Dayton, Ohio has recently created a plan to foster a welcoming environment for immigrants that shows a stark contrast to the punitive approach taken by some states in recent months. The Dayton legislature passed Welcome Dayton with aims to welcome immigrants with open arms and integrate them into the community as a way to boost their local economy.
The Welcome Dayton plan comes after two years of reviewing numerous studies assessing the positive impact that the social integration of immigrants and refugees can have on local communities and economies. Welcome Dayton sends a clear and concise message: “Communities across America are at a crossroad: to welcome and integrate new residents and help them on a path to citizenship or to allow old stereotypes, fears and preconceptions to hinder future success.”
The goals outlined for Welcome Dayton focus on four aspects:
- Business and Economic Development;
- Local Government and Justice System;
- Social and Health Services;
- Community, Culture, Arts, and Education
Welcome Dayton hopes to foster an inclusive community that is supportive of all its residents. To begin with, Welcome Dayton will create a community-wide immigrant entrepreneurship campaign, offer language services to access government services, issue municipal identification cards, and promote immigrant-friendly laws on both the local and national level.
LIRS commends Dayton for using an approach that uplifts the entire community and embodies the spirit of welcome that LIRS actively promotes. Welcome Dayton is an excellent step in the right direction and shows that instead of passing divisive laws that sow mistrust, there are better ways for local communities to respond to the arrival of migrant newcomers. If communities are welcoming and compassionate, immigrants can serve as a powerful driving force on the path to economic recovery.
Help promote inclusive and compassionate immigration policies by taking a stand against punitive state immigration laws. We encourage you to let us know what you think of the Welcome Dayton plan and to share it with your friends and neighbors. Maybe you can help spark the change for a welcome plan in your community?