Opinion | Iowa City should accept Texas migrants

Immigration strengthens communities, and Iowa City should welcome them in.


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Silhouette Of Refugees People With Luggage Walking In A Row.

Evan Weidl, Opinions Columnist

Immigrants are the foun­dation and life blood of the U.S., and Iowa City has the chance to prove its commit­ment to the belief that immi­grants make our communi­ties stronger.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott bused 10,000 migrants to sanctuary cities across the country, including Chicago, New York, and Washington, D.C. There were questions about whether Abbott would send any migrants to Iowa City, but Gov. Kim Reynolds’ office confirmed that would not be the case.

Even though Texas will not bus any migrants directly to Iowa City, we as a commu­nity and government should always be prepared and will­ing to welcome them.

In recent years, Iowa has seen more people leave the state than move into it. Iowa ranked tenth in the U.S. with the most outbound people, according to the 2019 National Movers Study by United Van Lines. That said, Iowa should be more than happy to welcome more peo­ple in.

Iowa City would certainly not be the distinctive place it is without the contribu­tions of immigrants. Thanks to their restaurants, stores, and businesses, Iowa City is a much better place. According to Best Neighborhood, Iowa City is “much more diverse than most U.S. cities,” earn­ing a diversity score of 90 out of 100.

Immigrants make signif­icant contributions to the culture and life of Iowa City. Community events like the annual Latino Fest are an excellent opportunity for the community to come to­gether and appreciates cul­tures.

Additionally, accepting migrants would help lighten the burden being put on oth­er sanctuary cities across the country. While we would not be able to take in as nearly as many migrants as cities like New York or Chicago, our ef­forts combined with other sanctuary cities across the country would make taking care of the Texas migrants more sustainable.

Those opposed to taking in migrants may cite safety concerns as a reason to not accept them. While Iowa City passed a resolution in 2017 stating the city would not use law enforcement toward federal immigration law, ex­ceptions would be made for cases of public safety and vi­olent offenders.

As a community, Iowa City is strong and prepared to do whatever it takes to help those in need. Organizations like the Catholic Worker House are preparing to help migrants settle into Iowa City in the event that Abbott sends a bus of migrants or if any migrants relocate to Iowa City from a different sanctuary city.

Abbott does not want to send migrants to sanctuary cities because he wants them to live safe, decent lives. He does it because he wants to overwhelm sanctuary cities and punish them for being empathetic.

Ultimately, we should ac­cept migrants bused from Texas because they deserve to be treated like humans. Abbott is determined to use them as political pawns to prove a point, but we must take the high road and prove that we will always choose empathy over meaningless political gains.

Iowa City is a compassion­ate, accepting city, and we should always be prepared to provide for those in need.

Columns reflect the opinions of the authors and are not necessarily those of the Editorial Board, The Daily Iowan, or other organizations in which the author may be involved.