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Immigration: Revitalizing a great American city

Like most people across the United States, Staten Island residents have read of the decay of one of America's great cities: Detroit. Once the epicenter of the auto industry, Detroit fell on hard times after foreign carmakers eroded America’s position at the top.

The exodus of blue-collar jobs and workers allowed gangs and neglect to stain Detroit's reputation. While that story has received tons of ink over the years, the revitalization of the city has received much less attention. The rebirth of downtown has been generated with corporate, retail and government support -- and an influx of immigrants.

A recent news article describes how "immigrants have quietly been helping to stabilize and revitalize key neighborhoods in Detroit."

The city still struggles with population loss, but those losses have been shrinking in recent years thanks to a surge of immigrants to Detroit. In the decade ending in 2010, Detroit lost about 25,000 residents per year. But in the past five years, the loss has shrunk to about 7,000 U.S.-born residents annually, which is partially offset by growth in its foreign-born population of about 1,000 residents per year.

From 2010 to 2014, Detroit's immigrant population exploded, growing 12.7 percent.

The news article shows immigration is crucial to Rust Belt revitalization. In the 20-year period ending in 1980, a majority of America's largest cities lost population. Detroit lost a whopping 28 percent in those years.

In the quarter of a century since 1980, about half of the cities that were losing population have turned it around seen gains. Immigration accounts for half of that resurgence, according to statistics.

"Simply put, no great American city has been able to rebound from population loss without significant immigration growth," the article states.

For those who need help navigating a complex immigration system, an experienced Staten Island immigration attorney can help.

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