• Tue. May 30th, 2023

Florida policy researcher explains how immigrants impact the economy


May 26, 2023

Earlier this month, Gov. DeSantis signed legislation generating sweeping modifications to immigration laws in Florida.

Supporters say the modifications will enable curb illegal immigration, even though immigration advocates say it sends a message that immigrants are not welcome in Florida.

According to the National Sheriffs’ Association, illegal immigration is unsustainable from a safety and financial standpoint.

Sadaf Knight, CEO of the Florida Policy Institute, breaks down how immigrants effect our economy and how responses to the new law could effect you.

Listen to the complete conversation in the player above.

 Sadaf Knight is the CEO of the Florida Policy Institute.

Florida Policy Institute


Florida Policy Institute

Sadaf Knight is the CEO of the Florida Policy Institute.

Influence on the economy and you

Viral videos of persons speaking out against Florida’s new immigration laws have some worried about the effect on the economy.

Primarily based on the Florida Policy Institute’s study, Knight stated these new laws could price the state $12.six billion in GDP in one particular year.

She adds that shoppers could really feel that loss when they go to the shop.

“A lot of the goods and solutions that you rely on on a day to day basis might come to be additional highly-priced or might come to be much less readily available.”

But, supporters of the new immigration laws say the bill might bring some relief to residents.

In a statement sent to WMFE, the Federation for American Immigration Reform stated, “Illegal immigration fees Florida taxpayers more than $eight billion dollars annually, which means each and every household has a monetary burden of just below a thousand dollars. These charges come from education, legal, healthcare, and all other charges related with supporting illegal immigrants in Floridian communities.”

On the other hand, Knight stated undocumented workers also place cash back into the economy.

“Regardless of whether or not you have been granted legal status, you are nonetheless paying your taxes. And we have an estimate from a couple of years ago, displaying that undocumented immigrants contributed nearly $600 million annually to Florida state and regional taxes.”

She adds that Florida’s new immigration laws will have a substantial effect on the economy as it creates a culture of worry, which could influence no matter if persons continue to move to the state to function.

“Currently we’re seeing on social media, and even in news reports, persons are just deciding to leave and not show up for function due to the fact there is a culture of worry and a chilling impact,” Knight stated. “Regardless of what it says especially in the bill, there is the broader implications of how it tends to make persons really feel.”


According to the Florida Policy Institute, additional than one particular in 5 residents in the state are immigrants.

Knight stated that represents 21% of the state’s population at four.three million persons.

“In Central Florida as properly, we have a substantial immigrant population, representing about 15% of the population. And in some counties it really is a great deal additional. For instance, in Orange County, it really is 22% of the population.”

She adds in Florida, the major 5 nations exactly where immigrants are coming from are Cuba, Haiti, Colombia, Mexico, and Jamaica.

“We truly have the second highest share of Black immigrants in the United States. New York is the state that has the highest.”

When you appear at the makeup of Florida’s economy, Knight stated there is a substantial presence of immigrants in important industries.

She points to the COVID-19 pandemic exactly where additional than one particular in 4 frontline workers in Florida have been immigrants.

“These are in sectors like well being care, kid care, social solutions, and transit, and all the numerous unique frontline industries.”

She adds that the state also relies on 150,000 to 200,000 migrant and seasonal farmworkers annually.

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