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City council declares Raleigh a “Welcoming City”

Yesterday Raleigh joined the growing group of cities across the country that are recognizing the economic and social benefits of welcoming new immigrants. As a Welcoming City, Raleigh is committing “to ensure full support and equal access to opportunity to our newest immigrant residents and all who call Raleigh home.”

Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane shakes hands with Mercedes Restucha-Klem, a member of the city's Human Relations Commission, after declaring Raleigh a "Welcoming City." Photo by Ricky Leung.

Raleigh mayor Nancy McFarlane shakes hands with Mercedes Restucha-Klem, a member of the city’s Human Relations Commission, after declaring Raleigh a “Welcoming City.” Photo by Ricky Leung.

Recent studies have confirmed that immigrants moving to a city leads to more jobs and lower unemployment in part because they are more than twice as likely to take on the risk of starting small businesses. So more and more, cities are finding that making immigrants feel welcome and supported is just good business.

On a human level, welcoming new residents, no matter where they’re from, can lead to a higher quality of life for everyone in a city. Fostering opportunities for new neighbors to get to know one another builds better understanding and communication and helps new immigrants successfully integrate into their new communities.

Raleigh is now the fourth Welcoming City in North Carolina, joining Charlotte, Greensboro and High Point.

Questions about how other North Carolina cities and counties can join the national Welcoming Cities and Counties movement can be directed to Uniting NC.

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