Newark Tops List for Immigrant Integration

Newark (Photo by Axel Drainville, Creative commons license)

New American Economy (NAE) took four factors into consideration to analyze how U.S. cities welcome immigrants: job opportunities, economic prosperity, livability and civic participation.

“The NAE Cities Index systematically evaluates immigrant integration by measuring local policies and socioeconomic outcomes across the 100 largest cities in the United States,” reads the report.

It adds subcategories rated on a scale of 1 to 5 for cities that did not make the top 10 but offer a suitable environment for immigrants.

Subcategories under job opportunities include job force participation rate, employment rate, high-level employment, part-time employment and entrepreneurship. Regarding civic participation, the rates of naturalization, public sector employment, social sector employment, military service membership and veterans were considered.

For livability, the study considered home ownership rates, rental charges and overcrowding, as well as health insurance enrollment and high school and higher education graduation rates. In the economic prosperity category, it looked at average individual income, average business income, poverty index, social security beneficiaries, welfare beneficiaries, access to Medicaid and food stamp beneficiaries.

The report seeks to reveal “how local communities can level the playing field for immigrants to the benefit of all residents.”

The considered 10 best cities for immigrants are Newark, New Jersey; Baltimore, Maryland; New York, New York; Chula Vista, California; San Francisco, California; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; San José, California; Chicago, Illinois; Fremont, California and Detroit, Michigan.

Although the report does not mention it, at least six of these cities are considered “sanctuary,” that is, areas where local authorities protect undocumented immigrants to prevent deportations. This does not mean that federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) refrain from carrying out operations there. Actually, these are cities in which a large percentage of these raids are performed.

Newark, NJ

The city obtained a general rating of 4.03 because it has shown population gains in the last six years and increases in overall educational attainment levels, as well as a decrease in violent crime rates. “If not for immigrants, New Jersey’s largest city would have experienced a net loss of residents,” states the report.

“It was fascinating as a social entrepreneur to be in a location where I could do so many things to improve people’s lives,” said Jimena Flórez.

Baltimore, MD

The city obtained 4.00 points. “We are here because we want to get things done, and we want to make a difference by working hard,” said Mei Xu.

New York, NY

Historically the gateway to the United States for millions of immigrants, New York City obtained 3.93 points thanks to its government leadership, economic empowerment and legal support.

“I want to defend my community, give back. We need to get ahead, not for ourselves but for each other and for the communities that support us,” said César Vargas.



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