• Mon. Jun 5th, 2023

Florida policy researcher explains how immigrants impact the economy


May 26, 2023

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

Supporters say the modifications will assist curb illegal immigration, whilst 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 influence our economy and how responses to the new law could influence 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.

Effect on the economy and you

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

Primarily based on the Florida Policy Institute’s analysis, Knight stated these new laws could price the state $12.six billion in GDP in 1 year.

She adds that customers could really feel that loss when they go to the retailer.

“A lot of the goods and solutions that you rely on on a day to day basis could develop into far more highly-priced or could develop into significantly less out there.”

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

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

Nonetheless, Knight stated undocumented workers also place funds back into the economy.

“No matter whether or not you have been granted legal status, you happen to be nevertheless paying your taxes. And we have an estimate from a handful of years ago, displaying that undocumented immigrants contributed practically $600 million annually to Florida state and neighborhood taxes.”

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

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


According to the Florida Policy Institute, far more than 1 in 5 residents in the state are immigrants.

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

“In Central Florida as properly, we have a considerable immigrant population, representing about 15% of the population. And in some counties it is significantly far more. For instance, in Orange County, it is 22% of the population.”

She adds in Florida, the top rated 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 considerable presence of immigrants in crucial industries.

She points to the COVID-19 pandemic exactly where far more than 1 in 4 frontline workers in Florida have been immigrants.

“These are in sectors like wellness care, youngster care, social solutions, and transit, and all the different unique frontline industries.”

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

Copyright 2023 WMFE. To see far more, take a look at WMFE.

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