EIG CONTACT: Amelia Sandhovel | [email protected]

Washington, D.C. — The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) commended the US Conference of Mayors for adopting a bipartisan resolution calling on Congress to help cities nationwide strengthen their local economies by attracting skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs. Sponsored by Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan and co-sponsored by Oklahoma City Mayor David Holt and Fort Lauderdale Mayor Dean J. Trantalis, the resolution endorses the “Heartland Visa” concept proposed by EIG as a mechanism to help fuel economic growth and dynamism to communities that are too often excluded from the benefits of skilled immigration thanks to broken and outdated federal policies

Research has shown that approximately 25 percent of U.S. start-ups–the firms most responsible for net new job creation nationwide–are founded by immigrants, and this share rises to above 40 percent in coastal states like California and New York.

“Mayors understand the urgent need for Congress to do more to capitalize on our country’s unique position as a magnet for the world’s most talented and entrepreneurial people,” said EIG President and CEO John Lettieri. “A place-based program to attract skilled immigrants to cities from Akron to Zanesville and elsewhere across the U.S.—areas outside of traditional immigration hubs—would significantly boost local economic development and fuel a more innovative economy nationwide.”

“Skilled immigration is a powerful ingredient of our city and regional economy,” said Mayor Horrigan. “As a mayor, I know that attracting talented and entrepreneurial immigrants to our community boosts economic opportunity for our residents, helps our city grow, and enables us to meet the challenges of tomorrow. That is why mayors are united in calling on Congress to enact a Heartland Visa program as an important new tool for economic development in welcoming communities like Akron across the nation.”

EIG has previously highlighted the detrimental effects of demographic decline across the U.S., which have been exacerbated by steep declines in international immigration throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Lettieri testified before the House Judiciary Committee on the harmful economic effects of falling skilled immigration and how a Heartland Visa program would support the efforts of struggling communities to attract in-demand talent and reverse the trend of economic and demographic decline.

View the text of the US Conference of Mayors resolution here

To learn more about the importance of skilled immigration and immigrant entrepreneurs for struggling communities, visit eig.org/heartland-visa.

About the Economic Innovation Group (EIG)

The Economic Innovation Group (EIG) is a bipartisan public policy organization dedicated to forging a more dynamic and inclusive American economy. Headquartered in Washington, DC, EIG produces nationally-recognized research and works with policymakers to develop ideas that empower workers, entrepreneurs, and communities.


Skilled ImmigrationDemographic Trends  Community Development 

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