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Immigration Issues & Policy

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Bill Blazar shares his insights into current immigration issues affecting the US, in particular the Mid-West region.

Published in: Economy & Finance
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Immigration Issues & Policy

  1. 1. Why Care about Immigration Policy* *It’s the economy, stupid. William A. Blazar May 3, 2019
  2. 2. Immigrants… • Who are they? • Contributions to economic change & growth? • What’s at risk if policy makers fail? • Policy reforms to develop our economy? • Role for: States? State/local Chambers?
  3. 3. 45 Million Immigrants (2017) Nationwide • 14% of U.S. population…Considerably less in Upper Midwest! • 75% are authorized immigrants, refugees or asylum seekers. • 25% are unauthorized. State Immigrant Pop % of Total Unauthorized (est) % of Immigrants Iowa 157,300 5% 41,100 26% Minnesota 488,000 9% 83,800 17% Nebraska 150,300 8% 44,600 30% North Dakota 33,000 4.4% --- --- South Dakota 30,900 3.6% --- --- Wisconsin 287,100 5% 75,700 26%
  4. 4. Fueling Economic Change & Growth • Workers • Entrepreneurs • Consumers (including as taxpayers) • Connect us to world economy  Contributions grow over time
  5. 5. Workers • Working age & working • Staffing key industries • All skill levels State % Immigrant Pop – Age 16 to 64 % Native Born – Age 16 to 64 Industry: Largest % Immigrant Wkrs Industry: 2nd Largest % Immigrant Wkrs Iowa 86% 62% Food Process – 48% Computer Serv – 17% Minnesota 83% 62% Food Process – 44% Medical Equip Mfg – 25% Nebraska 83% 61% Food Process – 72% Higher Educ – 15% North Dakota 84% 64% Higher Educ – 13% Long Term Care – 10% South Dakota 87% 61% Animal Product – 6% Banking – 6% Wisconsin 81% 63% Food Process – 34% Computer Serv – 20%
  6. 6. Entrepreneurs Percent Working Who Are Entrepreneurs, 2010 • Native born: 9.1% • Immigrants: 11.6% State Employees: Immi- grant Owned Business Sales: Immigrant Owned Business Immigrant Entrepreneurs Iowa 24,200 $4.0 billion --- Minnesota 53,200 $8.7 billion 22,600 Nebraska 16,078 $2.6 billion --- North Dakota 4,800 $778 million --- South Dakota 5,600 $909 million --- Wisconsin 55,400 $9.1 billion 11,100
  7. 7. Consumers & Taxpayers Upper Midwest Immigrants: • Generate $25+ billion in retail sales/year. • Pay $9+ billion in federal, state & local taxes. State Immigrant “Shopping” Immigrant Taxes PaidI Iowa $3.4 billion $1.2 billion Minnesota $11.5 billion $4.3 billion Nebraska $2.9 billion $949 million North Dakota $844 million $258 million South Dakota $483 million $128 million Wisconsin $6.6 billion $2.5 billion
  8. 8. Connecting US to the World Foreign investment & expertise are key to growth. • MN’s steel & mining industries: • ArcelorMittal Steel (Virginia): India • Gerdau (St. Paul): Brazil • Twin Metals (Biwabik): Chile • Polymet (Hoyt Lakes): Canada • MN food processing: • Faribault Foods/La Costena (Faribault): Mexico • Bimbo (Fergus Falls, etc): Mexico • JBS (Worthington): Brazil • Gold n’ Plump (St. Cloud): Brazil Immigrants add diversity & say, “World Economy Welcome Here!”
  9. 9. Contributions Change over Time Hmong MN Experience 1980 2010 MedianAge 37 19.7 College Graduates 5% 12.6% Workforce Participation Rate 27% 59% Median Household Income $17,481 $49,400 Household Receiving Public Assist 67% 14% Homeownership Rate 12% 49% Median HomeValue $85,927 $161,100 Compiled by Dr. Bruce Corrie, Concordia University, St. Paul
  10. 10. What’s the Risk of Outdated Policy? Slower (no?) growth • Japan’s experience: • Population growth declining since 1975 • Economic growth slower than U.S. since 1990 • Greatest risk: Urban centers & rural communities
  11. 11. -0.5 0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Population Growth (annual %) Japan (Population growth) United States (Population growth) Source: World Bank, 2019
  12. 12. -10.0 -5.0 0.0 5.0 10.0 15.0 GDP Growth (annual %) Japan (GDP growth) United States (GDP growth) Source: World Bank, 2019
  13. 13. Immigrants: Driving Population Growth Large Urban Centers & Rural Communities… …Population growth 2017 – 2018 (US Census) Location Domestic Migration Births Minus Deaths International Migration Large Urban Centers (.8%) .4% .6% Suburbs -- Higher Density 0% .5% .4% Suburbs -- Lower Density .9% .3% .2% Midsize Metro .2% .3% .2% Small Metro .2% .2% .2% Non-Metro Areas 0% 0% .1%
  14. 14. Federal Policy Reform 4 Parts • Streamline Administration  E-Verify = Employment eligibility verification  Issuance of work-related visas • Make system responsive to economic change  Replace fixed quotas with annual adjustments  More visas for skilled workers, STEM  Recognize differences among industries, e.g. agriculture • Earned status for unauthorized workers • Secure borders = See above
  15. 15. What Role for States? Follow the Federal policy lead… • Health care • Higher education • ??? Some exceptions…act now • Professional license requirements…recognize foreign credentials • Drivers license • ???
  16. 16. What Role for State & Local Chambers? • Policy: Meet with/write to Congressional delegation…regularly! • Link their action to your economic future • Urge immediate action, even if it’s a 1st step, e.g. DACA • Welcoming new Americans • Support targeted state policy changes • Lead community initiatives
  17. 17. Chambers Welcome New Americans Make your communities more attractive for immigrants • Get to know our new neighbors: Have community-wide conversations • Respect cultural differences: schools, businesses, community • Find ways to celebrate diversity • Diffuse social tensions: Discuss & manage conflicts • Recognize & coordinate key roles: Local governments, community organizations and employers See January 2017 report on immigrants in the workforce. Ryan Allen, University of Minnesota at http://z.umn.edu/immigrantworkforce
  18. 18. Upper Midwest Economic Challenges…Now & Future Native born population aging •Economy needs new workers…all kinds & skills •New enterprises critical to growth •“Main Street” needs more shoppers •Need foreign $$$, connections & expertise  Immigrants KEY to development & growth
  19. 19. Meeting the Challenge… • Federal Policy Reform, NOW! • Selective State Action, based on Federal policy • Chamber Leadership NOW to: • Pass federal reforms • Welcome new Americans

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