Oct 212011
 

This news article shows that immigrants and even illegal immigrants do contribute to the U.S. economy – they do not deplete the U.S. economy.  The popular argument by the right that we need to deport illegal immigrants because they drain our resources is faulty.  Evelyne M. Hart

The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians in the Old Dominion State (Updated October 2011)

More than 1 in 9 Virginians are immigrants.

  • The foreign-born share of Virginia’s population rose from 5.0% in 1990, to 8.1% in 2000, to 11.4% in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Virginia was home to 911,119 immigrants in 2010, which is more than the total population of Austin, Texas.
  • 45.5% of immigrants (or 414,714 people) in Virginia were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2010—meaning that they are eligible to vote.
  • 9.3% of all registered voters in Virginia are “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 the U.S. Census Bureau.

1 in 8 Virginians are Latino or Asian—and they vote.

  • The Latino share of Virginia’s population grew from 2.6% in 1990, to 4.7% in 2000, to 7.9% (or 633,945 people) in 2010. The Asian share of the population grew from 2.5% in 1990, to 3.7% in 2000, to 5.5% (or 441,354 people) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Latinos comprised 2.0% (or 74,000) of Virginia voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 3.7% (or 136,000), according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The number of Latino and Asian voters roughly equaled the margin of victory (234,527 votes) by which Barack Obama defeated John McCain in Virginia.
  • In Virginia, 88.3% of children with immigrant parents were U.S. citizens in 2009, according to data from the Urban Institute.
  • In 2009, 88.4% of children in Asian families in Virginia were U.S. citizens, as were 90.7% of children in Latino families.

Unauthorized immigrants contribute to Virginia’s economy.

  • Households headed by unauthorized immigrants in Virginia paid $165.3 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data by the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy.
  • Unauthorized immigrants in Virginia paid between $260 million and $311 million in total taxes in 2007, according to a study by the Commonwealth Institute. This included:
  • $145 million to $174 million in state income, excise, and property taxes.
  • $93 million to $111 million in Social Security taxes.
  • $22 million to $26 million in Medicare taxes.
  • In addition, Virginia employers paid between $119 million and $142 million in taxes on behalf of unauthorized workers in 2007, including:
  • $93 million to $111 million in Social Security taxes.
  • $22 million to $26 million in Medicare taxes.
  • $4 million to $5 million in state unemployment insurance taxes.
  • The state’s unauthorized population, which earned between $2.6 billion and $3.1 billion in 2007, even after accounting for remittances sent back to their home countries, uses their income to purchase Virginia’s goods and services.

Immigrants are essential to Virginia’s economy as workers.

  • Immigrants comprised 15.0% of the state’s workforce (or 640,821 workers) in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Unauthorized immigrants comprised 3.9% of the state’s workforce (or 160,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
  • If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Virginia, the state would lose $11.2 billion in economic activity, $5.5 billion in gross state product, and approximately 62,918 jobs, even accounting for adequate market adjustment time, according to a report by the Perryman Group.

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

  • The 2010 purchasing power of Virginia’s Latinos totaled $16.8 billion—an increase of 674.6% since 1990. Asian buying power also totaled $16.8 billion—an increase of 552.1% since 1990, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia.
  • Virginia’s 44,575 Asian-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $13.2 billion and employed 92,020 people in 2007, the last year for which data is available. The state’s 28,578 Latino-owned businesses had sales and receipts of $5.9 billion and employed 34,174 people in 2007, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Survey of Business Owners.

Immigrants are integral to Virginia’s economy as students.

Naturalized citizens excel educationally.

  • In Virginia, 44.2% of foreign-born persons who were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2009 had a bachelor’s or higher degree, compared to 36.3% of noncitizens. At the same time, only 12.8% of naturalized citizens lacked a high-school diploma, compared to 26.2% of noncitizens.
  • The number of immigrants in Virginia with a college degree increased by 62.6% between 2000 and 2009, according to data from the Migration Policy Institute.
  • 40.2% of Virginia’s foreign-born population age 25 and older had a bachelor’s or higher degree in 2009, compared to 33.1% of native-born persons age 25 and older.
  • In Virginia, 86.6% of children with immigrant parents were considered “English proficient” as of 2009.
  • The English proficiency rate among Asian children in Virginia was 86.6%, while for Latino children it was 84.9%, as of 2009.

PREVIOUS VIRGINIA FACT SHEET (2008 Census Data)

Published On: Wed, Oct 19, 2011 | Download File

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