New research shows the economic impacts of immigrants in Michiana.
The research on “New Americans in the Michiana Region” was presented in South Bend on Friday.
The researcher who presented the statistics says he hopes the research will help us better understand our foreign-born neighbors.
“When you talk about immigrants or immigration reform or all those different things, it can be very passionate and personal for people, so this gives an opportunity to put facts to that and to have real conversation that take people’s bias out of the picture,” said Sam Centellas, executive director of La Casa de Amistad.
And now, there are numbers to work with in relation to immigrants in five Michiana counties.
A study by new American Economy, a bi-partisan coalition of mayors and business leaders, analyzed data from the US Census Bureau about immigrants in St. Joe, Elkhart, Marshall, Cass, and Berrien counties.
In 2016, 32.8 percent of immigrants in Michiana were naturalized citizens.
“I would say that Michiana overall is a welcoming environment for immigrants, and I think that’s also why immigrants are thriving in our area and why they’re coming,” said Centellas.
So what kind of impact are they making?
The research shows immigrants contributed $3.1 billion to Michiana’s GDP in 2016.
They also earned $1.2 billion, paid $212.8 million in federal taxes, and $103 million in state and local taxes.
They also contributed $119.3 million to social security and $33.8 million to Medicare.
Immigrants in Michiana are also ten percent more likely to be entrepreneurs than their US-born counterparts.
“They overall they make up 6.3 percent of the population, but if you look just at entrepreneurs, they make up more than eight percent of entrepreneurs,” said Andrew Lim, the director of quantitative research at New American Economy.
Watch the full story from WNDU: “New research shows positive impact of immigrants in Michiana”