Below is an excerpt of an article written by Dr. Ming Wang for the The Tennessean, published Sept 2nd.
Foreign-born workers are fueling the state’s economy, especially in the agricultural, manufacturing and STEM fields.
Discussions of the state of immigration reform in Tennessee — and across the United States — can often become contentious, especially during election season. We should never forget, however, that America is a nation of immigrants who play an integral part in determining our country’s economic success, and Tennessee’s growing economy is a perfect example of this.
A recently released report by the Partnership for a New American Economy (NAE) shines a spotlight on the many ways immigrants contribute to our state’s economy. In 2014, immigrant-led households in Tennessee earned $7.9 billion in income, contributed more than $493.9 million to state and local services — such as public schools and police force–and paid more than $2 billion in federal, state and local taxes, equaling $5.9 billion in local spending power to propel our state’s economy forward.
Moreover, immigrant-owned businesses in our state generated $542 million in 2014, with Tennessee firms who have at least one immigrant owner employing about 57,000 of our local citizens.
Today there are more than 300,000 immigrants currently living in Tennessee, and they are serving our state as physicians and carpenters, entrepreneurs and farmers, and everything in between, making them vital participants in our continued economic growth and success.
An immigrant presence is crucial for Tennessee’s existing businesses, many of which rely on the talent and skill of immigrant workers to help their businesses succeed. Immigrants are also playing an increasingly important role in Tennessee’s manufacturing and agricultural industries.
Read the entire article in The Tennessean here.