President Donald Trump’s call to cut legal immigration by half over ten years would have a significant impact on Kentucky’s economy. Immigrants and refugees in Kentucky are more likely to start their own business than native born Kentuckians.
Trump says the U.S. has a history of taking in too many low-skilled workers from other countries. Anna Baumann is with the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy, a left leaning research institute. She says a lot of skilled labor in Kentucky actually comes from immigration. Baumann notes one of every 20 immigrants in Kentucky is a small business owner.
“It would affect the economy by limiting that skilled labor that’s coming in," Baumann said. "Immigrants and refugees have a higher rate of business ownership than native born Kentuckians.”
Baumann says immigrants and refugees contribute to Kentucky’s economy by paying taxes and by participating in the labor force and in their communities. Baumann adds one in 33 Kentuckians are immigrants.