Today, a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders with the Partnership for a New American Economy released a study of the economic impact of immigrants across the country. The coalition of business leaders and mayors was launched by Michael Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch, and represents the center-right and left champions of immigration reform.
The breakdown of the stats includes state and local breakdowns of how immigrants influence the economy. It also sheds some light on the reasons why business owners and local-level politicians are eager for immigration reform that preserves the economic benefit of immigration while opening up legal ways to come and stay in the United States.
Here are five highlights from the study that may surprise people.
1) The percentage of immigrants in DFW is less than 20 percent of the population.
The report traces the impact of the 1.23 million immigrants in the DFW metro area, which ranks as number 15 nationwide. While the region ranks number 15 in terms of immigrants, the state is home to nearly 4.5 million immigrants, the second-largest population of immigrants in the country behind California.
2) After construction, office workers account for the second biggest immigrant work force in DFW.
In Texas, immigrants jobs span multiple sectors.
3) The percentage of immigrants with graduate degrees is nearly the same as the native-born population in DFW.
The study says that, nationally, immigrants are 17.2 percent more likely to hold a graduate degree than native-born residents. In the DFW area, the stats are more equal. The study also cites a disparity on the low end of education, with immigrants having nearly five times the percentage of population with no high school education, which says more about the places the immigrants come from and the lack of opportunity that drives them.
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4) Most immigrants here are of working age.
Working age is defined as being between the ages of 25 and 64. Working age people are the ones who contribute to entitlement programs, rather than the ones who use them.
5) Immigrants may be crucial to the future of American healthcare.
One complaint about immigrants is their burdensome effect on emergency rooms and healthcare.
But the report argues that they are needed to keep the system going, particularly in Texas. "In Texas, a state where nearly one out of every 7 people is currently elderly, finding enough healthcare workers remains a challenge — and one that will likely worsen in the future," it argues. Here are the Texas stats they cite: