We are proud to say that Connecticut residents have not, for the most part, joined in the anti-immigrant sentiment that seems to have a grip on many of President Donald Trump’s supporters.
But, we learned recently, there’s a good reason for that. They are us.
According to the American Immigration Council, nearly 15 percent of Connecticut’s population was born in another country, and over 14 percent of residents are native-born Americans who have at least one immigrant parent. Put another way, more than one in seven Connecticut residents is an immigrant, while another one in eight is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.
Immigrants represent 17.6 percent of the state’s labor force and support Connecticut’s economy across sectors - filling more than just entry level jobs. They are, for example, more than 25 percent of all computer and math sciences employees.
As to who these fellow citizens are, it’s no surprise that many hail from Poland (6.4 percent of immigrants); other large concentrations are from India (6.6 percent), Jamaica (6.3 percent), the Dominican Republic (5.1 percent), and Mexico (4.8 percent). And nearly half of all immigrants in Connecticut are naturalized U.S. citizens.
As for the complaint that they are a drain on our economy, immigrants contributed $3.3 billion in federal taxes and $1.8 billion in state and local taxes in 2014. As consumers, immigrants spent $13.8 billion on our economy. Immigrant entrepreneurs in Connecticut generated $1.2 billion in business revenue.
The point, then, is that these immigrants pay their share and contribute to our economy, as well as to all that makes our state what it is. We thought you’d want to know.