Saturday, September 19, 2015
According to the American Immigration Council, immigrants, Asians, and Latinos account for growing shares of the economy and electorate in Hawaii. Over 1 in 6 residents of Hawaii are immigrants (foreign-born), and more than half of them are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 18.1% 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 $31.9 billion in consumer purchasing power, and the businesses they own had sales and receipts of $18.9 billion and employed nearly 116,000 people at last count. Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers, consumers, and entrepreneurs are integral to Hawaii’s economy and tax base—and they are an electoral force with which every politician must reckon.
The big immigration reform issues in Hawaii tend to focus on the reunification of Asian immigrant families. Click here for details.