Jun 5, 2024 - News

Cleveland's busy immigration year

Elected officials cutting ribbon

Local officials cut the ribbon at a new welcoming center in February. Photo: Sam Allard/Axios

The president and CEO of Global Cleveland told Cleveland City Council on Monday that based on reports from local organizations, he believes immigration was at its highest levels since 1948.

Why it matters: This influx of new residents represents an essential path to restoring and growing the city's population, which has declined in every U.S. census since 1960.

Driving the news: Council increased its recurring annual allocation to Global Cleveland — a nonprofit dedicated to growing the regional economy via immigration — from $150,000 to $175,000.

What they're saying: "I will always say that we need more resources, because that's my job," Cimperman said, "but I've never seen so many leaders in government come together."

By the numbers: Cimperman estimated that 5,000 people arrived in Cleveland in 2023, including refugees from Afghanistan and Ukraine, and asylum seekers primarily from central and South America.

  • He said 2024 is on pace to be even busier.

Yes, but: "Our community does a great job of welcoming people, training them and educating them," he said.

  • "We need to do a better job of keeping them."

Catch up quick: Last year, the May Dugan Center on the near west side formally affiliated with the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society and became a refugee resettlement agency, which settles 500 new refugees each year.

  • Like the other resettlement agencies, May Dugan assists with locating housing, medical services, jobs and cultural acclimation.

Go deeper: Cuyahoga County opens Welcome Center for immigrants and refugees

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