Nashville has gained a reputation as a new “Ellis Island,” a magnet for immigrants from around the world. The number of foreign-born residents in the area has grown from 2 percent to almost 12 percent.What are some of the questions Mr. Hull thinks should be asked of the city fathers?
Some 30 percent of students in Metro schools live in homes in which English is not the primary language. In 2012 Nashville had the fastest-growing immigrant population of any American city. It is the home of the nation’s largest Kurdish population, as well as sizable numbers from other countries such as Somalia, Sudan, Egypt, Eretria and Bhutan. Nashville has traditionally had a sizable and prominent African-American community, which accounts for nearly 16 percent of its population.
These demographic trends have not escaped the notice of the Nashville mayor. In 2014 Karl Dean created a Mayor’s Office for New Americans (MONA) to address the needs of the immigrant community. According to Mohamed-Shukri Hassan, a member of the mayor’s New Americans Advisory Council and a prominent member of the Somali community, the new office is Nashville’s way of saying, “Let’s come to reality with our demographics.”
Metro government has also partnered with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to create Pathways for New Americans, a program supporting immigrants who aspire to become U.S. citizens. Through this partnership, the third of its kind in the nation, New Americans Corners are located in five Nashville libraries and community centers. MyCity Connect is a new MONA initiative that provides an opportunity for new Americans to network and get to know each other.
[Nashville should be known for welcoming immigrants, by Galen Spencer Hull, The Tennessean, May 19, 2015]
The Tennessee General Assembly has debated legislation that would allow non-citizen students to pay in-state tuition to attend public colleges and universities. What is your view on this?Why should non-Americans receive benefits denied to American citizens?
In your view what steps might be taken to create pathways to citizenship for the sizable undocumented population in the U.S.?Notice the assumption that a "pathway to citizenship" for the "undocumented" population is a good thing.
Ferguson, Baltimore, New York, Charleston: What measures could Nashville take to assure that our city will not become the next focus of racial tension?Seeing as how even Sweden hasn't figured out how to avoid this, there's only one answer: not let your city be cursed by diversity to begin with.