The following appeared as a Letter to the Editor in the January 24, 2012 issue of the Detroit Free Press.
I wanted to express my congratulations, as well as those of the staff of Data Driven Detroit (D3), to State Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Detroit, who was recently named one of the top 10 heroes for immigrants by the Immigrants’ List, a political action committee dedicated to immigration reform. I have had the pleasure of knowing Tlaib for a number of years, starting when she was assisting Rep. Steve Tobocman, who held her seat immediately before her. Tlaib is a tireless champion for the residents of her district, and is a voice for Michigan immigrants, as well as everyone in need.
While we discuss the importance of attracting immigrants, let us recognize the contributions of those already here. A quick review of the immigrant population in metropolitan Detroit in 2010 shows that they are more likely to be of prime working age (25-44 years) than the native-born population (38% vs. 24%), more likely to live in married couple families (65% of 15 years and over are married vs. 45%) and to have larger households (3.15 vs. 2.51). Thirty-seven percent of immigrants (25 years and over) have at least a bachelor’s degree vs. 26% of native born, and their median household income is slightly higher.
Tlaib works tirelessly for all her constituents — immigrants and native born alike. She truly sets an example that can serve every one of us as we strive to make our city, region and state a better place for all.
Kurt R. Metzger
Executive Director Data Driven Detroit