Community Politics

The office of Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer is keeping an eye on the Trump administration’s moves regarding immigration.

President Trump on Wednesday signed a pair of executive orders aimed at immigration and border security. The measures will further his call to build a wall along the United States’ southern border with Mexico and bolster American deportation efforts.

Fischer has long touted the city’s openness to immigrants. And late last year, he unveiled an economic directive that hinges on a steady flow of immigrants into Louisville.

Shortly after Trump’s signing of the executive orders, a spokesman for Fischer, Chris Poynter, issued a statement stressing that Louisville “is a compassionate and welcoming city that recognizes the value of increasing our diversity and the many contributions that immigrants, including refugees, make in our city.”

Poynter said any effort to target immigrant communities in Louisville is concerning, as is the failure to recognize the economic and cultural contributions immigrants provide in the city and across the country.

“We will continue to monitor the efforts of the new administration and work with our community partners to respond appropriately,” he said.

The foreign-born population in Louisville is projected to nearly double in the next decade, according to a report from the Kentucky State Data Center. By 2040, foreign-born residents will make up nearly a fifth of Louisville’s population, far outpacing the immigration of domestic-born residents to the city, according to the U.S. Census American Community Survey.

Fischer is counting on these residents to help fill some 29,000 open jobs across the region. In December, he unveiled an action plan focused on attracting and assimilating immigrants in the area.

And though one of Trump’s executive orders will restore the Secure Communities Program, which NPR reports ceased to operate in 2014 after being used by past presidential administrations to force local governments to share data on undocumented immigrants, Fischer has repeatedly stressed that local police “won’t be participating in any mass deportation.”

WFPL News is partnering with Al Dia en America to provide Spanish-language versions of stories. To read this story in Spanish, click here

Jacob Ryan is a reporter for the Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting.