WASHINGTON, DC - Today, The Hispanic Institute released a report on the positive net economic impact of immigration, particularly in two politically important states not often thought of as destinations for immigrants.
The report -- A Tale of Two States: An Examination of the Impact of Immigration in Iowa and Nevada -- includes a brief history of U.S. immigration policy and a wealth of statistics on the economic and demographic impact of immigrants in the United States.
"Immigrants are crucial to our nation's economy, not just along the coasts or southern border but in all 50 states," said Gus West, president of The Hispanic Institute. "Demagogues have been trying to whip up panic about immigrants since our country's founding. But the facts show that immigration has been an unmitigated good for the U.S. economy. Our report is a primer on an issue that will dominate the public debate leading up to the 2020 presidential campaign."
In Iowa, for example, immigrants account for just 5 percent of the population. Yet they pay more than $1 billion in taxes and boast $3 billion in spending power. Strong majorities of Iowans support pathways to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. President Trump won the state in 2016, but 50 percent of Iowans do not support his call for a southern border wall.
Nevada's economy depends even more heavily on immigrants. They now account for nearly 20 percent of the state's population, up from 9 percent in 1990. Immigrant-led households pay nearly $3 billion in taxes and have about $10 billion in spending power. One-quarter of self-employed Nevadans are immigrants.
"Immigrants are increasingly settling not just in the likes of New York and Los Angeles but in Des Moines and Las Vegas," said Gustavo Paredes, a member of The Hispanic Institute's Board of Directors. "Iowa and Nevada have both benefited greatly from the contributions of immigrants. The residents recognize this much more than the politicians who represent them."