WASHINGTON, D.C. (Aug. 1, 2013) — The White House Office of the Press Secretary has released a fact sheet on the economic benefits of reforming the U.S. immigration and naturalization system. The report also includes a specific portion for how it would effect Minnesota families.
The report by the National Economic Council about the economic benefits for Minnesota by fixing our broken immigration system, starts by saying America has always been a nation of immigrants, and throughout the nation’s history, immigrants from around the globe have kept our workforce vibrant, our businesses on the cutting edge, and helped to build the greatest economic engine in the world. However, America’s immigration system is broken and has not kept pace with changing times.
Today, too many employers game the system by hiring undocumented workers and there are 11 million people living and working in the shadow economy. Neither is good for the U.S. economy or Minnesota families, the report adds.
Commonsense immigration reform will strengthen Minnesota’s economy and creates jobs.
According to Regional Economic Models, Inc., a set of reforms that – like the Senate bill – provides a pathway to earned citizenship and expands a high-skilled and other temporary worker programs would together boost Minnesota’s economic output by $604 million and create approximately 6,549 new jobs in 2014. By 2045, the boost to Minnesota’s economic output would be around $4.1 billion, in 2012 dollars.
Immigrants already make important contributions to Minnesota’s economy. For example, Minnesota’s labor force is 8.6 percent foreign-born. In 2009, immigrants accounted for 8 percent of total economic output in the Minneapolis metropolitan area.
Commonsense immigration reform fosters innovation and encourages job creation in Minnesota.
5.7 percent of Minnesota business owners are immigrants. These businessmen and women generate $722 million in income for Minnesota each year.
In Minnesota, 39.6 percent of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates at the state’s most research-intensive schools are foreign-born. Also, 57.8 percent of the state’s engineering PhDs are foreign-born.
Commonsense immigration reform increases workers’ income, resulting in new state and local tax revenue.
• Providing a pathway to earned citizenship and expanding high- and low-skilled visa programs will increase total personal income for Minnesota families by $1.2 billion in 2020, according to Regional Economic Models, Inc.
• Commonsense immigration reform would have increased the state and local taxes paid by immigrants in Minnesota by approximately $13 million in 2010, according to one study.
Commonsense immigration reform will contribute to the recovery of Minnesota’s housing market and will strengthen Minnesota’s technology, agriculture, and tourism industries, among others.
Immigrants significantly increased home values in Minnesota between 2000 and 2010 – in Hennepin County, the increase was $3,776 for the median home.
There are 80,992 farms in Minnesota that sell approximately $13.2 billion in agricultural products. Noncitizen farmworkers accounted for 12 percent of all farmworkers in Minnesota between 2007 and 2011. According to one study, in 2020 an expanded temporary worker program – like the one provided by the Senate bill – would mean 1,095 new jobs for U.S. citizens and immigrants (including jobs not only in agriculture, but also retail trade, construction, and other sectors) in Minnesota, and increase Minnesota’s real personal income by $63 million in 2012 dollars.
Many Minnesota residents and stakeholders support comprehensive immigration reform.
Ben Anderson, lead organizer for the faith-based Minnesota Campaign for Citizenship: “The 11 million are not some mystery, vague number…These are many people working and living in our communities, and most going to our churches. … This is our future, and these are our people.”
Minnesota Business Immigration Coalition: “We support comprehensive federal reform including secure borders. Successful reform will modify immigration policies without creating more obstacles for workers to connect with employers.”