Immigration Reform Would Help Kentucky, Report Says

Kentucky’s economy would benefit from comprehensive immigration reform, according to a report on immigration’s impact on the state.

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy last week released its report on “New Americans in Kentucky.”

Kentucky’s immigrant population grew faster than all but six states from 2000 to 2012, the report said. 

The added population means the state would net an additional $23 million in local and state property taxes on top of the nearly $70 million paid by so-called “unauthorized” immigrants—if Congress can tackle immigration reform, the report said.

The report also found that immigrants experience higher poverty rates, and their low-income workers make considerably less than native-born Kentuckians.

Most Kentucky immigrants — about one in five — originated in Mexico.  Other large populations include people hailing from Germany, India and Cuba.

Only 35 percent of immigrants are naturalized citizens, with many “unauthorized,” staying here legally to work, or are political refugees.

The full report is here.

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