While not all that is said is true, not all that is truth is told.
With a combined spending power of $7.1 billion, foreign-born SF residents contributed $2.5 billion to the local, state and national economy. Nationally, immigrants earned $1.3 trillion in 2014, contributed $105 billion in state and local taxes, paid almost $224 billion in federal taxes, and had nearly $927 billion in spending power. However, despite substantial evidence of their contributions to a strong economy, immigrants continue to face backlash and bias. Feb. 21, 2017. SF Office of Civic engagement & Immigrant Affairs.
Study shows the economic power of immigrants in San Francisco
The Office of Civic engagement & Immigrant Affairs and the San Francisco Immigrant Rights Commission released new information on the economic contributions of immigrants in San Francisco city and county, revealing that immigrants contribute significantly to the local economy through high rates of tax contributions, spending power and workforce participation. The data, covering all Congressional Districts, was released nationally today by New American Economy (NAE).
Immigrants in San Francisco bring over $7.1 billion in spending power, and pay over $2.5 billion in total taxes each year, with $1.7 billion going annually to the federal government. There are 12,576 immigrant entrepreneurs in San Francisco providing essential services and jobs. Immigrants are over a third of San Francisco’s total population and over 70 percent of the City’s immigrants are working age (25-64).
“Immigration helps power the local economy. This data is more evidence that immigrants have contributed significantly to the City’s cultural and economic success,” said Immigrant Rights Commission Chair Celine Kennelly, executive director of the Irish Immigration Pastoral Center.
“Immigrants are the heartbeat of San Francisco and the nation,” said Adrienne Pon, executive director of the Office of Civic Engagement & Immigrant Affairs.
“Despite facing numerous barriers and unwelcoming policies, they bring resourcefulness, creativity, diversity, a strong work ethic, and the willingness to lay down roots in local communities and contribute resources.”
The NAE study looks at information on immigrant demographics, workforce, voting power, home ownership, taxes & spending power, and entrepreneurship based on 2014 economic and tax data. Nationally, immigrants continue to play an important role contributing to local economies as voters, consumers and taxpayers.
In San Francisco, there are 145,946 eligible immigrant voters and 37,279 homes owned by immigrants. Immigrant entrepreneurs play an important role as employers and contributors to the local tax base.
“San Francisco’s economy is the result of hardworking entrepreneurial immigrants from all over the world who have made significant contributions to making this a world-class city,” said San Francisco Chamber of Commerce Interim President & CEO Dennis Conaghan.
However, despite substantial evidence of their contributions to a strong economy and strong America, immigrants continue to face backlash and bias. On February 16, 2016, community advocates organized “A Day Without Immigrants,” a national boycott to protest the new administration’s immigration policies. In San Francisco’s Calle 24 Latino Cultural District, Theresa Pasion, Ruben Ibarra and Ida Ibarra, co-owners of La Palma Mexicatessen established in 1953, joined the boycott. Pasion explained, “We closed, not out of self-interest for our business, but to stand behind the larger message of who we are as immigrants in this country. It is the foundation of the American Dream to come to the U.S. and have the opportunity to build a better future for our families.” Pasion hopes the financial impact of Thursday’s boycott is captured in some way.
“Our city’s immigrant workers come from all walks of life. No matter where they started from, they work hard, contribute to the economy and are the backbone of our local labor force. The San Francisco Labor Council and our immigration center, We Rise SF, will continue to support all workers,” said Tim Paulson, executive director of the San Francisco Labor Council. ##