Dear St. Louis Mosaic Project Steering Committee:
I want you to have a few talking points and key news articles on the immigration topic for refugees and immigrants. Be assured that as the national policies change, Mosaic will anticipate and adjust so that we continue to meet our goal , “to have the fastest growth rate for foreign born by 2020”. This means helping the International Institute get the most refugees possible with the new criteria, advising entrepreneurs, helping universities to be proactive for international students and assisting with corporate hiring.
We have seen the limiting changes to refugees and other immigrants from certain countries. And, we expect changes to be announced for other high-skilled immigration programs such as the H1B and OPT (and other visas) in the next few weeks. Where possible, we encourage you to write, call elected officials or speak out about how your organization sees these changes impacting our regional prosperity and safety.
While the changes put in place may lower the number of foreign born coming to the US in the next few years, both as refugees and through other immigration methods, Mosaic continues to pursue our population growth goals for foreign born. We will do this with our continued programs and welcoming regional attitudes for:
-international students, especially with STEM skills
-corporate hiring information and career fairs
-Professional Connections for those college-educated immigrants who already have long term work authorization and need connections to find a job
-Ambassador individuals, schools, companies (note, more schools and companies are calling Mosaic to sign on right now to show their welcoming cultures)
-Refugees in our region
St. Louis is welcoming to immigrants and refugees
St. Louis Mosaic Project goal is for St. Louis to be the fastest growing major metro for foreign born by 2020
In 2015 we were the fastest growing for foreign born of the top 20 regions nationally.
Foreign born are more likely than native born to start a business and they help in neighborhood revitalization, school enrollment
STL region has one of the lowest percentage of foreign born of all major metros at under 5 % while the US average is 13%.
Our foreign born population is comprised of academics, corporate employees, entrepreneurs, neighborhood businesses and other occupations. We welcome high- skilled and low-skilled immigrants. These immigrants include Asians, Latinos, Bosnians, African, Middle-East and other nationalities. We welcome those of all faiths. We understand and support the importance of family reunification for neighborhood economic growth as well as academic, business and entrepreneurship growth for the STL region.
Lastly, the upcoming administration plans to change and re-evaluate visas including (but not limited to) H1B, various E visas, J, and OPT will cause uncertainty and confusion. We will keep you informed. In addition, the US plan to halt all refugees totally for 120 days has a profound and negative effect on the operations of the International Institute and welcoming programs at the Institute. They need resources to keep operating until the next group of refugees arrive after that point, so we encourage all of you to see how you can help Anna Crosslin and the International Institute in this window of need.
Executive Director, St. Louis Mosaic Project
“Regional prosperity through immigration and innovation”
World Trade Center-St. Louis
St. Louis Economic Development Partnership
Pierre Laclede Center-Tower II
7733 Forsyth Blvd. Suite 2200
St. Louis, MO 63105