A Comprehensive Approach to "Immigrant-Friendly" State and Local Policies
Drexel Policy Notes, Vol 2, No. 1 (2015)
7 Pages Posted: 7 Dec 2020
Date Written: Summer 2015
This essay responds to and builds upon an essay by Joseph Torsella highlighting the substantial contributions that immigrants make to Pennsylvania's economy and urging state governments to more effectively attract, welcome, and integrate immigrants into the social fabric of the state’s communities. As states and localities across the country have increasingly recognized, the goal of welcoming and embracing immigrants as community members demands not only the kinds of immigrant integration measures that Torsella appropriately urges, but also a broad constellation of interventions—ranging from stronger protections against mistreatment to more affirmative efforts to promote civic participation and access to programs, benefits, and services. Especially as comprehensive immigration reform continues to languish in Washington, these efforts to find innovative, robust, and no less comprehensive means of becoming more “immigrant-friendly” at the state and local levels have only become more important—not only to enhance the well-being of state and local communities and improve the day-to-day lives of immigrants, but also to help move that stalled national debate in more productive directions.
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