Appeals Court Blocks Two More Key Provisions

The U.S  Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit temporarily enjoined two more controversial provisions of Alabama’s extreme immigration law (HB 56), adding to the list of  enjoined provisions. Yesterday, the 11thCircuit blocked Section 27, which bars Alabama courts from enforcing a contract with an unlawfully present person, and Section 30, which makes it a felony for an undocumented immigrant to enter into a “business contract” (including business licenses, mobile home registration and basic utilities, like water, gas, and electric services) with the state. The sections of Alabama’s law that remain in effect include the “papers please” provision, which requires law enforcement officers to determine the legal status of those when stopped or arrested whom they have reasonable suspicion to believe is in the U.S. without documents, as well as an E-Verify provision.

Last week, a three-judge panel from the 11th Circuit said they would not issue an opinion on Alabama or Georgia’s immigration law until after the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona’s SB1070—arguments for which are scheduled to be heard at the end of April.

Plaintiffs in the lawsuit against HB 56 celebrated yesterday’s decision:

“It is a big relief to the people of Alabama. These are two provisions that really struck at the heart of attempting to impact every aspect of an immigrant’s life,” said Andre Segura, an attorney with the ACLU.

“We are very pleased that the 11th Circuit understood the harms these provisions were causing in Alabama, and saw fit to enjoin them,” said the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Sam Brooke, who argued before the panel last week. “This is a great day for the residents of our state.”

Last October, the 11th Circuit enjoined two other controversial provisions of Alabama’s law—one requiring public schools to determine the immigration status of enrolling students as well as a provision that made it a criminal misdemeanor for an unauthorized immigrant to fail to carry immigration documentation. A month before, U.S. District Judge Sharon Blackburn enjoined, among other provisions, a provision that would have made it illegal to conceal, harbor or transport an unauthorized immigrant as well as a provision that would have made it a misdemeanor for an unauthorized immigrant to apply for, solicit or perform work.

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange, a supporter of HB 56, disagreed with the 11th Circuit’s decision yesterday and vowed to continue to “vigorously defend” the law in the courts. Likewise, Alabama state Sen. Scott Beason—cosponsor of HB 56—believes that the Supreme Court will uphold Arizona’s immigration law come April in a ruling that will “give a road map to other states in the nation to see what they can do.”

Meanwhile, last week, U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton blocked yet another provision of Arizona’s SB 1070 last week. Following the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals earlier ruling, Judge Bolton blocked a provision that prohibits people from blocking traffic when seeking or offering day labor services, arguing that it violated workers’ free speech rights.

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Number of Potential Immigrant Voters on the Rise in Key Super Tuesday States

Three of the twelve states holding Republican primaries or caucuses on Super Tuesday—Georgia, Massachusetts and Virginia—show especially strong trends in the numbers of foreign-born residents who have become U.S. citizens. This trend is significant given that these new Americans are able to register and vote. Immigrant communities in each of these states are large, exceeding 800,000 persons, and make up almost 10% or more of the statewide population. In fact, these three states are home to 71% of all immigrants living in the Super Tuesday states. While we don’t yet know how many of these naturalized U.S. citizens will vote on Super Tuesday or in the general election, GOP presidential candidates—many of whom have taken a hard line on immigration—would do well to take note of this trend.

Georgia, Massachusetts and Virginia have by far the fastest increases in naturalization.  The percent of immigrants who are citizens increased by 4.5 percentage points in Georgia, 4.7 in Massachusetts and 3.5 in Virginia.  In other states with smaller immigrant populations, the naturalization rates rose more slowly or declined.

Perhaps these three states’ large immigrant populations form a critical mass, which supports the existence of immigrant-serving organizations that promote naturalization. These organizations also likely garner support from elected officials, who know that naturalization can tip the balance in elections.

Moreover, these trends suggest that more, not fewer, immigrants in a state lead to greater immigrant integration, naturalization and civic participation. Candidates and elected officials who care about winning elections would do well to support immigrants’ efforts to naturalize, rather than focus solely on hard line immigration enforcement policies. After all, a newly naturalized citizen is a potential new voter.

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Mother Jones Exposes Inner Workings of the Self-Deportation Movement

In its March/April issueMother Jones Magazine goes “inside the self-deportation movement,” exploring “164 state anti-immigration bills and the forces behind them.” The concept of “self deportation,” popularized by GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney, is central to the philosophy of “attrition through enforcement.” The basic idea is that, if you make life hard enough for unauthorized immigrants, they will pick up and leave of their own accord, which means the state will not have to hunt them down, detain them, and deport them.

This is an idea so full of holes that it carries no water. Putting it into practice inflicts massive collateral damage on the economy and the native-born population. Moreover, this flawed idea is being propagated by a relatively small group of hard-line anti-immigrant activists who are using states as laboratories for their ideologically driven experiments. Mother Jones fleshes out these points:

  • Paul Reyes details the self-inflicted economic damage caused by Alabama’s now-infamous anti-immigrant law, HB 56. He describes the exodus of immigrant farm workers, not to mention consumers and taxpayers, which is still taking its toll on the state’s economy. Yet, as Reyes notes, this exodus is precisely what the architects of HB 56 intended—regardless of its economic consequences.
  • Suzy Khimm profiles Kris Kobach, the Kansas Secretary of State and legal activist who is the prime architect of the anti-immigrant bills now making their way through state houses across the country.  Khimm describes not only this latest of Kobach’s anti-immigrant crusades, but also his early years in John Ashcroft’s Justice Department, where he took aim at Arab immigrants in the wake of 9/11. It was at this time that Kobach first made his dubious assertion “that local and state officials have the ‘inherent authority’ to enforce federal immigration laws.”
  • Ian Gordon builds an “immigration hardliner family tree” to serve as “a guide to the funders, think tanks, lawyers, and politicians behind harsh Arizona-style legislation.” Naturally, this family tree begins with John Tanton, the Michigan eye surgeon who was instrumental in creating three of the modern anti-immigrant movement’s institutional stalwarts: the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and NumbersUSA. Not surprisingly, Kris Kobach is enmeshed in Tanton’s web.
  • Ian Gordon and Tasneem Raja map out the 164 state anti-immigrant laws which have passed since 2010. These laws dealt with “everything from driver’s license eligibility to the mandatory use of E-Verify.” Gordon and Raja point out that “private-prison companies like Corrections Corporation of America” stand to benefit financially from these laws as more immigrants are detained.

Mother Jones exposes the concept of “self-deportation” for what it really is: a unworkable and cynical “solution” to the problem of unauthorized immigration that doesn’t actually solve anything. Driven by anti-immigrant ideology, a small cadre of activists is pushing this absurd concept upon any state lawmaker who is uninformed enough to take it seriously. But lawmakers should educate themselves: “self-deportation” is a dead-end.

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What You Need to Know if Your State is Considering Anti-immigrant Legislation

In April 2010, Arizona governor Jan Brewer signed the “Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act,” or, as it is commonly known, SB1070. At the time of its passage, Arizona’s immigration law surpassed all previous state immigration-control efforts. While much of the law has been enjoined by the courts, its passage inspired legislators in other states to pass similar legislation.

Since SB1070 passed, 36 other states have attempted to pass harsh immigration-control laws. Of those, 31 states have rejected or refused to advance their bills. However, five states—Utah, Indiana, South Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama—have passed laws that mirror or go beyond the Arizona law. It is likely that additional states will attempt to pass similar anti-immigrant legislation during the 2012 legislative session.

SB1070 and other immigration-related state legislation represent, among other things, a growing frustration with our broken immigration system. The courts will decide the constitutionality of the various laws, and time will answer many questions about their impact. In the short term, much evidence suggests that an enforcement-only strategy—whether attempted at the federal or state level—will not solve the root causes of unauthorized immigration.

This guide provides key answers to basic questions about state immigration-related laws—from the substance of the legislation and myths surrounding the debate to the legal and fiscal implications. As other states contemplate legislation, knowing the answers to these basic questions is critically important in furthering a rational discussion.

 

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How Harsh Anti-Immigration Legislation Drains Budgets and Damages States’ Economies

This session, state legislatures are once again considering harsh immigration-control laws. These laws are intended to make everyday life so difficult for unauthorized immigrants that they will choose to “self-deport” and return to their home countries. Proponents of these laws claim that the departure of unauthorized immigrants will save states millions of dollars and create jobs for U.S citizens. However, experience from states that have passed similar anti-immigration measures shows that the opposite can occur: the impact of the laws can hinder prospects for economic growth, and the costs of implementing, defending, and enforcing these laws can force taxpayers to pay millions of dollars.

This paper outlines some of the economic and fiscal lessons from states that have passed harsh immigration-control legislation.

Anti-immigration measures harm states’ economies. 

  • If unauthorized immigrants leave, states will lose workers, taxpayers, and consumers who earn and spend money in the state. Unauthorized immigrants comprised roughly 5.2% of the national workforce (or 8,000,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • Experiences from states that have passed harsh immigration laws tell a cautionary fiscal tale:
  • Alabama’s HB 56 could shrink the state’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by up to $10.8 billion, according to Professor Samuel Addy at the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama. Prof. Addy estimates that a loss of 40,000 to 80,000 unauthorized immigrants who earn between $15,000 and $35,000 annually could result in:
  • 70,000 to 140,000 lost jobs with $1.2 to $5.8 billion in earnings;
  • $2.3 to $10.8 billion reduction in Alabama GDP, or 1.3% to 6.2% of the state’s $172.6 billion GDP in 2010;
  • $57 to $264 million loss in state income and sales tax collections; and
  • $20 to $93 million loss in local sales tax collections.
  • A 2011 report by Dr. Raul Hinojosa-Ojeda and Marshall Fitz found that deporting all of the unauthorized immigrants in Arizona would decrease total employment by 17.2%, eliminate 581,000 jobs for immigrants and native-born workers alike, shrink the state economy by $48.8 billion, and reduce state tax revenues by 10.1%.
  • Similarly, Hinojosa-Ojeda and Fitz found that if all of the unauthorized immigrants in California were removed, the state would lose $301.6 billion in economic activity, decrease total employment by 17.4%, and eliminate 3.6 million jobs.
  • study released in July 2007 by the University of Arizona’s Udall Center for Studies in Public Policy concluded that economic output would drop annually by at least $29 billion, or 8.2%, if all non-citizens, which include unauthorized workers, were removed from Arizona’s workforce. About 14% of the state’s 2.6 million workers are foreign-born, and about two-thirds to three-fourths of non-citizens are unauthorized.

Harsh immigration laws have produced severe worker shortages. 

The agricultural industry has been devastated in states that have passed harsh immigration laws. Immigrant workers have failed to show up for work and millions of dollars of produce has been left to rot in the fields. Legal U.S. workers have not been filling the open jobs. The uncertainty about how much labor will be available affects growers’ ability to prepare and plant for next year.

  • After passing its immigration enforcement bill (HB 87), Georgia’s agriculture industry experienced severe labor shortages. A survey of farmers conducted by the Georgia Department of Agriculture found 56% of those surveyed were experiencing difficulty finding workers. Early reports from the state estimate economic losses for the 2011 growing season to be between $300 million and $1 billion.
  • Alabama Agriculture Commissioner John McMillan stated, “the economic hardship to farmers and agribusiness will reverberate throughout Alabama’s economy, as one-fifth of all jobs in our state come from farming.”
  • A Georgia Restaurant Association survey found that nearly half (49%) of surveyed restaurants reported labor shortages, and 88% were concerned about future shortages. Lack of workers and related business losses have cut some restaurants’ revenue by as much as $80,000 per month.

Harsh immigration laws result in lost tax revenues.

  • States stand to lose millions of dollars in tax revenues if unauthorized immigrants—as well as legal immigrants whose lives are made difficult by the law—were to leave. Unauthorized immigrants in the United States paid $11.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
  • $1.2 billion in state income taxes;
  • $1.6 billion in property taxes; and
  • $8.4 billion in sales taxes.
  • Estimates for your state are available here.
  • In Alabama, according to Professor Addy, HB 56 could result in a loss of between $56.7 and $264.5 million in state income and sales tax collections and up to $93.1 million lost in local sales tax collections.

Harsh immigration laws discourage economic growth. 

Many states are hoping for a manufacturing renaissance to help reduce unemployment and lift their economies out of recession. For these hopes to succeed, states will require business-friendly public policy. Investors need to expect a hassle-free experience for work permit-holding foreign managers and workers alike, which cannot happen when state officials and law-enforcement officers are required to verify immigration status even in routine encounters.

  • Foreign companies employ 77,500 workers, or 5% of Alabama’s workforce; the auto industry supports nearly 45,000 in the state. In November 2011, a German Mercedes-Benz executive, visiting an auto plant in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, was arrested during a routine traffic stop for failing to produce evidence that he was in the United States legally. Soon afterwards, a Japanese Honda employee was issued a ticket when his international driver’s license was deemed insufficient. These examples illustrate the kind of bureaucratic hassle to be faced by authorized and unauthorized workers and executives alike under the new immigration laws.
  • According to Gerald Dial, Alabama State Senate Republican whip and former HB 56 supporter, an unintended consequence of the legislation in that state has been to make other states more attractive for investors. “Other states will say, ‘Hey, you don’t want to go to Alabama now,’” said Dial. “We’re probably going to lose those people. We won’t know about it. There won’t be a big red flag: ‘Hey, we didn’t go to Alabama, we’re going to go to Arkansas or we’re going to go to South Carolina.’ That’s probably the most detrimental part of the whole bill.”
  • In Nashville, Tennessee, the Chamber of Commerce called harsh immigration-control legislation “detrimental to work force development and international trade efforts,” while the president of a local commercial real estate firm said it would “make Tennessee unattractive to businesses looking to relocate.”

Harsh immigration laws make it more difficult and expensive for businesses to operate.

  • Two of Indiana’s largest employers, Eli Lilly and Co. (a drug manufacturer) and Cummins Inc. (an engine manufacturer), published a statement arguing that Indiana’s proposed immigration enforcement law (SB 590) would impede their ability to compete globally and grow in Indiana. According to Eli Lilly and Co., Indiana has a sizeable and growing biosciences industry, with almost 90,000 employees and supporting a total of $22.7 billion in economic output—direct, indirect, and induced. Spokesman Ed Sagebiel said the company’s “ability to thrive in Indiana is dependent on an environment that is welcoming.” Similarly, Cummins Inc. highlighted 550 new high-paying jobs they brought to the state as a result of Indiana’s friendliness to new business.
  • States could experience significant blows to tourism/convention profits. After Arizona passed SB 1070, major groups and associations cancelled events and conventions in the state. A report by the Center for American Progress (CAP) estimates that Arizona will lose $45 million in lodging revenue alone. Arizona was eventually forced to spend $250,000 for a marketing campaign to help improve its image after SB 1070 was enacted.
  • Some proposed laws require the mandatory use of the E-Verify employment verification system. Bloomberg estimates that implementing E-Verify costs small businesses an average of $435 per year. There are also costs to U.S. citizens and legal immigrants who are erroneously flagged as not eligible to work by E-Verify and must take time off of work to navigate the bureaucracy to fix the error.
  • State immigration enforcement laws mean businesses must incur additional costs. Economist Jeremy Thornton of Samford University points to the “shadow costs” employers incur when they take steps to protect themselves from the law’s stiff penalties. Businesses will spend more on employee screening to protect themselves from provisions of the law that bar them from knowingly hiring unauthorized workers. There could also be increased litigation costs for businesses because any legal worker could sue the employer if they have hired an unauthorized worker. “Every business that now has to comply with this legislation, that’s just extra cost. And anytime you raise costs, businesses shrink, Thornton said.” Businesses will likely have to spend more on third party assistance for employment eligibility paperwork and extra human resources staff.
  • Alabama had to push back the deadline for businesses to obtain or renew their licenses “due to the hardship placed on Alabama businesses” that could not get business licenses in October because of implementation of the new law. The new law requires individuals and businesses obtaining or renewing business and store licenses to show additional documentation, which has led to long lines at courthouses and other delays. 

Implementing and enforcing harsh immigration laws cost states millions.

Implementing these new measures will cost taxpayers dearly at a time when states are already having tremendous difficulty balancing their budgets. Potential costs include:

  • Cost to Police: Costs associated with a projected increase in arrests and overtime.
  • Cost to Jails: Costs associated with a projected increase in jail population.
  • Other Criminal-Justice Costs: Cost of projected increase in prosecutorial and public-defender staff, jail space, court rooms, and support offices needed to handle increased caseload.
  • Costs to State Agencies: Costs associated with additional personnel and time necessary to check the identification documents of all persons applying for certain state benefits. Also, cost of foster-care for children of detained immigrants.
  • Costs to Schools: Costs associated with checking and reporting the immigration status of children enrolled in schools and lost federal or state funding for schools due to decreases in school enrollment.
  • Legal Costs: Legal costs incurred by the state to defend against lawsuits.

Some states that considered immigration enforcement laws in 2010-2011 backed off once they considered cost estimates for implementation.

  • In Kentucky, an enforcement bill died after an estimate showed it would cost the state $89 million per year to enforce.
  • In Louisiana, a bill was withdrawn when it was estimated to cost $11 million to implement.
  • In Tennessee, immigration bills are stalled in 2012 until “sufficient funds can be generated to finance it.” In 2011, the General Assembly Fiscal Review Committee found that their proposal would increase expenditures by $3 million for the first year and $1.8 million every year after that.
  • In Indiana, state police said they would have to spend $5 million to train for and enforce the law.

States will have to spend millions to defend laws in the courts.

Most anti-immigration measures have immediately been challenged on constitutional and other grounds. Defending the law in the courts can be very expensive.

  • Utah’s immigration control bill, HB 497, has cost taxpayers more than $85,000 to defend in federal court. The price tag will likely increase a great deal before a final ruling is reached.
  • In Arizona, seven lawsuits were filed to stop implementation of SB 1070, and other states are likely to see numerous lawsuits against similar legislation. At the end of February 2011, Arizona had already spent more than $1.5 million defending SB 1070.
  • Farmers Branch, Texas, has already spent about $3.2 million to defend itself since September 2006, when it launched the first of three ordinances. The city has budgeted $623,000 for legal expenses through the rest of the fiscal year related to the ordinance defense. Legal costs could exceed $5 million by the end of the fiscal year.
  • Riverside, New Jersey, rescinded an ordinance that penalized renting to or employing unauthorized immigrants after the town of 8,000 accumulated $82,000 in legal fees.

 

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Immigration Statistics – Texas

Immigrants and their children are growing shares of Texas’s population and electorate. 

The foreign-born share of Texas’s population rose from 9.0% in 1990, to 13.9% in 2000, to 16.4% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Texas was home to 4,142,031 immigrants in 2010, which is more than the total population of Los Angeles, California.

  • 32% of immigrants (or 1,325,501 people) in Texas were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • 11.8% (or 1,194,544) of registered voters in Texas were “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.

 

More than 1 in 4 Texans are Latino or Asian—and they vote.

 

  • The Latino share of Texas’s population grew from 25.5% in 1990, to 32.0% in 2000, to 37.7% (or 9,521,932 people) in 2010.  The Asian share of the population grew from 1.8% in 1990, to 2.7% in 2000, to 3.8% (or 959,770 people) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos accounted for 20.1% (or 1,697,000) of Texas voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 1.4% (118,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Texas, 87.7% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 86.2% of children in Asian families in Texas were U.S. citizens, as were 93.2% of children in Latino families.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and hundreds of thousands of jobs to Texas’s economy.

  • The 2010 purchasing power of Latinos in Texas totaled $176.3 billion—an increase of 437.9% since 1990.Asian buying power totaled $34.4 billion—an increase of 653.9% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Texas’s 447,589 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $61.9 billion and employed 395,673 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available.  The state’s 114,297 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $40.2 billion and employed 206,545 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Immigrants are integral to Texas’s economy as workers and taxpayers.

  • Immigrants comprised 20.9% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 2,603,604 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Immigrants accounted for 21% of total economic output in the Houston metropolitan area and 16% of economic output in the Dallas metropolitan area as of 2007, according to a study by the Fiscal Policy Institute.
  • Unauthorized immigrants in Texas paid $1.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
  • $177.8 million in property taxes.
  • $1.4 billion in sales taxes.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 9% of the state’s workforce (or 1,100,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Texas, the state would lose $69.3 billion in economic activity, $30.8 billion in gross state product, and approximately 403,174 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Immigrants are integral to Texas’s economy as students.

 Naturalized citizens excel educationally. 

 In Texas, 28.7% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 14.1% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 30.4% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 55.8% of noncitizens.

  • The number of immigrants in Texas with a college degree increased by 72.1% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • In Texas, 75.2% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, to data from the Urban Institute.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Texas was 85.7%, while for Latino children it was 80.7%, as of 2009.

 

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Immigration Statistics – Nevada

15% of registered voters in Nevada are immigrants or the children of immigrants.

 The foreign-born share of Nevada’s population rose from 8.7% in 1990, to 15.8% in 2000, to 18.8% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Nevada was home to 508,458 immigrants in 2010, which greater than the total population of Atlanta, Georgia.

  • 41.8% of immigrants in Nevada (or 212,409 people) were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • 15.1% (or 173,268) of all registered voters in Nevada are “New Americans”—naturalized citizens or the U.S.-born children of immigrants who were raised during the current era of large-scale immigration from Latin America and Asia which began in 1965—according to an analysis of 2008 Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.

 Latinos and Asians make up one-third of all Nevadans—and they vote. 

  • The Latino share of Nevada’s population grew from 10.4% in 1990, to 19.7% in 2000, to 26.6% (or 719,435 people) in 2010. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.9% in 1990, to 4.5% in 2000, to 7.3% (or 197,439 people) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos comprised 11.6% (or 119,000) of Nevada voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 3.4% (or 35,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The numbers of Latino and Asian voters exceeded Barack Obama’s margin of victory over John McCain (120,909 votes) in this electoral battleground state.
  • In Nevada, 86.8% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 90.6% of children in Asian families in Nevada were U.S. citizens, as were 90.2% of children in Latino families. 

Immigrants are essential to Nevada’s economy as workers and taxpayers.

 

  • Immigrants comprised 24.5% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 344,290 workers), according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latino immigrants in Nevada paid roughly $2.6 billion in federal taxes and $1.6 billion in state and local taxes(including $500 million in sales taxes) in 2005. The money that Latino immigrants “earn and spend in Nevada accounts for about 25% of the State’s Gross State Product,” and Latino immigrant “employment, income and spending results in the creation of 108,380 jobs in Nevada,” according to a 2007 report from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.
  • Latino immigrants comprised about 16% of the state’s entire workforce in 2005, and an even higher share in select industries: 81% of the agricultural workforce, 47% of the construction and mining workforce, and 22% of the entertainment and tourist services workforce, according to a 2007 report from the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada.

Unauthorized immigrants are integral to Nevada’s economy as workers, taxpayers, and consumers.

  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 10% of the state’s workforce in 2010 (or 140,000 workers), according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • Unauthorized immigrants in Nevada paid $133.5 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy, which includes:
  • $16.1 million in property taxes.
  • $117.4 million in sales taxes.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Nevada, the state would lose $9.7 billion in economic activity, $4.3 billion in gross state product, and approximately 45,533 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

Latino and Asian entrepreneurs and consumers add tens of billions of dollars and tens of thousands of jobs to Nevada’s economy. 

  • The 2010 purchasing power of Nevada’s Latinos totaled $14.9 billion—an increase of 1,019.8% since 1990.Asian buying power totaled $6.5 billion—an increase of 1,071.8% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Nevada’s 18,035 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.2 billion and employed 21,922 peoplein 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 17,542 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $3.8 billion and employed 23,862 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners. 

Immigrants are important to Nevada’s economy as students.

 Naturalized citizens excel educationally. 

 In Nevada, 24.5% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 12.6% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 23.7% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 48.4% of noncitizens. 

  • The number of immigrants in Nevada with a college degree increased by 127.2% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute. 
  • In Nevada, 79.8% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute. 
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Nevada was 90.6%, while for Latino children it was 81.3%,as of 2009.

 

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