Washington D.C. – The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield political power in Pennsylvania, but are an integral part of the state’s economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As voters, they are a growing political force. Yet anti-immigrant groups are exaggerating the alleged fiscal “costs” imposed by unauthorized immigrants, and are completely discounting the many economic benefits which immigrants, Latinos, and Asians bring to the Keystone State.
Highlights of the research include:
– Immigrants make up about 5.4% of Pennsylvania’s total population, and half of them are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote.
– New Americans (naturalized U.S. citizens and their U.S.-born children) represent 5.2% of registered voters.
– The purchasing power of Pennsylvania’s Latinos and Asians totaled $22.6 billion in 2008.
– Businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $8.2 billion and employed nearly 53,000 people in 2002 (the last year for which data is available).
– If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Pennsylvania, the state would lose $5.3 billion in expenditures, $2.3 billion in economic output, and about 27,000 jobs.
There is no denying the contributions immigrants, Latinos, and Asians make and the important role they play in Pennsylvania’s political and economic future. Pennsylvania’s budget deficit was not created by immigrants and it won’t be filled by attacking them. For more data on the contributions of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians to Pennsylvania’s economy, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.