ICYMI: Why Cities Should Invest in Citizenship: Helping Immigrants Achieve Citizenship Yields Major Returns | Bob Annibale

Likely more correlation than causation, although citizenship both reflects and promotes integration:

It is widely recognized that gaining citizenship is a transformative social experience for immigrants and our nation. Naturalization ceremonies are often emotional events, and the integration of immigrants has shaped the face of America.

Less widely appreciated is the fact that citizenship is a powerful source of economic empowerment and strength both for the individuals who gain citizenship, as well as the cities in which they live.

In the past month the New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) and Citi Community Development unveiled new research conducted by the Urban Institute on the economic effects of naturalization on immigrants and their local economies. “The Economic Impact of Naturalization on Immigrants and Cities” shows that naturalization may lead to an average increase in individual earnings of 8.9%, or $3,200, in the first year after becoming a U.S. citizen. If all eligible immigrants were to naturalize, employment and homeownership rates among eligible immigrants may also rise.

Cities also reap economic benefits from naturalization. If all of the eligible immigrants across the 21 U.S. cities studied were to become citizens, their increased employment rate and earnings would generate millions in new tax revenues – $2 million per year in cities with smaller immigrant populations, like Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Reading, Pennsylvania, and up to $152 million per year in Chicago, $364 million in Los Angeles, and a whopping $789 million in New York City.

Source: Why Cities Should Invest in Citizenship: Helping Immigrants Achieve Citizenship Yields Major Returns — and It’s the Right Thing to Do | Bob Annibale

About Andrew
Andrew blogs and tweets public policy issues, particularly the relationship between the political and bureaucratic levels, citizenship and multiculturalism. His latest book, Policy Arrogance or Innocent Bias, recounts his experience as a senior public servant in this area.

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