Dallas leaders release study that says immigrants have a lot of economic punch
City leaders and a coalition of business and political leaders released a study Wednesday that says immigrants in Dallas had $5.4 billion in spending power in 2016. That represents about 22 percent of the city population’s entire $24.1 billion in spending muscle.
“Findings for Dallas really amplify trends we see across the country in the sense that immigrants are overrepresented in the workforce,” said Kate Brick, director of state and local initiatives for the New American Economy coalition. “Immigrants are a net contributor and we really need them.”
Release of the economic study at a conference at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas comes in the wake of the immigration crackdown that has become the signature issue of the administration of President Donald Trump.
The event was sponsored by the city of Dallas and its year-old Office of Welcoming Communities and Immigrant Affairs and the New American Economy coalition. Liz Cedillo-Pereira, the immigration lawyer who heads the new office, said her agency had received a New American Economy grant for “granular data that will tell the story, the evidence-based story, of what immigrants are doing in the economy.”
About a quarter of the Dallas population is foreign-born, according to a 2016 estimate by the American Community Survey of the Census Bureau. Yet the immigrants make up about nearly 31.5 percent of the employed labor force, Brick said.
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