Ohio is thousands of miles from America’s southern border, but as the Senate this week continues work on long-anticipated immigration legislation, many say the outcome will have a tremendous impact on the state’s economy and on the lives of those who have moved here from abroad.
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Immigration impact on Ohio
- Ohio was home to more than 450,000 immigrants in 2011, which is more than the total population of Atlanta, Ga. That accounts for about 4 percent of the state’s population. About half of the foreign-born residents are naturalized U.S. citizens eligible to vote.
- Immigrants and the children of immigrants account for 3.1 percent of all registered voters in the state, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data by Rob Paral & Associates.
- Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) account for 1 in 20 Ohioans and wield nearly $18 billion in consumer purchasing power, according to the Selig Center for Economic Growth at the University of Georgia..
- Ohio was also home to the nation’s second largest Somali population as of 2009, according to SomaliCAN, a Columbus-based community outreach organization. As of 2009, Central Ohio was home to more than 45,000 Somali Americans.
- Unauthorized immigrants comprised 1.2 percent of the state’s workforce (or 70,000 workers) in 2010, according to a report by the Pew Hispanic Center.
- Unauthorized immigrants in Ohio paid $103.9 million in state and local taxes in 2010, according to data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy. That includes $7.5 million in property taxes; $71.3 million in sales taxes and $25.1 million in personal income tax.
Source: Immigration Policy Center