A report released today
by New American Economy and Global Cleveland helps paint a vivid picture of how the local immigrant population intersects with the local economy. Among the choice data points: There are 7,405 immigrant entrepreneurs in the Cleveland metro area, and the immigrant population as a whole (113,252 strong) boasts $3.2 billion in spending power.
The entrepreneurial spirit of Cleveland's immigrants is one that local government and businesses should consider closely. Based on data, more immigrants hold bachelor's degrees or graduate degrees than the city's "native-born" population. And while many immigrants here are working in tech and health care, many others are sidelined into administrative support and manufacturing jobs. The workforce and education stats aren't lining up.
One year ago this week, we published an extensive feature
on Global Cleveland and its uphill battle. Compared to other similarly sized markets, Cleveland isn't growing its immigrant population as fervently. As co-authors of this new report, it would seem that the organization is still getting its bearings.
“Our current immigration system is broken and does not address the challenges we face in the 21st Century,” Global Cleveland President Joe Cimperman said in a public statement. “This new research proves what we’ve known for years: immigrants are an advantage to our local economy and in every community in America.”
The authors of the report encourage readers to get in contact with Mayor Frank Jackson and to further discuss how immigration reform might look in Cleveland. Our city has a recent history of welcoming immigrants
— but Jackson has been noticeably silent on these issues, especially since the election of President Donald Trump. According to 2014 data, there are more than 66,000 eligible immigrant voters in the Cleveland metro area — "a group that could have a particularly important role in coming election cycles, given the narrow margins of victory that have decided presidential elections in recent years," as the New American Economy puts it.