One evening last fall, Jawad Rahimi held forth in his downtown bodega as a steady stream of hockey fans en route to a St. Louis Blues game mingled with his neighborhood regulars. A native of Afghanistan who arrived 16 years ago as a refugee from Azerbaijan, Rahimi has become a fixture in a city center beset with vacant homes and abandoned buildings. A typical day brings a steady flow of customers who come for beer, snacks or just to banter in his St. Louis corner store.

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Skilled Immigration

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