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St Louis and rural towns try to boost immigrant numbers

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Two Midwestern States urging Immigrants to invest in them

Missouri and Iowa are two Midwestern states suffering from a declining economy, but new initiatives taken by both states have already had positive results. St. Louis has a small immigrant population in comparison to other urban areas that are of similar size. With the start of the new St. Louis Mosaic Project, officials reach out to government leaders in an effort to break down any hiring barriers. The program brought the Midwest into the immigration reform debate illustrating the nationwide effects this piece of legislation will have.

Immigrants bring more than an increase in economic status

John Mollenkopf of the Building Resilient Regions Research Group comments on the necessity of immigrants in states with a declining economy because “…the country’s inevitable economic and demographic changes will likely need to weave immigrants into their regional narratives and visions for their regional future…” Iowa’s rural communities are plighted with a declining population contributing to economic hardship. Immigrants have the potential of being the solution by reversing economic strife through forming small businesses, retail stores, auto repair shops, translation services and much more. However, small towns may make it difficult for immigrants to integrate into the local culture.

More Midwestern States should consider multinational partnerships

With problems of language barriers, discrimination and a lack of cultural understanding, immigrant business owners face challenges that U.S. born entrepreneurs do not face. Similar to St. Louis’s program, Iowa State University started a program that “promotes economic development, immigrant integration, and entrepreneurship promotion within the state.” Beyond short and long term economic benefits, immigrants bring multinational partnerships between countries allowing for a modernized immigration system.
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