Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Why Somalis are Welcome in Louisville

Today's WSJ (Miriam Jordan) has a story of Somalis immigrants in Louisville Kentucky. The city for various reasons including an aging population has adopted a welcoming approach to immigrants. The city's Mayor Jerry Abramson calls them "internationals" and presents "international awards" to individuals, organizations and companies working to integrate the immigrants in their community.

"It's not that the city has a 'Let's go and find immigrants' approach," says Randy Capps, a senior research associate at the independent Urban Institute in Washington, D.C. "It hopes that by being a welcoming place, more immigrants will want to settle there."

Louisville has not actively gone out and recruited immigrants but some of them found their way here through the refugee allocation process.

From 1990-2004 - the foreign born population has jumped 388 % in the city. 80 languages are spoken in their schools.

For data on immigrants and minorities please visit http://ethnictrends.info

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