The U.S. economy sucks worse in some places than others. Yet, that isn’t as bad as getting blown up. As a result of that calculation, Iraqi refugees are coming here. A lot of them had been settling directly in Michigan, since there’s a substantial population of people there from the Middle East, but the State department decided to try to prevent that.
The U.S. government resettled Mazen Alsaqa in Massachusetts in February. Within a month, the Iraqi refugee moved to Michigan.
It wasn’t that Alsaqa disliked Worcester, Mass. But he never thought twice about staying. Even though the U.S. government tried to keep him away from the Detroit area and its soaring unemployment, that was the only place Alsaqa wanted to live.
Tens of thousands have fled Michigan’s troubled economy in recent years, yet Iraqi refugees continue to move there despite a U.S. government policy trying to limit refugee resettlement in the Detroit area. Family ties and cultural support from the region’s large Middle Eastern community appear no match for the U.S. effort, which tries to place refugees in cities where they stand a better chance of financial success. [...]
Southeastern Michigan has one of the country’s largest Middle Eastern populations — about 300,000 can trace their roots back to the region — and has long been a top destination for Arab immigrants to the U.S.
So people prefer places where there’s familiar cultural ties, regardless of what bureaucrats tell them. What a shock, huh?