New American Economy – Refugee Edition

Rhetoric about refugees in the United States is often dominated by discussions about humanitarian obligations on the one hand and public safety concerns on the other. While both are clearly relevant, this narrow focus misses what many American communities see as the most enduring legacy of these newcomers: the positive economic impact they have on the cities and towns that they ultimately come to call home. Refugees have entrepreneurship and home ownership rates that far exceed that of other immigrants. Many aging and once declining communities—from Utica, New York to Bevo Mill in St. Louis—have credited young, entrepreneurial refugees with reinvigorating their local economy and commercial main streets.1

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