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The Economic Contribution of Immigrants

February 1, 2013 by Matthew Denhart

In the wake of this week's re-election of President Obama, many people have been discussing the impact of the Hispanic vote on the election's outcome. A "Review and Outlook" editorial in today's Wall Street Journal points out that Governor Romney received only 27% of the Hispanic vote, down from the 40% of Hispanics who voted for President Bush in 2004. While the electoral implications of Hispanics and other immigrants are certainly interesting, the economic contributions of immigrants to the U.S. economy are even more important. The WSJ editorial makes note of this saying, "Newcomers to the U.S. — legal or illegal — tend to be aspiring people who believe in the dignity of work and self-sufficiency..." The data bear this out. Below are two charts from my forthcoming immigration project. The first chart shows that immigrants constitute a growing share of the U.S. labor force, and the second chart shows that immigrants are employed at a higher rate than native-born U.S. citizens. Check back for more immigration updates soon. We will be hosting a conference in Dallas this December on immigration and publishing a series of manuscripts on the topic in 2013.


Author

Matthew Denhart
Matthew Denhart

Matthew Denhart is an expert on immigration policy and is the author of the Bush Institute’s America's Advantage: A Handbook of Vital Immigration and Economic Growth Statistics, now in its third edition. He currently serves as executive director of the Calvin Coolidge Presidential Foundation and is a founder of the Coolidge Scholars Program which provides full-ride merit scholarships to America's most promising college students. A summa cum laude graduate of Ohio University, Denhart has written and spoken widely on a variety of policy topics including the economics of higher education, labor, and taxes. He has contributed articles to numerous national publications including The Wall Street Journal, Forbes.com, CNN Opinion, and Bloomberg View. 

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