Are immigrants really hurting Marshalltown?

Perhaps it’s time to check the facts.

According to city data, crime rates, in fact, by any scientific standards have decreased rather than increased on almost every type of crime. Additionally, home sales have increased quite significantly over the past few years since the initial recession in 2008.

As for wages the annual household income actually remained quite consistent between 2000 and 2009 for White Marshalltonians while the annual household income has increased for people of color. Not to worry, though, as White households still make more than every other race in Marshalltown.

However: let’s indeed support increasing the minimum wage, and the unions who have been extremely effective at raising standards for all workers.

As for health care – firstly, non-citizens and immigrants tend to use less health care than US-born counterparts. Secondly, the increased presence of ICE (i.e. more deportations) in Marshalltown has been shown to have negative impacts on our community. Instead, better pathways to citizenship lead to more sustainable communities (healthcare included) and I believe many of us do strive for a more sustainable community.

And as unwelcome as this may be, the trends across the US and Marshalltown show that our racial demographics are shifting. People of color will be the majority population as soon as 2050. And this is projected despite the Obama administration’s astronomically high number of deportations over the past 6 years.

So what does this mean?

It means brown and black people are here to stay, and are indeed a part of this community. And indeed are on track to become the largest part of this community. Therefore, the solution to Marshalltown’s lethargic economic development is not in ICE or banning of Spanish signs (which maybe we should learn to read), but rather more open-arms for a cross-cultural community that drives innovation and engagement from ALL community members: equity is the superior growth model.

Furthermore: Are you Native American or of indigenous descent? If the answer is no, then you are an immigrant or you are a descendent of immigrants, as many Chicano and Mexican American young people are in Marshalltown. I invite you to examine the hypocrisy of European American immigrants “demanding” the assimilation of the newest immigrants to this country.

Lastly: are the things you say and do coming from a place of love? If the answer is no, I do indeed demand better.