Here's hoping that the Governor is serious about finding the people who leaked the list of 1300 undocumented Hispanic immigrants this week. It was a stupid thing to do in the first place, but more importantly, look at the data on the Hispanic population in Utah - that's a big, powerful group.
The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are an important part of Utah's economy, labor force, and tax base. Immigrants and their children are a growing economic and political force as workers, consumers, taxpayers, and entrepreneurs. With the state facing a budget shortfall of $700 million in 2011, immigrants and their children will continue to play a key role in shaping the economic future of the Beehive State.
Highlights from Utah include:
- Utah was home to 226,440 immigrants in 2008.
32% of immigrants in 2008 (or 72,399 people) in Utah were naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote.
Latinos accounted for 2.2% (or 21,000) of Utah voters in the 2008 elections, and Asians 1.2% (11,000).
Mexican immigrants in Utah "own property valued at $984 million," have more than $1.0 billion in purchasing power, and paid more than $67 million in state and local taxes in 2000, according to a report by the Institute of Public and International Affairs at the University of Utah, including: $7.5 million in income tax; $52.2 million in sales tax; and $7.6 million in property tax. The 2009 purchasing power of Latinos in Utah totaled $5.8 billion - an increase of 679.2% since 1990. Asian buying power totaled $1.7 billion - an increase of 402.5% since 1990.
If all unauthorized immigrants were removed from Utah, the state would lose $2.3 billion in economic activity, $1.0 billion in gross state product, and approximately 14,219 jobs.
There is no questioning the important role immigrants, Latinos and Asians will play in Utah's political and economic future. For more data on their contributions to the Beehive State, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety: