Immigration and Society

The Struggles of a Pro-Immigrant City in an Anti-Immigrant State

December 7, 2015  • Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program OLD

Image result for city lab logo“The Bank of America corporate center and the Duke energy center are the jewels of Charlotte’s skyline. These buildings and many others only went up in the last 25 or so years, when the city started its celebrated transformation. It’s now the second-largest banking center in the U.S., and recovering steadily after the recession. Between 2010 and 2013, the population growth here was second only to Austin, and in the next decade or so Charlotte might become the fastest-growing U.S. city, according to U.N. projections. The patches of new development between the tall buildings downtown confirm this ongoing boom.

Charlotte’s upward economic trajectory since the 1980s has been accompanied, and bolstered, by the mind-boggling growth of its Latino population. A negligible 0.098 percent of the city’s residents were Hispanic back in 1980; that figure was 13.1 percent by 2014. For about three decades, Latino labor has helped build and run the city, Latino entrepreneurs fueled its economy, Latino families have enriched its urban and suburban neighborhoods, and Latino kids have populated the city’s public schools.”


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