Gary D. Leitzell

An important and exciting result of our city’s adherence to creative thinking is our Welcome Dayton: Immigrant-Friendly City Initiative. The Welcome Dayton program was slowly and carefully developed over the course of a year, with input from the City’s Human Relations Council, Police, and numerous community organizations. In response, our community has demonstrated spontaneous and overwhelming support.

Our universities, hospitals and tech industries are recruiting to fill highly skilled positions. The Welcome Dayton Initiative is designed to enhance the potential of Dayton as a competitor in the global economy by attracting immigrants who bring new ideas, new perspective, and new talent to our workforce. These foreign entrepreneurs have started businesses, created jobs and rejuvenated underused buildings. It is our intent to continue to foster this sense of drive and entrepreneurism.

I believe that as Dayton moves forward to become a more immigrant-friendly city, our nation should also take action to initiate thoughtful immigration reform in order to further our economic recovery and advancement. Our country needs to take advantage of the highly-skilled workers who want to come to the U.S. to start new businesses and contribute to our economy rather than look elsewhere, further separating us in the race of global competitiveness.

This is why I support the Partnership for a New American Economy and initiatives aimed at comprehensive immigration reform. We do a disservice to ourselves by perpetuating harmful stereotypes about immigration. It was the hard-working immigrants of the 19th and 20th centuries who literally built these United States and that spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well within the thousands of people who legally come to America each year to find the American Dream.

About NAE

New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…