Las Vegas Sun

May 29, 2017

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Letters to the Editor:

Immigrants help fuel economy

Too often, the national discussion about immigration gets boiled down to short social media posts.

It’s unsurprising, then, that many important facets of this conversation get lost in the heated rhetoric.

One side of the debate that warrants more consideration is the effect that immigration reform will have on our local, state and national economies.

One misconception about immigration in the U.S. is that immigrant workers take American jobs. Americans do not raise their kids to do the kinds of jobs being performed by many immigrants. Instead, we dream of sending them to college.

Per data from the New American Economy, immigrants in Nevada actually aid in creating jobs.

Over 60,000 Nevadans are employed at immigrant-owned firms, and with over $10.3 billion in spending power in 2014, our foreign-born residents boost our local businesses.

Immigrants are vital to Nevada’s important industries, from tourism to technology to agriculture. Foreign-born residents are far more likely to be of working age than the native-born residents in the state and often flock toward lower-skilled jobs that native-born workers aren’t eager to fill. Immigrants also help fill critical workforce shortages in high-skilled fields like our health care industry, where there are roughly six open health care positions for every one unemployed healthcare worker in the state.

While immigration reform isn’t the cure for all of our economic ills, smarter policies that harness the potential benefits of immigrants will allow Nevada businesses and industries to reach their full potential. We must encourage our federal officials to support immigration policies that help promote economic growth for our community.

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