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Minneapolis Fed President to host immigration forum Thursday in Worthington

Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Fed President, will host forum on immigration on Thursday. (Special to The Globe)1 / 2
Neel Kashkari, Minneapolis Fed President, will host forum on immigration on Thursday. (Special to The Globe)2 / 2

WORTHINGTON — As president of the Minneapolis Federal Reserve, which represents six states in the Midwest, Neel Kashkari is considered a prominent expert on the economy.

Nonetheless, he’s visiting Worthington to learn more.

As part of a two-day tour of Worthington, Kashkari will host a public forum on immigration at 7 p.m. Thursday during the International Festival. Kashkari hopes to hear from residents, area business leaders and civic officials about the role immigration has played in their community.

“It seems like Worthington’s economy is really being driven in part by immigrants coming in and working there,” Kashkari said. “I want to understand how they’ve done it, how they’ve found success, what are the challenges, and what other regions can learn from Worthington.”

On Friday, Kashkari will hold a listening session with immigrant entrepreneurs at the

Biotechnology Advancement Center and take a tour of JBS.

Kashkari believes immigration is key to strong economic growth in today’s economy. He noted that the U.S., like all other advanced economies, has suffered a declining fertility rate, leading to a shortage of workers needed to accommodate business expansion.

“As society gets wealthier, people tend to have fewer kids,” Kashkari said. “As our fertility rate goes down, our economic growth is going to slow.”

A larger population of workers, and thus more economic growth, means a better standard of living for Americans, and the only practical way to increase it is through increased immigration, Kashkari said.

“As a country, we have to face up to the fact that if we want to enjoy the economic growth that we’ve had in the past, immigration is going to have to become a bigger source of that growth,” Kashkari said.

Also during his visit, Kashkari will be happy to answer any questions from residents about the economy. To watch a livestream of the forum, go to www.minneapolisfed.org.