Immigration Reform Could Help Kentucky Economy

Jul 4, 2014


The study, “New Americans in Kentucky,” was published this week by the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. It found that immigrants make up 3 percent of the state’s population, with one-in-five immigrants to Kentucky originating from Mexico. Kentucky’s immigrant population grew faster than all but six states from 2000 to 2012.

That means if Congress can tackle immigration reform, 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.

The report also found that immigrants experience higher poverty rates, and their low-income workers make considerably less than their Bluegrass-bred counterparts.

Only 35 percent of the state’s immigrants are naturalized citizens, with the remaining classified as “temporary and permanent legal residents, refugees and unauthorized immigrants.”

Most Kentucky immigrants -- about one in five -- hail from Mexico, followed by Germany, India and Cuba.