St. Louis Mayor Courts More Immigrants to Compete with Native-Born Workers
St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay believes that attracting more immigrants, even low-skilled and possibly illegal immigrants, is the key to an economic turnaround even though there are plenty American-born workers who are struggling to find jobs.
According to National Journal, Slay has volunteered to provide temporary shelter" to 60 illegal immigrant juveniles from Central America and will work with Casa de Salud, "a program that is targeted toward immigrants who are here, who need healthcare, and who are not connected to the system." He said the program targets "generally low-income families, some of them undocumented, who come into our community," and it is a "regional effort that we've undertaken.
Even in the wake of the Ferguson riots, Slay "is on a mission to make his city a magnet for immigrants" and "sees them as the answer to bringing back prosperity to the Rust Belt after decades of economic decline."
In addition to "supporting programs to help high-skilled immigrants find work in local companies" even though there is no shortage of American high-tech workers, Slay told National Journal that attracting all types immigrants is "an economic imperative for us" and St. Louis should take "advantage of the influx of people coming into our country as much as we possibly can."
U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has repeatedly emphasized that illegal immigration "has a disparate impact on African-American men because these men are disproportionately represented in the low-skilled labor force." He mentioned that "50.9 percent of native-born blacks had not continued their education beyond high school" and noted that even massive legal immigration has not helped native-born black workers.
A recent poll that The Polling Company found that a majority of likely voters want fewer immigrants at this time and a whopping "90% of likely voters feel that "U.S.- born workers and legal immigrants already here should get first preference for jobs."