News and analysis
January 05, 2016

David Lubell: Putting Out the Welcome Mat for Immigrants

Welcoming America

David Lubell, 39
Founder and Executive Director
Welcoming America
Decatur, Ga.

David Lubell firmly believes that nonprofits can accomplish more when they work hand-in-hand with government and business.

Welcoming America, the nonprofit he started in 2009, puts that belief into practice, working closely with 65 local governments to engage charities, chambers of commerce, municipal agencies, church groups, and other entities to create a more welcoming environment for immigrants.

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Cities benefit financially and socially when they embrace newcomers, says Mr. Lubell. He points to Dayton, Ohio, one of the first cities Welcoming America worked with. After decades of population decline, Dayton has started to add residents (and thus taxpayers). The city credits efforts to be more inclusive as one of the big reasons why.

Anti-immigrant sentiment after the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino makes Welcoming America's work more important than ever, says Mr. Lubell.

"These types of moments are when our values are most tested as a country," he says. "Our job is to remind people of what our values are. We are a welcoming country."

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