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ABOUT NASHVILLE & IMMIGRANT INTEGRATION
"The Tennessee city, world famous for its music scene, has become a magnet for newcomers."
"Barack Obama on December 9th made a foray into the heartland to promote his plan to shield millions of undocumented migrants from deportation. He chose to speak in Nashville, a once-sleepy (if tuneful) city that has seen its foreign-born population roughly double in a decade. That reflects a broad trend: millions of migrants, most of them Hispanic, have moved to the South and Midwest in recent years, flocking to small towns and rural counties that last saw hefty in-migration in the days of crinolines, carpet-bags and spats...Mr Obama has taken a gamble that the nationwide spread of migrants helps the cause of immigration reform more than it harms it. Tennessee’s example suggests he might be right."
"The president's pick of Nashville [for remarks on his 2014 executive actions]... is recognition of the city boasting one of the country's fastest-growing immigrant populations — a place that while still known foremost for its country music and honky-tonks, has increasingly gained international flavor. While the White House could have picked a city with a larger immigrant community, it chose one in a conservative Southern state, a dynamic that shows the rise in immigration in places outside the likes of California, Texas and Florida."
"This report focuses on the efforts of three cities to promote immigrant entrepreneurship as part of a broader initiative to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants. Each of the cities—Chicago, Illinois; Dayton, Ohio; and Nashville, Tennessee—is distinct in its history and geography of immigrant settlement and receptivity. Chicago is a continuous immigrant gateway with a large, diverse immigrant population. Dayton’s foreign-born population is small, but rapidly growing. Nashville has undergone rapid population and economic growth in recent decades and is a new immigrant gateway city."
"The foreign-born population in the Nashville metropolitan area has more than doubled since 2000; immigrants accounted for three-fifths of the city’s population growth between 2000 and 2012, and now constitute an eighth of all Nashville residents. When President Obama delivered a speech on immigration last December, he did it in Nashville...Nashville has welcomed these immigrants with open arms, in ways that other municipalities around the country are trying to emulate."
This report sheds light on the long history of anti-refugee organizing in Tennessee and gives communities across the country tools to defend refugee resettlement, combat Islamophobia, and build more welcoming communities.
"The study, conducted by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce Research Center, surveyed community and business leaders around the economic benefits of immigrant welcome to Nashville, which in recent years led the country in job growth. The Center concluded that “Nashville’s efforts to welcome and incorporate a vibrant, growing immigrant population has helped create tangible economic gains across the city and across sectors.”
A Tale of Two Migration: Chasing the American Dream (Al-Jazeera International)
This 45 minute documentary follows Al-Jazeera correspondent Adam Raney has he learns about his own family's story of migration to Tennessee and the stories of more recent immigrants.