Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for growing shares of the economy and electorate in Rhode Island. Roughly 1 in 8 Rhode Islanders are immigrants (foreign-born), and almost half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 13% of registered voters in the state.
Immigrants are not only integral to the state’s economy as workers, but also account for billions of dollars in tax revenue and consumer purchasing power. Moreover, Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $3.2 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of 1 billion and employed more than 5,700 people at last count.
At a time when the economy is in a slump, Rhode Island can ill-afford to alienate such a critical component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.