Virginia’s Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a Political and Economic Powerhouse

June 16, 2009

Washington D.C. – The Immigration Policy Center has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians not only wield tremendous political power in Virginia, but are also an integral part of Virginia’s economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, immigrants and their children are an economic powerhouse. As voters, they are a potent political force. Yet anti-immigrant groups are exaggerating the alleged fiscal “costs” imposed by undocumented immigrants, and are completely discounting the many economic benefits which immigrants, Latinos, and Asians bring to the Old Dominion.

Highlights of the research include:

Immigrants make up about 10% of Virginia’s total population and nearly half of them are naturalized citizens who are eligible to vote.
New Americans (naturalized U.S. citizens and their U.S.-born children) represent 6.4% of the voting population.
The purchasing power of Virginia’s Latinos totaled $13.5 billion in 2008 and Asian buying power totaled $14.7 billion.
Asian-owned businesses in the state generated sales and receipts worth more than $7.7 billion annually and Latino-owned businesses generated $3.4 billion in 2002.
Virginia’s undocumented population earned between $2.6 and $3.1 billion in 2007, and paid between $260 and $311 million in state income, excise, property, Social Security, and Medicare taxes.
There is no denying the contributions immigrants make and the important role they play in Virginia’s political and economic future. Virginia’s budget deficit was not created by immigrants and it won’t be filled by attacking them. For more data on the contributions of immigrants, Latinos, and Asians to Virginia’s economy, view the IPC fact sheet in its entirety.

17 Thoughts to “So who has the REAL facts on immigration, legal and otherwise?”

  1. This article reminds me of a humorous article I read recently saying “The Party of No” is becoming the “The Party of No Minorities.”

    Many Republicans I’ve spoken to write off the loss of the Latino vote as a temporary problem that will go away after Comprehensive Immigration Reform is achieved with bipartisan support. I hope this is so.

    Many Republicans have written off the African American vote forever, under the assumption that this constituency and the “base” of the Republican party are simply an either/or proposition … can’t get one without losing the other. This may be so, but not forever. I believe the “base” of the Republican party is vanishing, and a new base will emerge in coming years that rejects the backward social agenda that is seen by many as a key to electoral victories.

    I mention these two groups because there has been very little discussion of the fact that Asian Americans have also abandoned the Republican party during the past few cycles. Perhaps there will be some discussion now, but this would throw a wrench into the denial apparatus that is so popular with Republicans who prefer to look backward rather than into the future.

    I am not sure why this has happened. President Bush would be my first guess. But let’s also remember that Asian Americans are often immigrants and, like Latinos, they are perceived and treated as if they are immigrants for many generations, even if they have parents and grandparents born in the U.S.

    However, if the cause of this abandonment is a not isolated to electioneering ploys that backfired (immigration) or assumptions that justify inertia (Blacks will never vote Democrat because of the Civil Rights Movement) … and instead has a more overarching specificity that applies to today’s voters regardless of race … then we need to find out what that is and do something to alleviate it.

    When one cross-references regional voting patterns with ethnic population centers, one might conclude that people of color … and indeed Caucasians who are simply comfortable amidst people of color … are becoming less and less comfortable with the Republican party.

  2. Slowpoke Rodriguez

    Hmmm, so Obama’s approval rating slips a little each week, Congress’ approval rating still scrapes the bottom of the pit, last I looked, election time isn’t getting any farther away, and we’ve got major battles on health care and massive government destruction of free markets, not to mention gas prices creeping up all the time. Anyone see CIR as getting back-burnered because Obama doesn’t want to spend the rest of his political clout granting amnesty to millions of law-breakers? I don’t know anymore. Time will tell.

  3. kelly3406

    This article appears to conflate immigrants and illegal aliens. I am all for legal immigrants who are the lifeblood of a growing economy and vibrant technology base.

    Since we don’t know exactly how many illegal aliens there are (precisely because they ARE undocumented), it is unclear how the IPC calculates the costs/earnings/taxes attributed to them. Something tells me that they will not reveal the methods used in this analysis.

    My guess is that a more objective organization (i.e. one that does not expressly promote immigration) would not paint such a rosy picture.

  4. ShellyB

    Kelly, since you are not opposed to legal immigration, and race issues are not driving your opposition to “illegal” immigrants, I can see we will be standing side by side when the CIR debate comes.

    In terms of CIR, I wonder if our domestic terrorism problem might get worse. How awful to be held hostage by the racism of our fellow Americans. That’s what terrorists do when democracy doesn’t serve their agenda. If this happens, I hope we can summon the same unity was had when we took steps to tamp down on international terrorism. What a shame to have to fight terrorism on two fronts all of the sudden. We haven’t finished the job with al Quada and now we have white supremacists and anti-immigrant types.

  5. Rick Bentley

    Meanwhile in objective reality – does anyone have anything to say about what’s happening in California, i.e. “Mexifornia”, the US state most welcoming to and full of illegal immigrants?

    They are so far bankrupt that the Governor is advocating that welfare be turned off. I think they would be the only region in this hemisphere that didn’t have government support for the indigent if that happens. I read that this will likely result in millions of people becoming homeless and moving to shelters.

    Political correctness tries to prevent us from making the logical connection here between welcoming other nation’s poor and attempting to fit them into a welfare state, and becoming a third-world nation. Political correctness and orthodoxy tries to keep us from noticing that our way of life is rapidly eroding from the attempts our ruling class makes to guarantee cheap – third-world rates – labor.

    But in point of fact we cannot pay for this type of society. The assimilation of all these uneducated poor is not possible unless we lower our living standards, significantly. And that’s what’s happening. Rapidly. Very rapidly in California.

  6. Moon-howler

    Rick, it is rather predictable what will happen if welfare is cut off in California. Those who were receiving welfare will leave.

    California also has a huge difference between the haves and the have-nots. Here I am a semi-have. There I would be a have-not. Just a poor girl.

    Has your life really eroded that much? Mine hasn’t.

  7. Censored bybvbl

    Rick, it’s hard to tease out how many of California’s financial problems are related to immigration and how many are the result of the passage of Proposition 13. The debt has been accumulating for a long time. People whine about our becoming a third-world country but much of the blame rests solely on those who don’t want to pay for the services they cry about. It’s the old attitude of “Don’t tax you. Don’t tax me. Tax that man behind the tree.”

  8. michael

    Elena, do you not realize that this article is so wrong in so many ways that you can’t even comprehend?

    Let me try to expliain it to “most” of you in terms you might even be able to understand.

    Once upon a time there was a sea with many islands. The sea was the Agean sea, the islands were the Greek islands and Greek mainland bounded on the North by a peaceful and prosperous Macedonian land.
    There were several nations in this region, divided into city states, all of them at war, all of them in poverty because of war and ethnic political conflict. Democract was invented to stop those wars and to attempt to treat all individuals the same under law, with a common Senate who allpied those laws and let the citizen, be in charge of the government. The Greeks forgot to pay attention to the ethnic factions in the political power of the Senate that would undermine Democracy in the lands they violently conquered and peacefully brought into thier governmental system for the people and by the people. Greed, avarice and ethnic factionalism, would destroy this political concept in 150 years.

    10% of the populations in these Democratic citi-states were “illegal” immigrants who simply moved to whatever island they wanted and took whatever island they wanted by force. The macedonians, the carthegenians, the mycenae, the persians, the athenians and the spartans were famous for moving their own ethnicities and ethnic factions onto others lands, under the guise of Democracy, by fighting them politically and physically, and taking the lands and riches away as they inhabited them for their own general welfare, while destroying the welfare of the island’s inhabitants, while putting thei own ethnicity into political power to rule and oppress all others with a heavy hand who disagreed with them politically, often putting political opposition in slavery.
    Over time in this new found democracy, these individual unified city states developed great political hatred and anger at other city states, and their centralized but highly racial “minority” ruling power centers. Many of these “illegal” immigrants and carpet baggers such as Spartans and Athenians wielded tremendous political power in the lands they illegally moved into. Macedonia lived for 100s of years, under the political power and oppression of remote ethnic faction leadership that oppressed the Macedonian people in their own lands. These “immigrants” although unwelcome, were an integral part of Macedonia’s economy and tax base. As workers, taxpayers, consumers, and entrepreneurs, these unwelcome illegal immigrants and their children were an economic powerhouse. As self-elected dominant political party members, they were a potent political force. Yet anti-immigrant groups in Macedonia were accused of exaggerating the alleged fiscal “costs” imposed by the unwelcome illegal immigrants who invaded and took over Macedonia. They were accused of completely discounting the many economic benefits which the new conquerers, the Spartans, the Persians, and the Athenians brought to the once peaceful, financially, and culturally stable Macedonian nation.

    The purchasing power of Macedonia’s new Spartan, Persian, and Athenian population totaled $13.5 million staters and Persian buying power totaled $14.7 million staters. Even more coinage than the invaded empire could afford was struck to support governmental spending, particularly military expenditures, which were very high during the constant warfare of the fifth and fourth centuries BC with neighboring nations. The economy of Greek Democracy began to collapse under the political weight of its divided ethnic factions.

    Macedonia’s undocumented population earned between $2.6 and $3.1 million staters in 337, and paid between $260 and $311 thousand in citi-state income, property, and Athenian government taxes. Persian owned businesses in the unified citi-states generated sales and receipts worth more than $7.7 million staters annually for the Persian empire and Spartan owned businesses generated $3.4 million staters 338 which went back to Sparta.

    There is no denying the contributions the illegal immigrants from Greece and Persia who took over Macedonia made and the important role they played in Macedonia’s political and economic future..

    Since ancient Macedonia was home to many peaceful tribes and goatherders, the ancient Macedonians claimed kinship with the Illirians, Tracians, and Phrygians, but not with the Greeks. In fact, the Brygians of Macedonia are believed to be the European branch of people, who in Asia Minor were known as Phrygians.

    Greek illegal migrants came to Macedonia, Trace, and Illiria after they exhausted the possibilities of settlement in Asia Minor, Italy, France, Spain and Scythia (Ukraine and Russia). However, they did not consider Macedonia especially attractive for permanent settlement. Neither did the Macedonians welcome them as openheartedly as did the Italians and Scythians.

    So important was the contribution to the Macedonain financial wealth and politically oppressive politics created by the illegal immigration of Sparta and Athens, that by the middle of the fourth century BC, the Greek settlers were expelled from Macedonia and their cities, including Aristotle’s native Stragira, razed to the ground by the Macedonian king Philip II (360-336) in his anger at Spartan and Athenian politicians who dominated his native land. Aristotle died in exile in Greece.

    The ancient Macedonians regarded the Greeks as potentially dangerous politically and ethically corrupt neighbors, never as kinsmen. The Greeks stereotyped the Macedonians as “barbarians” and treated them in the same bigoted manner in which they treated all non-Greeks. Herodotus, the Father of History, relates how the Macedonian king Alexander I (498-454 BC), a Philhellene (that is “a friend of the Greeks” and logically a non-Greek), wanted to take a part in the Olympic games. Even though the Greeks invented democracy to prevent war amoung the Spartans and Athenians, and politically aligned all citi-states under a common Senate, the greek politicians maintained their factional alignments based on ethnicity, with greatest political power given to the deemed Athenians who stuck together as a race and politically unified ethnicity. The Greeks failed to treat all Macedonians as “individuals” with the same rights to vote as all other Greek citizens. Racism between the Athenian, Spartan, Persian, and Carthegenian participants of political factions was so great, that when Macedonian athletes claimed individual rights under the law to race equally and fairly, the Greek athletes protested, saying they would not run with an ethnic majority barbarian. Historian Thucydidis also considered the Macedonians as barbarians. Demosthenes, the great Athenian statesman and orator, spoke of Philip II:

    “… not only no Greek, nor related to the Greeks, but not even a barbarian from any place that can be named with honors, but a pestilent knave from Macedonia, whence it was never yet possible to buy a decent slave.”

    So rampant was the ethnic political alignment, and lack of ethnic commonality and political equality, that in his anger at the Greeks for invading his country, Third Philippic, at 31, the Macedonian “barbarian” defeated Greece at the battle of Chaeronea in August 338 BC and appointed himself “Commander of the Greeks”. This battle established Macedonian hegemony over Greece and this date is commonly taken as the end of all Democratic Greek history and the beginning of the Macedonian era. Greece did not regain its independence from Macedonia until 1827 AD.

    In 335 BC, so much was Philip’s son Alexander hatred toward the illegal immigration and political oppression of the Greeks, and Persians who instead of promoting democracy, promoted disintegration of equality, law and demanded political by ethnic faction, that he campaigned toward the Danube, to secure Macedonia’s northern frontier. On rumors of his death, a revolt broke out in Greece with the support of leading Athenians. Alexander marched south covering 240 miles in two weeks. When the revolt continued he sacked Thebes, killing 6,000 people and enslaving the survivors. Only the temples and the house of the poet Pindar were spared.

    The anger the Macedonian monarchy ruled by Phillip, carried toward the “illegal” immigration of Greeks and Persians into his native land Macedonia, and the poverty and political instability they caused as they exploited racist political factions with wave after wave of illegal immigration from Persia, soon vastly expanded when the Persian Empire was conquered by his son Alexander. On Alexander’s death, his empire fragmented into the kingdoms of Macedon, Syria, Thrace, and Egypt, beginning the era of Hellenistic culture.

    Elena, Tell me again why ethnic factions that destroy Democracy and take over a nation’s political and financial infrastructure using illegal immigration tactics is so good for the USA?

  9. Elena

    eyes glazed over about the sixth paragraph……………….

  10. Rick Bentley

    “Has your life really eroded that much? Mine hasn’t.”

    I think it’s an undertold story that the influx of illegal laborers into the US has a good deal to do with the real estate meltdown and even the banking crisis.

  11. Mando

    Another asinine article that tries to obfuscate illegal aliens and immigrants. All republicans are racists and closet Nazi’s too. Blah blah blah.

  12. Mando

    @ Rick Bentley

    That story will NEVER be told. We all now it’s the evil investors on Wall St. that caused this mess. And racist republicans. History has already been re-written. Now Obama wants to start the process all over again.

    The US deserves an Ayatollah. Sheep.

  13. ShellyB

    Mando, you may not like the reality of this, but just about every respected thinker in the Republican party is saying the same thing WHWN said above. Republicans need to break away from the old base (racists) and form a new base (moderates). I know I don’t say it very well. But don’t take it from me. How about long-time Republican Mike Murphy:,9171,1904136,00.html

    Do you think he is a sheep?

  14. Moon-howler

    I don’t necessarily think the old base of the Republican party is racist. Racists can be in all parties( and they are). I do think that the Republican party needs to stop cow-towing to the far right. If they don’t, they won’t win elections. It’s pretty much that simple.

    You don’t even want to hear my recommendations for the Democratic party. It is equally as factionalized as bad as the Republicans; this time there were other factors at work. Example: which party do you think Ralph Nader hurt the worst?

  15. ShellyB

    Ralph Nader hurts the Democrats because he is unelectable and siphons off votes from the far left. Old base, far right, whatever you call it, it’s not agreeable to middle-of-the-road America. Racism is a big part of it. We have to face it. I wouldn’t say everyone in the far right base of the Republican party is racist. Just like I wouldn’t say everyone in the far left is a pacifist. But being against war in general (particularly lied-us-into wars) is part of the base of the Democratic party. Just like people who were pissed off at Democrats for allowing the Civil Rights Movement to happen are part of the base of the Republican party. Also, people who can be easily manipulated to be afraid or blameful of minorities are the base of the party. Like that women who said Barack Obama was “an Arab” and that’s why she was supporting McCain. Now of course McCain wanted no part of that lady and snatched the mike away. But he also had to admit that people who think like her were crucial to his hopes of winning the White House. That’s why he rented Sarah Palin for the fall. To bring in the nut jobs, extremists, and racists with her not so subtle hate-mongering.

  16. Moon-howler

    Shellyb, the people who might be pissed at the Democrats for allowing the Civil Rights movement to happen are a dwindling breed. Most of them are too old to be particulary strong politically. People that old used to BE Democrats…or a variety of Democrat.

    I am not so sure that woman who thought Obama was ‘an A-rab’ disliked blacks or if she feared an enemy trumped up by the media and other groups. We are only 8 years out on 9-11. People who fear muslims do not necessarily fear black folks. Hard to tell what exactly was at work there other than ignorance.

    Obama had his own share of ignorance to deal with also. He did an excellent job of keeping the mike out of their hands also.

    White people are not the only racists in the world. Racism comes in all colors. I have decided it is the human condition. Not defending it, just not shocked by it. It also is not just limited to skin color. It can have many origins.

  17. michael

    Moon, once again I agree with you.

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