President's Immigration Speech: Will Obama Discuss How New Immigration Can Energize Rust Belt Economies?

07/01/2010 11:05 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

This morning, President Obama is scheduled to give a speech at American University on the need for immigration reform as a means to support the economic recovery.

I can think of no more powerful message to the nation than that of the hard-working, struggling "rust belt" cities seeking a new beginning by embracing the new jobs and industries that come with the new immigrants.

This Associated Content article outlines the reasons why immigrants and immigration reform could help drive a revival in cities like Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh -- once great immigrant gateway cities, but today only a fraction of the population is foreign-born.

"Cleveland Lawyer Says Immigrants Can Energize Rust Belt Economies," by Chris Johnnston.

While to date the White House has not expressed support for any of these rust-belt/immigration initiatives, it might be time for President Obama to hear what some in these cities are saying.

Leadership in Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh are beginning to embrace immigration-based economic development strategies to help reverse depopulation trends, to help accelerate the transition to a New Economy, and create the industries and jobs of the future for its residents.

To demonstrate the exciting pro-immigration strategies being explored in these cities, see:

Global Detroit

here, here, and here

here and here

Midwest Chambers of Commerce

High-skill immigration reform also is a pillar of the following policy position of a coalition of 30 Chambers of Commerce in the Great Lakes: "Agenda for Jobs and Economic Transformation in the Great Lakes Region," page 7

These chambers, from Chicago to Pittsburgh, are clearly stating that immigration helped create the once-great economy in the Great Lakes region -- and immigration is necessary once again for prosperity to return.

Mr. President, are you listening to the rust belt?