Studies and Reports about
Immigrants in the States
Arranged first by state or region and then by order of publication date. Scroll
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The Contributions of New Americans
Partnership for a New American Economy, August, 2015
As part of its "Reasons
for Reform" campaign, the Partnership has produced 51 reports on the "Contributions of New Americans" in each
of the states and the District of Columbia. Each report begins with a demographic overview, followed by a description of the
role played by immigrant entrepreneurs in stimulating the local economy. The reports also detail the contributions of immigrants
to specific industries, such as agriculture, the various STEM fields, and healthcare. Other topics include: immigrants and
the housing market, immigrant tax contributions, and the role of international students. Consistent with the Partnership's
position that the American economy would benefit from an increase in the number of immigrant visas issued for employment purposes,
each report also includes an analysis of "visa demand" in each state, along with an estimate as to the number of
jobs that might be created locally from an increase in the availability of such visas. The reports also break out the undocumented
population from the larger immigrant population, showing for example, the industries that have the largest share of undocumented
workers. Finally, the reports provide estimates as to the economic benefits that might accrue from campaigns to promote
naturalization among eligible immigrants.
Rising Arizona: The Legacy of the Jim Crow Southwest on Immigration Law and Policy after 100
Years of Statehood,
Berkeley La Raza Law Journal, Forthcoming, May 22, 2014, 38 pp.
Author: Kristina M. Campbell
This article argues that Arizona's efforts to exclude undocumented immigrants are "merely the newest
incarnation of the State's long history of discriminatory laws against racial and ethnic minorities..." The first section
of the paper reviews the early history of the Arizona territory, including the enslavement of Native Americans prior to the
Civil War, Arizona's support for the confederacy during the War, and the passage of race-based exclusion laws directed at
U.S. citizens of Mexican origin after the War. An important reason why Arizona was the last contiguous state to acquire statehood
(admitted to the Union in 1912) was that the majority of its inhabitants were non-white, even if they were denied basic rights
and opportunities. Originally part of a single territory with New Mexico, Arizona finally joined the Union as a separate state,
because the White people of Arizona "fought bitterly against their potential inclusion with new Mexico and its large,
powerful Hispanic population." After admission to the Union, the Arizona legislature continued a pattern of race-based
restrictions on non-White minorities. In 1915, for example, the state legislature passed law restricting non-citizen employment
to no more than 20 percent of any company's employees -- a law ultimately struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court as a violation
of federal preemption. The author also traces the history of the Phoenix Indian School, which not only sought to eradicate
Native American culture in the younger generation but also "prepared the children for a lifetime of servitude as
members of a permanent underclass." She also chronicles the prohibitions against American Indian voting in the
state, which persisted until 1948. The final section of the paper looks at the more recent anti-immigrant measures and
finds that they are "really race-based exclusion laws in disguise." The author concludes: "More than one hundred
years after first gaining statehood, Arizona remains a place that is strongly influenced by its history of war, genocide,
colonization, and racism."
Toward a Healthy California: Why Improving Access to Medical Insurance for Unauthorized Immigrants
Matters for the Golden State,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University
of Southern California, December, 2015, 69 pp.
Enrico A. Marcelli, Manuel Pastor, and Steven P. Wallace
While the Affordable Care Act (ACA) greatly reduced
the number of uninsured American, it left out one important group according to this report: unauthorized immigrants. In California,
where seven percent of the population is undocumented, this has been problematic-59 percent of the state's 2.95 million unauthorized
immigrants have no health insurance. California is a leader in providing coverage for the undocumented. As of January 2016,
undocumented children are eligible for coverage statewide. Counties have taken additional steps; 48 of California's 58 counties
now offer some coverage for undocumented adults. However, reliance on a patchwork of local programs is tenuous, as funding
may dry up during financial downturns or changes in priorities. The best way to close the gap in coverage for undocumented
immigrants is at the federal level. Immigration reform, when it eventually is passed, should include health care access. In
the interim, the ACA should be revised to include coverage without regard to immigration status. Short of that, it should
be expanded to include coverage for those with a provisional status such as DACA. State and local policy should also include
the creation of funding streams to support insurance coverage, as has been the case in California. Just as important to the
expansion of coverage is commitment to outreach to make sure undocumented immigrants take advantage of coverage when they
have it (Maurice Belanger, Maurice Belanger Consulting).
Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State,
California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), 2014
Editor: John Rodney (CIPC); Principal Researcher:
Jared Sanchez, Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California
Immigrants make outsized contributions to California compared to their share of population, buttress the workforce
and small business sector and have a potentially significant impact on the political future of the state. These are among
the conclusions in Looking Forward: Immigrant Contributions to the Golden State, a study that also provides
detailed examinations of seven regions of the state. Based on data analysis done by the Center for the Study of Immigrant
Integration at the University of Southern California, the study notes that while immigrants make up 27 percent of California's
population (highest in the country), they constitute more than one-third of the workforce, are more likely than the native-born
to be self-employed and contribute $650 billion annually (31 percent) to the state's GDP. In terms of civic participation,
immigrants are becoming increasingly influential as they gain citizenship and, thus, become eligible to vote or run for office.
The report estimates that by 2015, immigrants eligible to naturalize and the already naturalized will represent as much as
33 percent of California's electorate. While regional differences exist in terms of workforce participation (in the Inland
Empire region, for example, immigrants make up 56 percent of the labor force), educational attainment (immigrants account
for 47 percent of PhD holders in the Bay Area region) and naturalization (52 percent of the foreign-born in Sacramento are
citizens), the report underscores the vital role immigrants play and their increasing influence on the direction of the state.
Critical Choices in Post-Recession California: Investing in the Educational and Career success
of Immigrant Youth,
Migration Policy Institute, June, 2014, 113 pp.
Authors: Sarah Hooker, Margie McHugh, & Michael
California hosts one-quarter of the nation's immigrants and one-third of the entire
population of English Language Learners (ELLs). As such, the state's education system must be both robust and malleable in
helping immigrant children achieve academic and career success. However, in this report funded by the Gates Foundation
and Carnegie Corporation of New York, the authors find cause for alarm. California ranks 46th in the nation
in its rate of high school completion, and immigrant students lag behind their non-immigrant peers at all levels of the educational
system, which suffered a severe shock during the recession as funding cuts weakened the state's educational infrastructure.
In interviews with educators and community leaders as well as analysis of Census data, the authors find that, despite emerging
from the recession, the state is not yet on track to produce a sufficient number of college graduates to meet the projected
needs of its economy. The report provides many examples of ways in which some California school districts, adult education
providers, community colleges, and community-based organizations "have kept immigrant youth and ELLs at the center of
their innovative education reform efforts..." To improve college enrollment and retention rates among immigrant young
adults, the authors recommend the state education system expand the learning time for ELL high school students by expanding
the school day and restoring summer school opportunities; improve teaching training, especially for content area teachers;
and increase capacity in the adult education system, which must respond to the needs of the 29 percent of immigrant young
adults between the ages of 21 and 26 without a high school diploma. (Denzil Mohammed, The Immigrant Learning Center, Public
Ensuring California's Future by Insuring California's Undocumented: Why Excluding Undocumented
Californians from the Affordable Care Act Hurts All of Us,
San Diego State University, USC Dornsife Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, UCLA Center
for Health Policy Research, May, 2014, 10 pp.
Authors: Enrico Marcelli, Manuel Pastor, & Steve Wallace
This report develops the rationale for extending health insurance coverage
to undocumented immigrants in the State of California. Undocumented immigrants are excluded from the Affordable Care Act (ACA)
and ineligible for private health insurance subsidies, Medicaid expansion, and the Basic Health Program, which impacts up
to 1.5 million uninsured in California. Meanwhile, federal funding for hospitals providing care to the uninsured is being
reduced. On the state level, California is cutting funding for low-income and uninsured medical services on the county-level
in response to the ACA. State Senator Lara has proposed expansion of Medi-Cal and the establishment of a private insurance
exchange for undocumented individuals. According to the report, undocumented immigrants are valuable to the California economy
as they pay $2.7B in sales and taxes. Additionally, the 2.6 million undocumented comprise nearly 7 percent of the state's
population and work in major industries such as agriculture, construction, personal services, and retail. With a median income
of $20,000 for full-time undocumented workers, up to 75 percent of undocumented individuals lack medical insurance. Despite
legal fears, evidence shows undocumented individuals would sign up if medical insurance were offered. Benefits of insurance
coverage include: improved health, health care, and quality of life; preventive care; reduced psychological distress; and
preventing financial crisis. However, barriers to reaching the undocumented population include: a lack of cultural sensitivity
on the part of providers, linguistic and physical accessibility, and fear of deportation. Establishing partnerships with CBO's
could help address these problems. Historically, Californians have given bipartisan support to immigration laws favoring undocumented
immigrants and state sovereignty in immigrant policy making. (Colin Liebtag, Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work)
What's at Stake for the State: Undocumented Californians, Immigration Reform, and Our Future
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, May, 2013, 49 pp.
Authors: Manual Pastor & Enrico A. Marcelli
With 23 percent of the nation's undocumented
population, California has a major stake in the outcome of the immigration reform debate. Commissioned by four local foundations,
this report analyzes the characteristics of the California undocumented population with detailed tables for eight major
regions of the state. The tables permit comparisons of the undocumented with citizens and documented immigrants along such
variables as poverty rates, educational attainment, and child poverty. The tables also give the racial and nationality backgrounds
of the undocumented, along with the industries in which they work. The researchers also calculate the net gain to California
and its regions of putting undocumented immigrants on the path to citizenship. The authors suggest that "California should
begin planning for what comes the day after reform." Knowing that the newly legalized will likely lack access to
health care and other social services, the authors stress the importance of "build(ing) the public will for necessary
investments as well as new public-private collaborations..."
California Immigrant Integration Scorecard,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, September,
2012, 46 pp.
This report examines the progress made by 10 California regions (generally counties)
in integrating their immigrant populations. It looks at 28 indicators including economic mobility and civic participation
to gauge the pace of integration and to reveal promising strategies for improving immigrant integration. Regions received
composite and sub-category scores on a scale from 0 to 5. The report found that Santa Clara County (composite score of 4.0)
showed the most progress toward integration while Fresno (score of 2.0) showed the least. Economic gaps between immigrants
and the native-born were small in San Diego and Sacramento but great in San Francisco and Los Angeles, traditionally among
the most welcoming regions of the state. The report identifies common policy concerns that emerged through the state, including
poor English language acquisition, lack of affordable housing, uneven healthcare access, and negative media depictions of
immigrants, and recommends the creation of a statewide body to coordinate immigrant integration efforts. A companion Technical Report explains the methodology used in generating data for the Scorecard. (Denzil Mohammed)
Profile of Immigrants in Napa County,
Migration Policy Institute, May, 2012, 67 pp.
Commissioned by the Napa Valley Community Foundation, this study focuses on the economic and fiscal impacts of the
County's immigrant population, which reached 23 percent of the overall population in 2010. Immigrants, however, comprised
higher shares of workers in key industries related to wine production (73 percent of agricultural workers, 39 percent of manufacturing
workers, i.e. beverage production, and 29 percent of hospitality workers). Despite the higher incomes available to immigrants
in Napa County compared to other parts of California, 46 percent had less than a high school education, compared to 4 percent
of U.S.-born workers, making their prospects for advancement dependent on access to appropriate adult education programs.
The report also calls for private investments to maintain the quality of the county's public schools so that they can address
the needs of current or former English language learners, who constitute 45 percent of all children in the public schools.
Measures of Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles County,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California, and
Rob Paral and Associates, June, 2011, 17 pp.
Seeking to overcome the limitations of standard point-in-time comparisons
of immigrants and native-born groups, the author of this report tracks the progress of a cohort of Los Angeles County immigrants
who entered the U.S. during the 1980s and who were between the ages of 25 and 34 at the time of the 1990 census. Snapshots
of this group are taken in 2000 and 2006-08. Data is also disaggregated for the eight largest immigrant communities in the
County. Among the observed variables are: educational gains (high school and college completion rates), poverty levels, rates
of home ownership, and family income. There are many positive developments during this period, including a "sharp
drop in immigrant poverty levels" and a climb in immigrant home ownership. However, few immigrant groups were able to
narrow the gap in family income between themselves and native-born whites, and college completion rates remain low for some
of the largest immigrant communities, e.g. only 5.4% of Mexicans had college degrees by the end of the study period.
Where is the Fire? Immigrants and Crime in California,
Berkeley Center for Criminal Justice, University of California, October 1, 2010, 16 pp
This study finds no support for the presumed nexus between immigration and crime. Indeed, during the period
from 1991 to 2008, when immigration to the state soared, rates of violent crime and serious property crime in the state as
a whole, as well as in the counties and cities along the border with Mexico, declined significantly. In San Diego County,
for example, the violent crime rate went down by 58% during this period and the rate of serious property crime declined by
35%. Although this study does not posit a correlation between an increase in immigration and a decline in crime (other factors
may have contributed to the decline), the "data offer no support for the assertion that immigration increases crime..."
A State Resilient: Immigrant Integration and California's Future,
Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, University of Southern California (USC), June,
2010, 13 pp.
In this brief, the authors question the methodology and findings of a June
2010 report published by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) entitled "A State Transformed: Immigration and the New California." The CIS report linked immigration to declining high school completion rates and
rising inequality in the state. Specifically, the state was the seventh most educated state in 1970 but 50thin
2008. The USC brief accuses the authors of the CIS report of "cherry-picking" facts to support their anti-immigration
bias. The authors point out that California's median household income during this period of heavy immigration rose from 10th
in the nation to 8th. They also note that any slippage in college completion rates seems attributable to the native
born, rather than to immigrants, who currently constitute 40% of 25-64 years olds with doctorate degrees in California.
Finally, the authors point out that the economic fortunes of immigrants who didn't graduate from high school in their home
countries (and who arrived in the U.S. at age 19 or older) are considerably better than native-born non-high school completers.
New Patterns of Immigrant Settlement in California,
Public Policy Institute of California, July,
2009, 40 pp.
This report discusses California's "decline in popularity" among immigrants, as evidenced
by its falling share of the nation's immigrant population. Although still the state with the highest number of immigrants,
its percentage of the nation's immigrant population dropped from its historic high of 32.7% in the eighties to 26.4%
in 2007. A process of immigrant dispersal has taken place within the nation and within California itself, as counties within
the state that previously had not seen large immigrant populations, such as Alameda and Sacramento, show much higher
growth than traditional gateway communities like Los Angeles and San Francisco. During the same period, the educational level
of new immigrants to California has risen, with declines in the number of immigrants without high school diplomas and increases
in the number of college graduates. The report also comes to a "striking conclusion," i.e. that there has
been a "decline in social factors as a driver of location choice" among immigrants. The magnet of a pre-existing
immigrant community may be less strong today in attracting new immigrants than the availability of good jobs at above average
wages. Finally, the report notes a reveral of the trend of native-born Americans leaving areas of high immigrant concentration.
Instead, both native-born and immigrants seem to be moving to the same destinations.
The Refugee Integration Survey and Evaluation (RISE) Year Five: Final Report
Colorado Refugee Services Program, February 22, 2016, 67 pp.
The Refugee Integration Survey and Evaluation (RISE) Year Five: Final Report summarizes the results of a
longitudinal survey administered to a cohort of 467 newly arrived refugees in Denver from 2011 to 2015 with the goal of assessing
their integration into U.S. society during the initial years of resettlement. The survey was based on the principles of Community-based
Research and Ager and Strand's framework assessing refugee integration across 10 pathways such as employment, housing, language
and safety. An overall high retention rate of 70 percent of respondents was due to the "community connector" model
through which embedded members of target communities assisted with data collection and interpreting. Using quantitative measures,
as well as qualitative data from interviews and focus groups, the analysis of overall integration showed that 98 percent of
respondents advanced toward high integration with men and women progressing at the same rate. Low integrators tended to be
older refugees with a high degree of social isolation and a lack of English skills, cultural knowledge and ability to improve
their integration level. In addition, cluster analyses identify high- and low-integrating groups, the latter scoring lower
on economic sufficiency, social bridging and language. The authors conclude with suggestions for a number of follow-up studies,
including geo-mapping the influence of neighborhood on integration outcomes, an examination of how family variables influence
integration, and a "critical pathways study," a shortened version of Rise that could be administered easily by refugee
service organizations. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Integrating Immigrants in Colorado: Accomplishments, Challenges and Lessons Learned,
A report based on the evaluation of The Colorado Trust's Supporting Immigrant and Refugee Families
Initiative, October, 2011, 33 pp.
The Colorado Trust launched an immigrant integration initiative in 2004, awarding
10, five-year grants during Cycle 1 and 9 grants during Cycle 2. This report, prepared by an independent investigator, evaluates
the results of the first cycle of grant-funded projects. The Trust required grantees to follow a "two-way street"
definition of integration but encouraged them to tailor their grant requests to the needs of their local communities.
Facilitation and technical assistance to grantees was provided by the Spring Institute for Intercultural Learning. Grantees
pursued seven main strategies, two of which were to "create opportunities for immigrants and receiving community members
to interact and get to know one another" and "to help receiving community members learn more about the cultures
of the newcomers in their community." Among issues that surfaced during the grant period were how to definite and
whether to use the word "immigrant," the desirable background and qualifications for project managers, and the appropriateness
of advocacy/lobbying for achieving systems change. The report summarizes the accomplishments of the various projects, as well
as efforts to sustain the projects beyond the period of grant support.
Understanding the Impact of Immigration in Greater New Haven,
The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, January, 2015, 20 pp.
Authors: Mary Buchanan
& Mark Abraham
Since the year 2000, New Haven
has experienced a sharp increase in its immigrant population, making it "the fastest growing city in Connecticut"
despite only modest growth in its native-born population. Understanding the Impact of Immigration in Greater New
Haven uses survey and Census data as well as local and national statistics, interviews and field work to detail the social
and economic impact of immigration on the Greater New Haven area. Now constituting one-eighth of Greater New Haven's population,
immigrants are more likely than the native-born to be employed and more likely than the foreign-born elsewhere in the U.S.
to be high-skilled, i.e. have a college degree. Immigrants also stimulate the local housing market and open small businesses
that revitalize neighborhoods, such as the Ninth Square business district. Schools are adapting their curriculums to serve
non-English-speaking students and myriad festivals and ethnic organizations enrich the cultural landscape. In producing this
report, the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven shows that it is "making immigrant integration a strategic focus"
of its grantmaking. (Ariella Katz Suchow for The Immigrant Learning Center, Inc.'s Public Education Institute)
Immigrants in Iowa: What New Iowans Contribute to the State Economy,
The Iowa Policy Project, July, 2014, 16 pp.
Authors: Heather Gibney & Peter Fisher
Although immigrants make up only 4.3 percent of Iowa's population, they account for 4.5 percent of the state's
economic output, according to this report from the Iowa Policy Project. Moreover, 83.5 percent of immigrants are of prime
working age (between 18 and 64), compared to 60.5 percent of native-born Iowans. Immigrants are overrepresented in certain
occupations in Iowa, e.g. 56.3 Percent of meat cutters; 33.2 percent of packers, fillers, and wrappers; and 16.3 percent of
software developers. Immigrants, whether documented or undocumented, contribute to the state's economy by starting businesses,
creating jobs, spending money as consumers, paying state and federal taxes, and "contribut(ing) to the vitality and culture
of Iowa communities." The report takes a closer look at the undocumented subset of Iowa's immigrant population which
represents about 2.5 percent of the state's population, or about 75,000 persons. They contribute about $37 million in federal
payroll taxes and $64 million in state taxes, yet are barred from accessing most federal, state and local government programs.
The authors estimate that work authorization for Iowa's undocumented population would boost state and local tax contributions
by $16.5 million.
The Impact of Immigrants in Maryland: Final Report,
Commission to Study the Impact of Immigrants in Maryland, February 8, 2012, 36 pp.
In order "to provide fact-based and objective information concerning ... the demographic, economic,
and fiscal impacts of immigration," the Maryland General Assembly authorized the creation of a special commission in
2008. As part of its work, the Commission was tasked with studying "the benefits and costs of unauthorized immigration,
including impacts on income distribution, crime, education, and health care." The Commission, consisting of 19 members,
with staff support provided by the University of Maryland (Dept. of Economics) and the Maryland Department of Legislative
Services, began its deliberations in May of 2010. This is the final report of the Commission. The report is notable
for its critique of a FAIR study of unauthorized immigration in Maryland. The Commission also concludes that "a healthy
and growing economy needs immigrants of all types" and that "programs that enroll local law agencies in enforcing
immigration law can work against the interests of Maryland's communities." The Commission also produced a supplemental
report, containing background information, minutes of Commission meetings, and evidence for several of the findings in the
The Integration of Immigrants and Their Families in Maryland:
A Look at
Children of Immigrants and Their Families in Maryland,
Prepared for the Annie
E. Casey Foundation by The Urban Institute, June, 2010, 65 pp
This is the second in a two-part examination of
the immigrant population in the State of Maryland. This report provides a detailed portrait of the children of immigrants
and their families. The number of Maryland children with at least one immigrant parent more than doubled from 121,000
in 1990 to 253,000 in 2006. Without this increase, the state's population would have stagnated or declined, due to the low
fertility rate of native-born white parents. The report also provides information on the 69,000 children of immigrants living
in low-income families, i.e. families with incomes below twice the poverty level. Although many enjoy "protective"
factors, such as a higher percentage of two-parent families than among children of native families, they also face special
burdens, such as lower rates of participation in center-based care and more crowded housing, burdens which need to be
taken into consideration in designing effective educational and social policies.
Imagine All the People (Profiles of Boston’s immigrant communities)
Boston Redevelopment Authority, April, 2016
“Imagine All the People”
is a series of 15 publications produced by the Boston Redevelopment Authority for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement.
Each publication provides a detailed profile of Boston immigrants from a particular country, including educational attainment,
income and occupational characteristics, housing status, and neighborhoods of settlement. The following countries are covered:
Barbados, Brazil, Cape Verde, China, Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, India, Ireland,
Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago, and Vietnam.
Challenges in Accessing Early Childhood Education and Care for Children in Refugee Families
Migration Policy Institute, March, 2016, 30 pp.
Authors: Jeff Gross & Christine Ntagengwa
Refugee parents often have greater difficulty accessing high-quality childcare than their
native-born counterparts. However, Massachusetts has made significant inroads in addressing this gap as the first state to
create an agency with the sole focus of managing and improving early childhood education and care (ECEC). The Migration Policy
Institute report Challenges in Addressing Early Childhood Education Care in Children in Refugee Families in Massachusetts
uses data and interviews with refugee organizations, state agencies and ECEC service providers to assess the state's track
record in providing high quality childcare for refugee families. Some of the institutional barriers include limited resource-sharing
and cooperation among social service providers, and the dearth of training available to resettlement staff. Cultural barriers
include refugees' lack of English skills or knowledge of how to access subsidized childcare. Refugee parents also face time
constraints that prevent them from fully researching available childcare providers, as they are usually required to obtain
employment shortly after arriving in the U.S. The report notes the serious shortage of data on refugee children in the child
welfare system. For this reason, the report calls for better data tracking to ensure that policy initiatives are adequately
addressing the needs of refugee families. The report concludes with policy recommendations such as improving interagency cooperation,
strengthening cultural training for childcare providers and focusing resettlement efforts on areas with large concentrations
of ECEC providers. (The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Immigrants as a Potential Source of Growth for New England's Highly Skilled Workforce,
New England Public Policy Center, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, December, 2013, 4 pp.
In "Immigrants as a Potential Source of Growth
for New England's Highly Skilled Workforce," author Tara Watson shows that growth in the New England college-educated
workforce lags other parts of the U.S. In order to sustain and improve the high-tech and innovation sectors, the
drivers of the region's economy, it is particularly important for students graduating in the STEM (science, technology, engineering
and mathematics) fields to remain and join the workforce. In her report, drawing on American Community Survey 2006-14 data,
Watson addresses the question: How successful is New England in attracting and retaining foreign-born college graduates? Watson
finds that New England does well in attracting foreign-born college graduates but is less successful in retaining them. On
the one hand, immigrants aged 16 and older make up nearly 10 per cent of young college graduates in New England, and they
are more likely than natives to study STEM fields. On the other hand, once they graduate, 8.4 per cent of foreign-born college
students leave the region for other parts of the country which is nearly twice the number leaving the Pacific states. One
suggestion to improve its retention rate of foreign-born college graduates, Watson notes, is for New England companies to
better access H1-B and OPT visa programs. (Denzil Mohammed, The Immigrant Learning Center, Public Education Institute)
Going for Growth: Promoting Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Massachusetts Gateway Cities
MassInc Gateway Cities Innovation Institute, February, 2013, 15 pp.
Authors: Benjamin Forman and Sandra
The "gateway cities" of Massachusetts have put out a welcome mat for
immigrants for generations. A century ago, these cities attracted workers to the factories and textile mills with the promise
of upward mobility and job security. Recently, these cities have attracted a wave of new immigrants who found shuttered factories
and desolate central business districts. However, utilizing their entrepreneurial spirit, they started businesses. In a short
space of time, their storefronts stimulated urban revitalization and economic growth. With instructive examples and case studies
from the field, this policy brief offers lessons for urban planners and economic development professionals interested in encouraging
entrepreneurship among the foreign-born. These techniques include more creative placemaking that takes the unique character
and vision of the city into consideration; business development, that connects entrepreneurs to the financial and other resources
they need to grow their businesses; and entrepreneurial education, that can foster and promote a climate of entrepreneurship
in the city toward its overall economic development. (Denzil Mohammed)
Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Workers in Leisure and Hospitality Businesses:
Massachusetts and New England,
The Immigrant Learning Center (ILC), 2010, 45 pp.
This is the latest in a series of research studies commissioned by The ILC analyzing the role of immigrants as entrepreneurs,
workers and consumers. The Leisure and Hospitality sector is the 4th largest employer in the Massachusetts private
sector employing 302,547 workers or 9.3% of the state's total population. Although immigrants constitute ca 14% of the state's
population, they make up ca 25.5% of all workers in this sector, with even larger percentages in the hotel and travel accommodations
subsectors. Moreover, foreign-born workers in this industry show high rates of entrepreneurship and are having "an enormous
and positive impact on local economies."
Filling the Talent Gap: Mobilizing Michigan's International Student Potential
Global Detroit, Michigan Global Talent Retention Initiative, 2016, 32 pp.
Authors: Ryan Etzcorn & Steve Tobocman
Filling the Talent Gap is an update to a 2013 report by the Michigan
Global Talent Retention Initiative about the use of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program by international students
at seven Michigan universities. The OPT program allows international students who have earned a postsecondary degree to work
full-time in the United States for up to 12 months or up to 36 months if they are science, technology, engineering or mathematics
(STEM) degree holders. The report utilizes data from several sources to show that international student retention has enhanced
regional economic competitiveness and that Southeast Michigan has been particularly effective in using OPT to retain international
talent. STEM fields are projected to have large employment supply shortfalls across the United States and Michigan, and international
students could be an important key to filling that talent gap. Foreign students currently comprise a significant proportion
of STEM graduates, the rate of international student enrollments is growing, and OPT users are highly concentrated in STEM
fields, especially PhD graduates. For example, in recent years more than 60 percent of STEM Ph.D. graduates in Michigan have
been international students while the number of students using OPT to work in the state has almost doubled between 2011 and
2015. To improve the use of global talent, the authors suggest raising awareness about the underutilization of OPT and addressing
barriers that prevent employers from engaging foreign students. (Jasmina Popaja for The Immigrant Learning Center
Public Education Institute)
Reimagining the Midwest: Immigration Initiatives and the Capacity of Local Leadership,
The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and American Immigration Council, September, 2014, 17 pp.
Juliana Kerr, Paul McDaniel, Melissa Guinan
In the face of federal inaction on immigration
policy, city, state and regional leaders in the Midwest are implementing measures to encourage economic growth and build stronger
communities by integrating immigrants. This report catalogs many of these initiatives so as to guide groups outside the region
seeking models for effective immigrant policies and to encourage the exchange of best practices within the region. The report
identifies state, city, metropolitan and private sector initiatives plus the work of regional and national immigrant integration
networks. These include state and city offices for New Americans, such as the (Chicago) Mayor's Office of New Americans which
focuses on law enforcement, education and business growth as they relate to immigrants. Civic initiatives such as Global Cleveland
utilize private funding to tailor their services to both welcoming and immigrant communities including "how to"
tutorials for immigrant workers and employers seeking to hire immigrant workers. Other initiatives, such as the St. Louis
Mosaic Project, are broad collaborations that leverage the capacities of organizations in business, government and the community
to make better use of resources in order to reach a common goal. Although the authors acknowledge that the Midwest is by no
means a perfect model, its many creative approaches stand as examples of what can be done on the local level in the absence
of federal action. (Denzil Mohammed)
The Economic Potential of African Immigrants in Minnesota,
Concordia University, St. Paul, May, 2015, 44 pp.
Author: Bruce P. Corrie
The economic contributions of African immigrants in Minnesota are greater than previously estimated
and deserve more attention from policymakers and mainstream businesses, according to this study funded by the McKnight Foundation.
The author contends that Census numbers underreport this contribution. In The Economic Potential of African Immigrants
in Minnesota, the author addresses this and other gaps in research on African immigrants in the state, utilizing immigrant
networks and supporting community organizations to survey more than 500 people from a diverse group of African immigrants.
Supplementing this research with additional data from the American Community Survey, a survey of local African immigrant business
owners, and a November 2014 election online exit poll that included African immigrant voters, the report also creates estimates
on African immigrant consumer spending, business ownership, and civic contributions. The author estimates African immigrant
income in Minnesota to be $1.6 billion annually, some of which stems from their entrepreneurial spirit: at least 7.8 percent
of the African immigrants surveyed were self-employed, 10.5 percent ran home-based businesses, and 28.2 percent had hopes
of owning their own business. To incorporate the great economic potential in the African immigrant community into the larger
economy, the author offers recommendations for Minnesota policymakers including partnering with community organizations and
developing alternative loan pools. (Carieta Thomas for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Immigrant Contributions to Minnesota's Economy,
Partnership for a New American Economy, Minnesota Business Immigration
Coalition, AS/COA, October 30, 2014, 11 pp.
population of immigrants in Minnesota is helping to offset weaknesses in the labor force, tax revenue and housing market.
Immigrant Contributions to Minnesota's Economy shows how immigrants are a crucial part of the workforce and tax base,
help to revitalize declining neighborhoods, create jobs for U.S.-born workers and help to sustain public services and programs
such as Medicare and Social Security. The report notes that, as Baby Boomers retire, tax bases are shrinking leaving local
and state governments struggling for funds. Using data from the American Community Survey, Congressional Budget Office, Minnesota
Department of Revenue and published research studies, the report shows that immigrant populations in Minnesota have increased
by 55 percent since 2000 helping to offset this decrease among tax-payers by contributing more than $1.2 billion in taxes
in 2013 alone. Immigrants in Minnesota have higher educational attainment than U.S.-born residents and are both bolstering
the workforce and creating more jobs as entrepreneurs. In fact, 40 percent of Minnesota's Fortune 500 companies were founded
by an immigrant or child of an immigrant. Additionally, immigrants were found to be important to the health of the state housing
market; house values increased markedly in areas where immigrants settled during the housing crisis of 2008-20012. The authors
suggest that Minnesota's economic resilience is partly attributable to immigrants and policies that welcome immigration. (Jamie
Cross for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Moving from Exclusion to Belonging: Immigrant Rights in Minnesota Today,
The Advocates for Human Rights, March, 2014, 301 pp.
and refugees in Minnesota do not enjoy full participation or inclusion in the community, often because of discriminatory or
outdated policies, practices and similar barriers. This is the major finding of Moving from Exclusion to Belonging: Immigrant
Rights in Minnesota Today, for which the authors conducted more than 200 interviews and community conversations with
500 participants. The authors noted that in virtually every sphere of public life, Minnesota's immigrants and refugees lack
opportunity for full participation or advancement, are discriminated against, have unmet basic needs, and are unable to reach
their full potential. These areas include safety and access to justice, education, housing, economic opportunity and civic
engagement. Although some people in Minnesota pay lip service to "welcoming gestures," these gestures often
do not translate into equality of opportunity. While immigration status, fear, mistrust, lack of English proficiency and poverty
accounted for much of the reason for a lack of full participation and inclusion, the authors find that both local and state
policies as well as the attitudes of long-time Minnesota residents and employers do not permit immigrants and refugees to
enjoy basic human rights. The report makes recommendations for policy, law and regulatory changes in areas such as affordable
housing, anti-discrimination laws and increased public support for refugees. (Denzil Mohammed)
The Economic Impact of Immigration on St. Louis,
Saint Louis University, June, 2012, 57 pp.
by Jack Strauss, Simon Chair of Economics at Saint Louis University, this report argues that the St. Louis region's poor economic
growth and its sharp drop in population from 10th largest Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) in 1970 to 18th
in 2010 are largely explained by its failure to attract sufficient numbers of immigrants. With the foreign-born constituting
only 4.5 percent of the region's population, St. Louis trails way behind other cities in the top 20. The report contends that
job creation, income growth, and housing prices would have been markedly greater, if immigration levels had more closely resembled
that of other cities. In addition, White and African-American unemployment rates would have been approximately 2 percent lower.
The report concludes with examples of how other cities, such as Nashville, Louisville, Cleveland, and Detroit, are taking
concrete steps to attract immigrants and create more welcoming communities.
Still Vital Beyond Belief: The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Nevada,
Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada, May, 2015; 8 pp.
Author: J. Mijin Cha
Nevada's immigrants comprise more than 19 percent of the state population, nearly 25 percent of the workforce, and
21 percent of the state's small business owners. A new report by the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada (PLAN) highlights
the integral role that immigrants play in the state's economy. Still Vital Beyond Belief: The Economic Contributions of
Immigrants in Nevada updates an earlier (2007) report and provides demographic, workforce and economic data and
offers policy recommendations at the federal, state and local level. Nevada's immigrant population is ethnically diverse;
although 57 percent of immigrants are Hispanic (the majority of whom are Mexican), Asian and White immigrants respectively
account for 26 percent and 14 percent of the immigrant population. Immigrants do not work solely in low-skill and low-wage
occupations; the distribution of income levels among immigrant workers and U.S. born workers is quite similar, despite the
wage disparity between the two, and 33 percent of immigrant workers have white-collar jobs. Immigrants play a key role in
farming and service industries, where they comprise 50 and 42 percent of the workforce respectively. The report suggests
that even unauthorized immigrants contribute to Nevada's economy, paying over $123.8 million in state and local taxes in 2010. The
author urges Nevada's policymakers to support legislation that allows families to stay together, limits state and local
responsibilities for federal immigration enforcement, promotes community and civic participation, and includes pathways to
citizenship for unauthorized residents, so as boost tax revenue and consumer demand. (Chiara Magini, The ILC Public Education
Deportation without Representation: The Access-to-Justice Crisis Facing
New Jersey's Immigrant Families
Seton Hall Law Center for Social Justice, June 1, 2016, 39 pp.
Authors: Lori A. Nessel & Farrin R. Anello
This paper argues for an expansion of access to free and low-cost legal services for low- income New Jersey residents
who are facing deportation proceedings. The authors begin by reviewing the positive impact of immigration on the state of
New Jersey and the negative results of deportation on individuals, families and the state's economy. After providing a description
of the complexity of deportation proceedings, the authors present an analysis of what the results are for those involved in
deportation cases without legal representation. To do this they draw on a data-set of cases heard in New Jersey's two immigration
courts, and they conclude that having representation greatly increases the likelihood that an individual will win their deportation
case and the chances that the individual will file for and receive some form of legal relief. Having made the case for the
importance of representation, the authors then review a survey of organizations providing legal services to immigrants in
the state. A key finding is that those organizations represented significantly fewer detained than non-detained clients, regardless
of their overall caseload. Organizations generally reported that funding and support for services are limited, and that this
scarcity of services seemed most pronounced in the southern part of the state. The authors conclude by reiterating how the
complicated nature of deportation proceedings puts non-represented individuals at risk, particularly those in detention. They
also include pragmatic reasons for providing guaranteed representation, such as the fact that cases with no representation
take up more of the courts' resources. (Erik Jacobson, Montclair State University)
Skilled Immigrants and Immigrant Entrepreneurs in New Jersey
Briefing report submitted by the Skilled Immigrant Task Force, State Council on Adult Literacy Services
to the NJ State Employment and Training Commission, November 19, 2015, 14 pp.
Author: Nicholas V. Montalto
There are nearly twice as many high-skilled immigrant workers as low-skilled immigrant
workers in New Jersey, but their skills are being underutilized. In the 2015 briefing Skilled Immigrants and Immigrant
Entrepreneurs in New Jersey by the Skilled Immigrant Task Force to the State Council on Adult Literacy Education Services,
researchers identify employment barriers that New Jersey's skilled immigrant workers and entrepreneurs face. The briefing
finds that many high-skilled immigrants are unemployed or working jobs that are not in line with their education levels. The
reasons for this include poor English language proficiency, weak professional networks, and a lack of interviewing and resume-writing
skills. Immigrant entrepreneurs face challenges such as a lack of familiarity with local markets, difficulty accessing credit
and visa policies that do not support potential entrepreneurs. In order to counteract these barriers and to maximize the economic
potential of skilled immigrants for everyone's benefit, the report recommends recognizing skilled immigrants as a group facing
special employment challenges and developing targeted programming to meet their needs. The report then goes on to detail various
strategies that have shown promise in other states. Finally, the report suggests that the State Employment and Training Commission
create a task force to review state policies and procedures related to both high skilled immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs.
(Sophia Mitrokostas for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Meet the Neighbors: Organizational and Spatial Dynamics of Immigrant
Eagleton Institute of Politics,
Rutgers University, February, 2014, 72 pp.
Authors: Janice Fine, Anastasia Mann, David Tulloch,
F. Scott Bentley
Beginning in 2009, an interdisciplinary team of researchers from Rutgers University set out
to gather and analyze information about organizations serving immigrant communities in New Jersey. This report constitutes
the results of their research. The researchers identified organizations using a variety of sources, including data from Form
990s filed with the Internal Revenue Service. To obtain information about the history, scope of services, and
capacity of these organizations, the researchers administered surveys by phone, fax, and email. Complete data was received
from 287 organizations, out of 1,805 on the "master list" (the authors acknowledge, the results may not be representative
of the entire sector). Although there is no definition of "immigrant-serving organization" in this report,
the authors apparently operated with a broad definition, inclusive of mainstream organizations, such as day care centers and
adult education organizations, with significant presence within immigrant communities. The three most important functions
of all organizations in the sample were legal aid (15 percent of organizations), cultural education (14 percent), and advocacy
(13 percent). "On balance," write the authors, "immigrant organizations allocate the lion's share of their
resources to these three kinds of activities." The report features a variety of maps that, for example, track the location
of H-1B holders and immigrant ITIN filers in the state. The report also includes a number of short case studies of local
immigrant communities, e.g. the Costa Ricans of Bound Brook, the Asian Indians of Central New Jersey, and the farm workers
of south Jersey. Despite the fact that immigrant-serving organizations act as "the state's most powerful tools of democracy
and facilitators of integration," they are experiencing shrinking resources at a time of growing need.
Federal Immigration Reform Would Help New Jersey's Striving Immigrants
and Boost the State's Economy,
New Jersey Policy Perspective,
January, 2014, 19 pp.
Author: Erika J. Nava
Claiming that policymakers in New Jersey pay "scant
attention" to how immigrants improve the state's economic prospects, Erika J. Nava -- a policy analyst with New Jersey
Policy Perspective - argues that the immigrant contribution to the state's economy has been enormous and that immigration
reform would provide an even greater boost to the economy. State and local income tax revenues, for example, would rise substantially
as more undocumented workers emerged from the underground economy (In 2011, 118,504 workers, probably all undocumented, filed
New Jersey income tax forms without Social Security numbers). If the strict employment provisions of the Senate bill
were to be enacted into legislation, more of these workers, including day laborers, would look for permanent positions so
that they would not accrue more than 60 days of unemployment over the first six years of provisional residence - a requirement
to advance to permanent residence under the Senate bill. Newly legal workers would also put pressure on those employers who
now pay workers cash under the table to put them on the regular payroll. In addition, "employers would lose the
threat of deportation as the lever to pay below-market wages and maintain poor working conditions. One consequence could be
better wages for all workers in low-wage industries..." The author concludes with suggestions to improve the Senate bill
by providing health care benefits to newly legalized immigrants, shortening the waiting period for citizenship, and eliminating
the "harshly unrealistic limit on unemployment" during the initial six year period of provisional status.
Overcoming the Barriers Faced by Immigrants,
A Briefing Report by the N.J. State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights,
September, 2010, 25 pp.
on Immigration and Democracy, Eagleton Institute of Politics, Rutgers University,
December, 2008, 20 pp.
Brookings Metropolitan Policy
Program, November, 2008, 39 pp. (also covers 3 counties in south Jersey)
Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, 2008, 4 pp.
New Jersey Policy Perspective,
June, 2008, 20 pp.
Woodrow Wilson School, Policy Task Force Report, May, 2008. 39 pp.
Farmworkers Support Committee of
New Jersey (CATA), August, 2006, 37 pp.
National Immigration Forum, 2006,
Seton Hall University Institute
on Work, April, 2000, 90 pp.
A Portrait of Immigrants in New York,
Office of the New York State Comptroller, November 2016, 17 pp.
This report mines federal data sources
to paint a portrait of the immigrant population in New York State by region. Among the data points covered in the report are:
net international migration; immigrants as a proportion of total population, immigrants obtaining legal permanent residence;
period of entry; immigrant population by age; educational attainment; and labor force participation. The report also shows
the top 15 occupations of immigrants, the average annual wage for each occupation, and the percentage of immigrants within
each of those occupations. For example, 3.5 percent of all employed immigrants are maids and housekeeping cleaners, they represent
67 percent of all people employed in this occupation, and the average annual wage is $32,220. In another example, 2.2
percent of all immigrants are registered nurses, they represent 29.1 percent of all people employed as registered nurses,
and the average annual wage is $80,090.
Immigration and New York City: The Contributions of Foreign-Born
Americans to New York's Renaissance, 1975-2013,
Americas Society/Council of the Americas, April, 2014, 18 pp.
Author: Jacob L. Vigdor
To what extent are the fortunes of modern cities entwined with immigration? In the case of New York, according to
Duke University economics professor Jacob L. Vigdor, the answer is to a great extent. In this study supported by a grant from
the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Vigdor credits the roughly 2 million immigrants who arrived in the city since 1980 with having
brought about a remarkable transformation from the despair of the seventies, when the city was on the verge of financial collapse,
people were abandoning the city, and crime was rife, to the confidence of today's pulsating and vibrant city. Indeed, Vigdor
shows how New York's prospects going back to the late 19th century have always been linked to the presence of people
on the move, whether from Europe, Asia, or Latin America, or from the South and Puerto Rico. Using census data and crime data
from the police precinct level, Vigdor reaches four main conclusions: first, "immigration is responsible for reversing
New York City's population decline (and) helping the economy to thrive again." Without immigrants, the City's property
tax base would have eroded by $500 billion over 30 years. Second, immigrants have played a "decisive role" in reducing
the city's crime rate. Although there are many factors explaining the sharp drop in the New York crime rate (New York is now
one of the safest cities in America), Vigdor reports that "up to two-thirds of the decrease in crime can be attributed
to the impact of immigration." Third, immigration has "lessened the city's housing affordability problems."
By blazing trails into new neighborhoods (Vigdor examines four neighborhoods in particular: Manhattan's Chinatown, Brooklyn's
Canarsie, Bronx's Morrisania, and a cluster of neighborhoods in Queens), immigrants have expanded the stock of affordable
housing for middle class families. Finally, immigrants have boosted the personal wealth of all New Yorkers, immigrant and
non-immigrant alike, by increasing home equity. The author believes that the case of New York is not an outlier. The stagnation
of other cities without large immigrant populations shows the reverse side of the coin. He concludes that " the future
of New York City - and the nation's other large cities - depends on the future of immigration to the United States."
The Newest New Yorkers: Characteristics of the City's Foreign-born
New York City Dept. of City Planning, 2013 Edition, 235 pp. + Supplement
This is the latest volume in The Newest New Yorker series, which began in 1995 and was last updated in 2005. The
2013 edition examines where New York City's foreign-born come from, their patterns of settlement, their demographic and socioeconomic
characteristics, and their role in the economy. The volume is a rich treasure trove of information. A separate chapter reviews
the legal pathways used by various immigrant groups to establish themselves in the city, including family-based visas, employment
visas, refugee and asylee determinations, and diversity visas. The authors note that "immigrant flows have mitigated
what could have been catastrophic population losses (1970s)...and have propelled the city to a new population peak of 8.34
million in 2012." However, the most recent data seems to point to some slowing of international migration, along with
a reduction in out-migration from the city and growth in in-migrants from the rest of the nation. The authors point out possible
service implications of New York City's changing demographics, including a "new phase of unprecedented diversity for
the city's older population." The report also includes detailed information about immigrants in the 26 adjacent counties
to New York City in the States of New Jersey, and Connecticut, as well as New York.
Center for an Urban Future (CUF), January, 2012, 12 pp.
This follow-up to CUF's 2006 Lost in Translation Report explores the policy implications of New York State's growing
immigrant population and the declining availability of state-funded ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) classes. The
report finds that, despite the significant benefits immigrants bring to the state economy--- in terms of population replenishment,
entrepreneurship, and labor--- "New York is not leveraging their full potential." According to the authors, ESOL
classes serve as an essential building block for increasing the skills and knowledge necessary to employment. Yet capacity
has not kept pace with the growing need for instruction. The report sites two major factors in declining enrollment trends:
a decrease in inflation adjusted state-funding for ESOL and a move towards higher-quality, longer-term education. While improving
outcomes for learners, according to the report, smaller class sizes and extended course length has reduced the capacity of
many ESOL programs to serve a majority of those that seek their assistance. The report also finds fault with the Employment
Preparation Education (EPE) funding formula based on county property values. The paper concludes with a number of recommendations
calling for state and local governments to increase funding and develop collaborative partnerships amongst agencies and service
providers. (Dan McNulty)
New Immigrants on Long Island: A Vital Sixth of the Economy,
Fiscal Policy Institute, October, 2011, 59 pp.
data from the 2009 American Community Survey and the 2010 and earlier decennial censuses, this report paints a detailed portrait
of the economic contribution of immigrants to Long Island. Immigrants share in the general affluence of the suburban population
in Nassau and Suffolk Counties. More than half (54%) work in white collar jobs. Forty-eight percent of immigrant families
(compared to 52% of native-born families) earn between $80,000 and $199,999, and another 13% (compared to 16% of native-born
families) earn more than $200,000. Yet earnings for individual immigrants are on average 25% less than U.S. born (family income
for immigrants is propped up the higher percentage of immigrant families with at least three adults working). Immigrants are
significantly overrepresented in some blue-collar and service jobs, e.g. machine operators (50%), gardening and farm workers
(44%), construction laborers (42%), and private household and personal services workers (37%). Twenty-two percent, or 15,000,
of the 53,000 small businesses on Long Island are owned by immigrants. While immigrants make up 16% of the total population,
they account for 17% of total economic output.
Demographic and Economic Impacts
of International Migration to North Carolina,
Kenan-Flagler Business School, The University of North
Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill
Authors: James H. Johnson, Jr. & Stephen J. Appold
The authors of this report, two professors at the UNC
Business School, find that “immigrants are playing a pivotal role in reshaping the North Carolina
demographic and economic landscape.” Using previous research as well as data and estimates from Census and state tax
statistics, the report finds that the state’s most recent immigrants were more likely to be of Asian or South Asian
origin rather than Hispanic. They also tend to be more family oriented, be of working age and have higher birth rates than
the native-born. Furthermore, their overall contributions outstrip state money spent to support them. For instance, immigrants’
consumer spending had an economic impact of $19.76 billion in 2010, a higher per capita average than the native-born. Such
consumer spending, the report finds, generated 171,000 spin-off jobs, $6.4 billion in spin-off labor income and $2.3 billion
in spin-off taxes. The authors also note the role that immigrants play in counter-balancing
the state’s aging population and shrinking native-born labor force. Without the presence of immigrants, entire communities
in North Carolina and elsewhere would have stagnated and died. The authors
suggest that “it is a strategic imperative for our state and the nation to move beyond our pre-occupation with fiscal
impacts and focus instead on the broader and longer term economic impacts of immigration.” The authors also denounce extreme groups in the South that
are agitating against “southern demographic displacement.”(Denzil Mohammed)
Welcome to Akron: How Immigrants and Refugees are Contributing to Akron's
Partnership for a New American Economy, 2016, 13 pp.
This study by the
Partnership for a New American Economy argues that Akron's immigrants and refugees are "critical" to the city's
future economic success. The researchers draw on recent population and labor statistics, personalized with profiles of local
immigrants and refugees, to show the contributions of foreign-born individuals to the Akron community. The report finds that
the immigrant and refugee population drive economic growth by starting businesses, creating jobs, paying taxes that support
local and federal programs and increasing housing values by investing in Akron property. The authors estimate that in 2013
the foreign-born in Akron contributed more than $17 million in state and local taxes including $3 million contributed by refugee
households. From 2000-2013, foreign-born residents increased the county's housing value by $207 million. They also helped
to offset population decline in Akron by increasing the number of taxpayers, strengthening the city's political representation
at state and federal levels, and bolstering Akron's economic competitiveness. The report concludes by predicting that the
future growth of the foreign-born community in Akron will have a positive impact on the economic success and cultural diversity
of the city. (Sophia Mitrokostas for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Impact of Refugees in Central Ohio: 2015 Report,
Community Research Partners, 2015, 51 pp + appendices
than 16,000 refugees have resettled in central Ohio since 1983, most of them in the past 10 years. These individuas have contributed
greatly to the economic health of the region. Impact of Refugees in Central Ohio, a report prepared by Community
Research Partners (CRP) - a partnership of the City of Columbus, Ohio State University and other groups, discusses the long-term
social and economic impacts of the refugee community in central Ohio. Using a variety of research methodologies, including
focus groups with refugees themselves, CRP researchers estimate that the central Ohio refugee community contributes $1.6 billion
to the Columbus Metropolitan Statistical Area economy and supports 21,273 jobs in the region. With 13.6 percent of employed
refugees age 16 and older owning a business compared to 6.5 percent of the general population in the same age group, refugees
are more than twice as likely to be entrepreneurs. The report notes that increased business ownership creates beneficial networks
and relationships that build strong social capital. The report also highlights challenges facing refugee workers such as language
barriers, non-transferable certifications and unfamiliarity with U.S. workplace norms, which may adversely affect their chances
of being hired. The report recommends further research to identify barriers to refugee job access as well as to foster better
communication and cultural understanding among community leaders, service providers and refugees. (Sophia Mitrokostas
for The Immigrant Learning Center Public Education Institute)
Economic Impact of Refugees in the Cleveland Area: Calendar Year
Chmura Economics & Analytics for the Refugee Services Collaborative of Greater Cleveland,
Funded by The Cleveland Foundation, this study details the employment and fiscal impacts
of refugees and refugee service organizations in the Cleveland area in 2012. According to the report, three resettlement agencies
in the Cleveland area spend about $4.8 million a year helping refugees to start new lives. That investment produces an annual
economic impact of nearly $50 million, measured in spending by refugee service organizations, refugee households, and refugee-owned
businesses. The researchers used a "conservative" approach in measuring impact by counting only gains made during
the first two years after arrival in the U.S. The study includes a number of case studies, as well as a review of the literature
on the economic impact of refugee resettlement on local communities.
New Americans in Lancaster County: A Snapshot of the Demographic and Economic Contributions
of Immigrants in the County,
New American Economy (NAE), November 22, 2016, 8 pp.
Launched in December 2015, Gateways for
Growth -- a joint project of NAE and Welcoming America, -- invited communities across the United States to apply for research,
technical assistance, and matching grants to support the development and implementation of multi-sector strategic plans for
welcoming and integrating new Americans. NAE and Welcoming America provided the 20 selected communities with one or more of
the following services: customized quantitative research reports on the contributions immigrants make to their local economies;
on-the-ground, technical assistance to help communities draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant integration
strategy; and small planning grants that a local partner has committed to match. This report on immigrants in Lancaster County
is one of the reports produced under this program and was done in partnership with the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce
Helping Immigrants Thrive in Allegheny County (PA): A Community Blueprint
Allegheny County Department of Human Services, September, 2016, 6 pp. + Action Plans
contains a set of strategic priorities and plans produced by the Allegheny County Department of Human Services to further
the integration of immigrants in the greater Pittsburgh area. The document took shape over a one-year period from June 2015
to June 2016 with the input of 173 community leaders, more than half of whom were immigrants. The plan builds on efforts undertaken
by the Immigrants and Internationals Initiative of the Allegheny County Department of Human Service over the previous eight
years. The plan is organized around six key priorities: language access, health and well-being, education, economic development,
family support, and civic engagement. Within each priority area, the blueprint lists a series of action steps, potential partners
for each step, and the time-frame for completion (6 to 12 months, 1 to 2 years, and 3 to 5 years). The Language Access Action
Plan, for example, lists 16 tasks, most to be completed over the course of two years; the Economic Development Action Plan
has 32 tasks, subdivided into a number of sub-categories, including promoting immigrant entrepreneurship, and educating employers
to recognize the talent and experience of immigrants. An important emphasis in the overall plan is the importance of coordination,
as reflected in the intention to create a "central language coordinating entity" and to establish a "City-County
Economic Development Team." The Heinz endowments and the Jefferson Regional Foundation funded the production of the Blueprint.
Stronger Together: Immigrants, Refugees, and the Future of Texas
Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, May, 2016, 24 pp.
Authors: Michael Kavate, Aryah Somers
Landsberger, Daranee Petsod
What role can foundations play in supporting the integration of immigrants? And
why is immigrant integration an important goal, not only for foundations with a mission to serve immigrants but also for foundations
with broader giving priorities, such as those working in the education, health, and civic participation areas? These are two
questions addressed by this report from Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees, which focuses on Texas -- a state
with one of the largest immigrant and refugee populations in the country. Examining demographic trends in Texas (one in three
children in the state has a foreign-born parent), the report asserts that "the future of immigrants and refugees is the
state's future." The report gives examples of, and recommendations for, "immigrant-inclusive grantmaking"
in the following areas: analyzing local demographics, protecting human rights, addressing trauma and mental health needs,
improving English proficiency, increasing health access, supporting refugee resettlement, strengthening economic integration,
improving employment outcomes, enhancing civic participation, and combating xenophobia. The authors conclude by saying that
"whatever their funding priorities, foundations can improve the well-being of immigrants and refugees through their existing
grantmaking programs, launching special initiatives, and/or joining forces with funding colleagues to increase impact."
A Profile of Immigrants in Houston, the Nation's Most Diverse
Migration Policy Institute, March, 2015, 21 pp.
Capps, Michael Fix, & Chiamaka Nwosu
Houston's population grew by more than one million
people from 2000 to 2013, the largest population increase of any U.S. city during this period. Driven in part by a surge in
immigration, Houston also became one of the most ethnically diverse of the country's major metropolitan areas. Drawing on
data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey and Survey of Income and Program Participation, the authors of
this report seek to provide useful information to the Houston Immigration Services Information Collaborative as its members
engage in activities to promote naturalization and respond to the legal needs of the foreign-born population. The report finds
that some immigrant groups in Houston, particularly Latinos, are less likely to naturalize as citizens than the national rate
(34 percent compared with 44 percent) due to limited resources and language problems. Additionally, the report finds that
about 60,000 undocumented youth and 140,000 undocumented parents may need assistance to apply for deferred action programs
providing relief from deportation and work authorization. Without a clear path to citizenship, much of Houston's population
remains politically, economically and civically marginalized. The authors also look at income, education, and language proficiency
data across Houston's many immigrant groups. (Jamie Cross for The ILC Public Education Institute)
Immigrants Drive the Texas Economy: Economic Benefits of Immigrants
Center for Public Policy Priorities, September 17, 2014, 15 pp.
Authors: Ann Beeson, Leslie
Helmcamp & Alejandra Cerna
Immigrants help to power the Texas economy as workers,
entrepreneurs and innovators. This report uses CPPP analysis of American Community Survey data as well as available economic
research to show the importance of immigrants to the vitality of the Texas economy. It also identifies obstacles to immigrants'
full economic participation and suggests ways the state could better integrate immigrants into the workforce and society to
achieve broader benefit. The report finds that whereas immigrants comprise one-sixth of the state's population, they have
an outsized role in the labor force - one-fifth of workers in the 16 to 64 age group. Among these workers, the report finds
that Texas is home to the fourth largest high-skilled workforce in the country with nearly two-fifths of immigrants in occupations
such as engineers and doctors. As entrepreneurs, the report finds a similarly outsized economic contribution: immigrants made
up 16.5 percent of the population but their contributions made up 17.7 percent or $4.4 billion of all business income in 2011.
Among the factors that helped facilitate such strong economic participation are rising levels of educational attainment among
immigrants and their children. The report notes, however, that an earnings gap exists between all groups of immigrant workers
and their native counterparts, except for immigrant advanced degree holders. The authors suggest policies to enhance the contributions
of Texas immigrants as workers, taxpayers and students. These include promotion of better health and well-being, increased
access to education and citizenship services. (Denzil Mohammed)
Gone to Texas: Immigration and the Transformation of the Texas
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, November, 2013, 19 pp.
Authors: Pia M. Orrenius, Madeline Zavodny, & Mellisa LoPalo
This report finds that immigration
has been both the "cause and consequence" of Texas' impressive economic growth and transformation. The immigrant
share of the Texas population rose from 9 percent in 1990 to 16.4 percent in 2012. Similar to the rest of the country, immigrants
in Texas cluster on the higher and lower ends of the skills spectrum. As the Texas telecom industry boomed and cities like
Austin emerged as high-tech centers, high-skilled immigrants helped to fuel the development of these sectors. However, Texas
immigrants, on the lower end of the spectrum, tend to be less well-educated than those in other parts of the U.S. Almost half
have not finished high school, versus less than one-third in the rest of the country. Many of these immigrants are unauthorized
. An estimated 1.8 million unauthorized immigrants live in the state - 43 percent of the state's foreign-born population and
7 percent of its total population. Despite Texas' "traditional low-tax, low-services model of government," lesser-skilled
immigrants in Texas "earn as much or more in Texas than they do in the rest of the nation" and "fewer are unemployed
than among their counterparts elsewhere in the U.S." Texas has also resisted efforts to clamp down on illegal immigration.
It was, for example, the first state to pass a law in 2001 allowing certain undocumented immigrants to pay in-state tuition.
The report concludes that the transformation of Texas "from an oil, cattle and cotton economy to an economic powerhouse"
would not have been possible without "the brains and brawn" of immigrants.
Advancing Equity and Opportunity for King County Immigrants and Refugees:
A Report from the King County Immigrant and Refugee Task Force,
King County (WA), July 7, 2016, 53 pp.
In July of 2015, the Metropolitan King County Council
approved an ordinance to create a task force to consider the advisability of creating a King County Immigrant and Refugee
Commission. Meeting from October 2015 through June 2016, the 13-member task force was supported by County staff and two external
consultants. In order to get community input into its work, the task force partnered with community-based organizations
to host more than 20 community conversations, often conducted in foreign language. The Task Force produced recommendations
designed to "achieve fair and just access to services and opportunities, resulting in the successful integration of immigrants
and refugees as engaged, thriving members of the community." The Task Force endorsed the formation of a commission
-- specifying its composition, duties, and operating procedures -- but also urged the establishment of a stand-alone office
to work together with the commission in order to achieve greater effectiveness. The report laid out three different staffing
options for the office, ranging from a single staff member to a staff of four. In making the latter recommendation,
the Task Force considered the possibility of housing these staff members in the county's Office of Equity and Social Justice,
but opted for a separate office because of the special mission and approach of the Commission. This report is notable
for its attention to detail in describing how the Commission and the supportive office would operate, often citing precedents
in other communities. The Commission's principle jurisdiction would be suburban Seattle and the unincorporated communities
of King County, which have seen rising numbers of newcomers over the last 15 years.