Today there are more New Americans than ever before. One quarter of all Americans are immigrants or the children of immigrants. And in the next 40 years, these New Americans will drive 80% of our country’s growth.
That’s 100 million people.
Our cities need these new residents as never before. As other developed countries contend with labor shortages, aging populations, and declining economies, ours is poised to thrive as we continue to attract the world’s pluckiest and brightest.
And yet —
We know that New Americans face real challenges when they arrive. They must begin again in a new place, with a new language, and a completely new system. Navigating it all, especially with limited resources available to them, puts real burdens on families as they try to build a better life. And sometimes their new hometowns don’t quite know how to welcome them. This is especially true as immigration patterns have shifted over the last 40 years, and New Americans often settle in places with little history of immigration.
We are at a critical turning point when it comes to the integration of New Americans. Will they be undercompensated, undereducated, and, in time, relegated to second-class status? Will our cities suffer from stagnating growth?
Or will these New Americans be embraced, educated, and a source of youthful energy for every institution in American society? Research clearly shows that for cities across the country, including Nashville, Tennesse; Detroit, Michigan; Lewiston, Maine and others, becoming welcoming to immigrants helps revitalize them – bringing entrepreneurship, innovation, global connections, and vitality to struggling downtowns.
We know that what is good for New Americans is good for their hometowns, and is good for the future of this country. The Cisneros Center is committed to ensuring that our nation lives up to its promise and potential.
We are part of a growing movement to empower New Americans and change the way all Americans think, live, and work together. Together, we are writing the next chapter of the American story.