DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – It’s still uncertain just how Dayton will be impacted by President Donald Trump’s new immigration policies, but the impact migrants have had on boosting Dayton’s economy is apparent, according to Dayton Chamber of Commerce’s Director of Public Policy and Economic Development Stephanie Precht.
Her comments come amid concern about how the new policies will affect the city.
Precht said Dayton has undergone a lot of changes over the last several decades, including a noted influx of migrants within the last ten years.
“We’re looking at an immigrant population within the city of about five per cent,” Precht said.
“That translates to about 2,500 new Daytonias that have come in over the last decade. For a city like Dayton, that’s a pretty sizable portion of the population.”
“Looking at some of the declines that happened with some of our major employers leaving – having that influx of new business owners and new workers has really made a huge difference.”
The Trump Administration’s new immigration policies are expected to make it harder for people to migrant into the United States.
Precht noted as the laws change, there’s a lot of wait and see but the city’s refugee population has already been affected.
“In the immediate term we’re really seeing it impact some of our refugee resettlement work,” she said.
“Catholic Social Services in Dayton is the primary organization that handles refugee resettlement. Some of the executive orders have already impacted that work. We’re seeing less refugee families settled in the area.”
Dayton’s “Welcome Dayton” initiative – adopted in 2011 – has encourage immigration into the city – adding to the local workforce and helping to slow down population decline.
Precht noted: “Folks who have not come to the U.S. are waiting in their home country saying, ‘Is it safe to go now, is it a good time to go?'”
Precht said the Chamber will continue to help immigration business owners navigate regulations while the Welcome Dayton initiative will work to alleviate concerns.
The Justice Department, meantime, has issued a release cautioning employers petition for H-1B visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers.