rust Belt cities to attract their "fair share" of immigrants. If a number of states set up similar programs, they would still have to compete to make themselves attractive to new arrivals.

It's not a magic bullet, and comprehensive reform at the national level still seems preferable. But absent that, it seems worth giving cities like Detroit the opportunity to try.

             

 

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • EDITORIAL: Primary shows maturity, will of voters

    With the local Republican Primary wrapped up, the outcome of three races may have seemed surprising to some observers.

    July 22, 2014

  • COMMENTARY: A break from the campaign rhetoric

    The collective sigh of relief felt throughout Cullman Wednesday morning signaled the end of another primary political season the previous night. As Wednesday’s Times headline told us, it was a clean sweep.

    July 21, 2014

  • Harris Coleman COMMENTARY: Billy Coleman, a true statesman

    King Solomon said, “Pride will ruin people, but those who are humble will be honored.” He also said, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Billy Coleman, the past elected superintendent of Cullman County Schools, is the living example of these wise statements of truth.

    July 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • COMMENTARY: Twisty road back to Cullman

    The young journalist who was somewhat listening to the elder newspaperman on the other side of the desk didn’t have a clue.

    July 19, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Judge makes the right decision

    Many people are closely following the case of Jay Maynor, the man charged with murdering a man convicted of molesting his daughter 12 years ago.

    July 7, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Truth and independence

    Somewhere along a colonial road between Lexington and Concord, Americans found their courage and resolve to become independent.

    July 4, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Taking charge with a vote

    The Democratic and Republican primaries arrive Tuesday morning across the state, with many election officials and candidates fearing a low turnout could be in store for what otherwise should be cause for a great gathering of citizens.

    June 3, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: A state dying from drug use

    Alabama coroners, with the power to order and log results of  toxicology reports, hold the key to important information for families and law enforcement officials.

    May 20, 2014

  • EDITORIAL: Looking beyond the standard

    Cullman County schools superintendent Billy Coleman opened a wide door of opportunity when he supported a transition to an appointed executive to lead the local education system.

    May 20, 2014

  • Editorial: Meal money violates trust

    As various local political candidates dash toward the June 3 primary, a troublesome issue remains unattended on the table.

    May 11, 2014