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Immigrants Can’t Save U.S. Cities by Themselves

Many U.S. cities caught in a spiral of economic decline think they have a rescue plan: an influx of immigrants. Officials are carrying out policies aimed at attracting foreigners in hopes that their energy and drive will reverse decades of population losses and set the stage for a revival.

Such thinking is a breath of fresh air -- and the polar opposite -- of the restrictionist rage that has led Arizona and other states to adopt draconian tactics to chase away such people. But immigrants aren’t miracle workers who can fix any broken economy. Their absence often signals that cities have taken a wrong turn. Rolling out the welcome mat won’t get a place back on track without fundamental reform.