Iowa knows better than perhaps any other state in the union the tendency of politicians to talk about one of the most pressing issues — immigration — just once every four years. Then the issue fades away, with little meaningful action taken, until the next election. In the meantime, our outdated immigration system hampers our nation’s economic opportunity, preventing Iowa businesses from reaching their full potential.
To draw attention to the economic benefits immigrants provide, the Ames Chamber of Commerce is joining the New American Economy (NAE) and thousands of business and community leaders across the country. Armed with critical data to support our cause, we are making a case for common-sense immigration reform.
Iowa is home to more than 150,000 immigrants, a population more than twice the size of the city of Ames. In our congressional district alone, immigrants paid $205.4 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Of that, over $135.1 million went to mandatory spending programs such as Social Security and Medicare. Statewide, immigrants have $3 billion in spending power. These financial resources are reinvested into our communities, our small businesses, our schools and our public infrastructure. Additional revenue is not the only reason immigration reform is necessary and right for Iowa.
Read the full story from the Iowa State Daily: “Letter: The state of Iowa needs responsible, pro-growth immigration reform”