Immigration is an integral part of America’s past, present, and future. In recent decades, the waves of immigrants coming to U.S. shores have grown larger. Due to changes in immigration flows and settlement patterns, some economic development organizations (EDOs) are now facing immigration issues and immigrant populations without adequate knowledge or relevant experience. This paper summarizes the large body of research on immigration and economic development, and finds much evidence that immigration strengthens the economy and contributes in several positive ways. Throughout the paper, various case studies illustrate how EDOs in communities large and small have engaged immigrants in economic development.
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