The American Immigration Council recently posted a summary of a report from the Center for Public Policy Priorities, which details the many ways in which “immigrants in Texas are major drivers of the state’s economy. Among the findings of the report:
- There are more than 4.2 million immigrants in Texas—roughly one-third of whom are naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to vote. Plus, nearly one-third are lawful permanent residents of the United States.
- “Mixed-status” families are ubiquitous in the state. About 2 million U.S.-born Texas children have at least one parent who lacks legal status.
- Immigrants are more likely to be of “prime working age” than the older native-born population, and have higher rates of labor-force participation. As a result, they play an outsize role in the Texas workforce. While immigrants comprise 16.5 percent of the state’s population, they account for 21.2 percent of all workers.
- “Small businesses owned by immigrants contributed $4.4 billion in earnings to the state’s economy in 2011. This accounts for almost a fifth of total small business earnings.”
- “In 2011, immigrants contributed $65 billion in economic output to the state in terms of wages, salary, and business earnings.”
- Citing the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, the report notes that unauthorized immigrants in Texas paid more than $1.6 billion in state and local taxes in 2010.
- “Texas is home to the 4th largest highly educated/skilled workforce in the country after California, New York, and Florida.” They hold jobs in a diverse range of occupations, including healthcare, engineering, and finance.
- 37 percent of immigrants work in white-collar jobs, although the biggest employers of immigrants include construction, food service, housekeeping, and childcare.