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How Has Immigration Affected the State of Florida?

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Right behind California, New York, and Texas, the state of Florida has the fourth-highest immigration population in the U.S. About one in five Florida residents was born in a foreign country, while about one in eight has at least one immigrant parent.

While a majority of immigrants in Florida hail from the Caribbean, Haiti, and Cuba, the state is home to immigrants from across the globe. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, neighbors, and friends, immigrants are a fundamental part of Florida’s diverse and thriving communities and make immense contributions that benefit everyone in the U.S.

Economic Growth

Immigrants have undoubtedly contributed to Florida’s thriving economy. Wallethub compared all 50 states and D.C. in order to find the economic impact of foreign-born populations.

Overall, New York came in at No. 1 on the list, followed by California, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Delaware. Florida came in at No. 11.

Here’s how Florida ranked in the various categories (1st being the best ranking, 25th being average)

  • 4th – Percentage of jobs generated by immigrant-owned businesses out of total jobs

  • 27th – Net difference between state and local revenues and expenditures per immigrant

  • 6th – Percentage of foreign-born STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workers out of total STEM workers

  • 11th – Percentage of Fortune 500 companies founded by immigrants or their children

  • 29th – Percentage of jobs created by the presence of international students out of total jobs

In addition, a study by MoneyWatch found that, for every 10,000 immigrants to the U.S., about 62 will start a business. That’s more than double the rate for the native-born residents!

International Students

Students all across the globe come to Florida to further their education. In fact, Florida was ranked #6 with the most international students studying at a college or university. This gives native-born students a chance to gain a broad understanding of cultures from around the world and learn and grow with other students who may be completely different than they are.

Many foreign-born students who graduate from colleges within the U.S. do not return to their country, instead opting to pursue job opportunities in the states. According to the Pew Research Center, 1.5 million foreign graduates from U.S. colleges obtained OPT (Optional Practical Training) between 2004 and 2016. A record of 276,500 foreign graduates stayed to work in the U.S. in 2017 alone.

Around 53% of these individuals choose jobs in the employment specialized in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. In 2015, there were 1,976,722 foreign-born STEM workers, making up nearly a quarter (24%) of the entire STEM workforce.

Enriched Society

For years, the United States has benefited from immigration and the diversity it brings. The state of Florida would not be the diverse, cultured, and thriving state as it is without immigration. The ways that immigrants have enriched culture in Florida are abundant:

  • Expanding culture by introducing new customs, ideas, and ways of living

  • Making the world a more connected place

  • Promoting acceptance and promoting the betterment of humanity

If you live in Florida, chances are that you have benefited from the many ways that immigrants improve society. You probably know someone who was born in another country, too! Learning more about other countries brings a broad sense of understanding, peace, and love.

Contact our Caring Immigration Attorneys

For those looking to begin their futures in the United States, our team of skilled and compassionate immigration attorneys at Maney Gordon Zeller are here to act as your fearless legal advocates and help you through this legal process.

We understand that the process can seem confusing. For over 40 years, we have worked tirelessly on behalf of immigrants and their families so they can pursue the American Dream. Our firm serves clients nationwide and has offices located in:

  • Tampa

  • Albuquerque

  • Clearwater

  • Philadelphia

  • Jacksonville

  • Dade City

  • El Paso

  • Orlando

We are ready to hear your unique story and help you pursue your immigration goals.

To begin the immigration process or for help with your current case, contact Maney Gordon Zeller at (800) 708-4399 to speak with one of our immigration attorneys. We also offer services in Spanish, Portuguese, and Thai.

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