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Minnesota Latino Community Leaders Endorse New Bipartisan Report on The Contributions of New America

Luz María Frías, Mike Fernandez : Press Release issued by LatinoLEAD on Thursday, August 3rd, 2016 : August 4, 2016

Minneapolis, MN – LatinoLEAD, a non-partisan group of business and civic leaders, endorsed a new report released today by The Partnership for a New American Economy saying it shows that immigrants are “a major plus” to Minnesota and the economy, and confirms that smart immigration reform can be a “gateway to growth.”

LatinoLEAD’s two co-chairs, Luz María Frías, vice president of community impact at The Minneapolis Foundation, and Mike Fernandez, a recently retired Cargill executive, pointed to some of the report’s key findings:

• Immigrant-led households in Minnesota earn more than $12 billion a year – and contributed over $3 billion in taxes;

• Immigrants are creating and saving manufacturing jobs in the state;

• Despite making up 8% of the state’s population, immigrants represent nearly 16% of all workers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related jobs; and

• Immigrants are having a big economic impact on agriculture, health care and housing as well.

In Minnesota, 71.8% immigrants are of working age, compared to just 51.6% of the native-born population. “Immigrants play a critical role in our future workforce especially as we experience a workforce shortage attributed to the onslaught of retiring baby boomers. LatinoLEAD wholeheartedly endorses this evidence-based research report and its message that immigrants are a major plus to our state, the nation and our economy,” said Luz María Frías.

Mike Fernandez added, “The study clearly makes the case that new Americans are already making significant contributions to Minnesota. It also shows that smart immigration reform could further that success and create a gateway for growth.”

In June, LatinoLEAD weighed in with a “Brown Paper” report of its own which supported President Obama’s 2014 executive action to allow as many as five million unauthorized immigrants who were parents of citizens to apply for work permits and become lawful permanent residents. The U.S. Supreme Court on June 22, 2016 voted 4-4, which thereby left in place an appeals court ruling blocking the President’s plan.

LatinoLEAD’s 300-plus members include leaders from all sectors of Minnesota’s growing Latino community who work for corporations and businesses, government, non-profits, and academic institutions. The group addresses topics of vital importance to Minnesota’s Latino community. LEAD is an acronym for the group’s core values which focus on advancing leadership, equity, achievement and diplomacy. LatinoLEAD is an initiative of The Minneapolis Foundation with additional support from The Bush Foundation and Northwest Area Foundation.

The Partnership for a New American Economy brings together more than 500 Republican, Democratic, and Independent mayors and business leaders united in making the economic case for streamlining, modernizing, and rationalizing the United States’ immigration system.

For More Information Contact: Luz Maria Frias (651) 226-3722

Mike Fernandez (952) 500-0243


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