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My Response to Op-Ed, "Immigration Is not a Magic Bullet for Regional Economic Development"

My Response to Op-Ed, "Immigration Is not a Magic Bullet for Regional Economic Development"

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I think Sanda Kaufman, Ph.D., professor of Planning, Policy, and Public Administration at Cleveland State University, is a brilliant scholar , an immigrant success story, and a well-intentioned, kindred spirit.
But I’m not quite sure what to make of her Op-Ed, “Immigration Is Not Magic Bullet for Regional Economic Development, in today’s Plain Dealer, which appears to be supporting the Mayor’s comments and immigration policies, or lack thereof.
First, the piece states:
“A decade ago, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's task force on immigration approached the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University for data and analysis to help city officials explore immigration as a means of growth for the city. Based on our research, we concluded that investing public resources to attract immigrants is not a magic bullet for regional economic development. In fact, it might not be a wise use of scarce public resources on which to pin hopes for rebuilding the city.”
As far as I can tell, the research that Dr. Kaufman conducted on immigration and Cleveland was commissioned by in 2002 and published in May, 2003. Frank Jackson was not Mayor. Jane Campbell occupied City Hall. Jane Campbell convened an immigration task force, not Frank Jackson.
Second, Dr. Kaufman favorably refers to the Frank Jackson’s controversial immigration-related comments that were made at his recent State of the City address.. She writes:
“Given Cleveland's current population makeup, a strategy aiming to rapidly grow immigrant communities may be an uphill battle; it will not significantly bolster the economy in the short run. As with all development efforts, do not think of immigrants as a quick fix to the city's or region's population decline…..Since we can't afford to waste scarce public resources, we have to hope that decision makers' mental models of where immigrants choose to go match reality and are supported by data. It is important to make the best use of what we have, know what we are reasonably likely to attain, manage resources effectively and measure success in quality-of-life terms rather than just changes in population size.
Taking care of our own, no matter their origin or ethnicity, is a good first step toward attracting others. Then, if and when needed immigration reform occurs, we will be better positioned to welcome any groups who want to call Cleveland home.”
For some reason, the link on Frank Jackon’s phrase “taking care of our own” phrase, takes the reader to this plain dealer page which contains no relevant information, instead of this plain dealer page which contains criticism from Brian Tucker (editor of Crain’s), Dan Moulthrop, myself, and others, of Mayor Frank Jackson’s statements, policies and inaction on immigration –related issues.
Rather than supporting Frank Jackson’s statement (and record on the issue), many people were perplexed by his response to a question from the audience on whether Cleveland should embrace the immigration-based economic development strategies being touted by a growing chorus of mayors or other elected officials in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dayton, Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and elsewhere.
Folks shouldn’t have been surprised.
Frank Jackson has said this many times before. This was published in Immigrant, Inc. in 2009, by Robert Smith and myself, reprinted in the Plain Dealer:
“An aversion to immigrants permeated the region's political leadership and peaked at City Hall. Mayor Frank Jackson dismissed suggestions that the city try to attract immigrants to revive inner city neighborhoods that were mostly black and poor. Jackson, a multi-racial mayor who identified most strongly with his African American roots, told civic groups he did not trust immigrants to help his people.
If someone else wanted to try to draw immigrants to Cleveland, "I will not be against it," Jackson told The Plain Dealer in early 2009. "However, as we move ahead, I'm always interested in t
I think Sanda Kaufman, Ph.D., professor of Planning, Policy, and Public Administration at Cleveland State University, is a brilliant scholar , an immigrant success story, and a well-intentioned, kindred spirit.
But I’m not quite sure what to make of her Op-Ed, “Immigration Is Not Magic Bullet for Regional Economic Development, in today’s Plain Dealer, which appears to be supporting the Mayor’s comments and immigration policies, or lack thereof.
First, the piece states:
“A decade ago, Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson's task force on immigration approached the Maxine Goodman Levin College of Urban Affairs at Cleveland State University for data and analysis to help city officials explore immigration as a means of growth for the city. Based on our research, we concluded that investing public resources to attract immigrants is not a magic bullet for regional economic development. In fact, it might not be a wise use of scarce public resources on which to pin hopes for rebuilding the city.”
As far as I can tell, the research that Dr. Kaufman conducted on immigration and Cleveland was commissioned by in 2002 and published in May, 2003. Frank Jackson was not Mayor. Jane Campbell occupied City Hall. Jane Campbell convened an immigration task force, not Frank Jackson.
Second, Dr. Kaufman favorably refers to the Frank Jackson’s controversial immigration-related comments that were made at his recent State of the City address.. She writes:
“Given Cleveland's current population makeup, a strategy aiming to rapidly grow immigrant communities may be an uphill battle; it will not significantly bolster the economy in the short run. As with all development efforts, do not think of immigrants as a quick fix to the city's or region's population decline…..Since we can't afford to waste scarce public resources, we have to hope that decision makers' mental models of where immigrants choose to go match reality and are supported by data. It is important to make the best use of what we have, know what we are reasonably likely to attain, manage resources effectively and measure success in quality-of-life terms rather than just changes in population size.
Taking care of our own, no matter their origin or ethnicity, is a good first step toward attracting others. Then, if and when needed immigration reform occurs, we will be better positioned to welcome any groups who want to call Cleveland home.”
For some reason, the link on Frank Jackon’s phrase “taking care of our own” phrase, takes the reader to this plain dealer page which contains no relevant information, instead of this plain dealer page which contains criticism from Brian Tucker (editor of Crain’s), Dan Moulthrop, myself, and others, of Mayor Frank Jackson’s statements, policies and inaction on immigration –related issues.
Rather than supporting Frank Jackson’s statement (and record on the issue), many people were perplexed by his response to a question from the audience on whether Cleveland should embrace the immigration-based economic development strategies being touted by a growing chorus of mayors or other elected officials in Philadelphia, Baltimore, Dayton, Detroit, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and elsewhere.
Folks shouldn’t have been surprised.
Frank Jackson has said this many times before. This was published in Immigrant, Inc. in 2009, by Robert Smith and myself, reprinted in the Plain Dealer:
“An aversion to immigrants permeated the region's political leadership and peaked at City Hall. Mayor Frank Jackson dismissed suggestions that the city try to attract immigrants to revive inner city neighborhoods that were mostly black and poor. Jackson, a multi-racial mayor who identified most strongly with his African American roots, told civic groups he did not trust immigrants to help his people.
If someone else wanted to try to draw immigrants to Cleveland, "I will not be against it," Jackson told The Plain Dealer in early 2009. "However, as we move ahead, I'm always interested in t

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Published by: Richard Herman, Cleveland Immigration Lawyer on May 05, 2013
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05/06/2013

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Kenneth J. Kovach added this note
Richard: I had the same reaction to Sanda Kaufman's Op-Ed piece as you did. I am not sure if this is a political or academic message. Thank you for the quick response because it needed a response! Ken
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