New York – Today New American Economy (NAE), a bipartisan research and immigration advocacy organization, released new data highlighting the significant contributions immigrants make to the El Paso community and economy. The data shows that immigrants in El Paso are crucial job creators — the metro area’s immigrant entrepreneur population grew 25 percent in just one year. Immigrants are also major consumers who help power El Paso’s businesses. In 2017, El Paso’s immigrants held almost $3.8 billion in spending power, a more than $300 million increase from 2016.
The research is part of NAE’s Map the Impact, an interactive map that quantifies immigrant contributions at the national, state, metro area, and congressional district levels, and across industries.
Key findings for the metro El Paso area include:
- Immigrants are critical job creators. In El Paso, immigrants are 152.7 percent more likely to be entrepreneurs when compared to U.S.-born residents, and in 2017, there were 16,298 immigrant entrepreneurs, a nearly 25 percent increase from 2016.
- Healthcare needs are increasing and immigrants are helping to fill the gap. Recently, El Paso’s over-65 population has increased dramatically, from 21.9 percent in 2016 to 24.4 percent in 2017. As health care demands grow, immigrants are helping provide much needed services. In metro El Paso, immigrants represented more than one in three health care workers in 2017.
- Immigrants pay billions in taxes and hold significant spending power. In 2017, immigrants in El Paso paid more than $1 billion in federal, state, and local taxes and held $3.8 billion in spending power.
- Major industries in El Paso depend on immigrant workers. El Paso immigrants make up 47.1 percent of construction workers, 46.2 percent of manufacturing workers, and 35.5 percent of transportation workers.
- More immigrants are eligible to vote. In 2017, more than 100,000 El Paso immigrants were eligible to vote, marking an increase of 11,224 voters from 2016. The increase in immigrant voters is larger than the margin of victory in the most recent congressional election. For context, Rep. Will Hurd won his 2018 congressional race in TX-23, encompassing part of the El Paso area, by just 926 votes.
“Immigrants play a critical role in driving economic growth in cities large and small across the country,” said Kate Brick, Director of State and Local Initiatives at New American Economy. “This data highlights why there is an economic imperative for creating policies that attract international talent and ensure all residents have a pathway towards success.”
Map the Impact shows NAE analysis of the latest data from the 2017 American Communities Survey. You can find the new version of the Map at maptheimpact.org.