Immigrant, Latino, and Asian workers and entrepreneurs are integral to Florida’s economy and tax base. They are also an electoral powerhouse. But even this reality is turned on its head by anti-immigrant hate groups, such as the Federation for America Immigration Reform (FAIR) an anti-immigrant hate group headquartered in Washington, DC. On Thursday, FAIR issued a press release claiming that Florida’s current budget crisis “would be lessened by ending illegal immigration costs.” FAIR argues that “the current fiscal cost outlays for the illegal alien population in Florida now amount to more than $2.8 billion annually.” FAIR’s argument is a case study in how to lie with statistics, as outlined here by the folks at the Immigration Policy Center (IPC)

In response, the IPC has compiled research which shows that immigrants, Latinos, and Asians are a political and economic powerhouse in Florida.

Highlights of the research include:

*Florida’s immigrant workers pay an estimated annual average of
nearly $20 billion in taxes.
*Latinos in Florida wield over $100 billion in consumer purchasing
*power and own 1-in-6 businesses in the state.
*Immigrants account for nearly 1-in-5 Floridians and nearly half are
*eligible to vote.
*Latinos in the Sunshine State accounted for 14% of voters in the 2008 election cycle.

Alicia Menendez


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