Detroit is no stranger to refugee communities. For decades, Detroit has opened its arms to people fleeing persecution from around the world—including large Muslim communities from countries such as Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, to name a few.
And Detroit is benefiting from these new arrivals. Recent refugees, particularly from the Middle East, have added an estimated $230 to $290 million dollars to the local economy, according to Global Detroit.
“We’re rebuilding Detroit in a way that’s welcoming to everyone,” Mayor Duggan told the press. “I thought this was an important message to our newest citizens.”
This month Mayor Duggan invited USCRI Detroit Field Office Director Tawfik Alazem and newly arrived refugees to share an Iftar meal during Islam’s holiest month—Ramadan. The mayor greeted each person personally, spending time chatting with parents and their children. Speaking to USCRI Field Office Director Tawfik Alazem, Mayor Duggan expressed his support for USCRI and its work with the city’s refugee communities.
The mayor assured his guests that he and the people of Detroit recognized the value of new arrivals and stressed that Detroit would also be a welcoming city.