EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) – Immigrant households account for 29.2 percent of this community’s spending power, or about $3.8 billion, newly released research from Texas business associations and the American Immigration Council shows. They also pay more than $1 billion in federal, state and local taxes, making for a total economic impact of $4.8 billion, according to the “Economic Contributions of Immigrants in El Paso.”
The findings of research sponsored by Texans for Economic Growth are consistent with a border county where 23.9 percent of the population is foreign-born, according to the 2020 census. That percentage goes up to 24.1 percent in El Paso’s greater metropolitan area. Of the 202,200 immigrants who live here, 91 percent are from Mexico.
“El Paso has always been a city of immigrants,” said Jon Barela, CEO of The Borderplex Alliance, one of the groups promoting the research. “Immigrants are contributing to our economy in a big way. Immigrants in Texas contribute billions to our GDP. They help drive our economy and create jobs for all Texans. In El Paso, immigrants make up a large part of our workforce. They are our teachers, our doctors, our lawyers, and our business owners. They are an integral part of our city and our economy.”
The report says immigrants created or helped preserve 9,300 manufacturing jobs, own properties worth a combined $7.4 billion and support 600 teaching and school jobs catering to recent immigrants or temporary residents in El Paso. It says immigrants are 27.6 percent of all employed workers and nearly one-third of all science, technology, engineering and math in the region.
The report is the first of five the groups plan to release to highlight the positive impact of immigrants on the Texas economy.
Texans for Economic Growth is a coalition of 145 business groups and chambers of commerce aiming to promote the positive economic impact of immigrants in the state, calling for immigration reform to guarantee a supply of workers, and oppose “anti-immigrant” legislation. The coalition includes cotton growers, roofers, the poultry industry, and landscapers, as well as caregivers, laboratories and law firms.