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Democracy Trailblazers ignite enthusiasm among teen voters; CA monster blizzard batters Tahoe, Mammoth, Sierra amid avalanche warnings; MN transportation sector could be next in line for carbon-free standard; IN teachers 'stunned' by lawmakers' bid to bypass collective bargaining.

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Nikki Haley says she may not endorse the GOP nominee, President Biden says the U-S will continue air-dropping aid into Gaza and more states look at ditching the electoral college for a national popular vote.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Santa Fe's economic vitality depends on immigrants

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Tuesday, November 21, 2023   

From construction and hospitality to business creation and consumer spending, a new report shows the oversized contributions immigrants are making to the labor force in New Mexico. The report shows that immigrants to Santa Fe County made up more than one in seven workers in 2019.

Asma Esa, manager of state and local initiatives with the American Immigration Council, explained their contributions cannot be overvalued in creating the area's vibrancy.

"Even though immigrants made up 11.1% of the county's total population, they actually made up 15% of its employed labor force, as well as 15.2% of the working-age population," Esa said.

The report, released by the American Immigration Council, also shows immigrants in Santa Fe County paid more than $122 million in taxes and held over $365 million in spending power in 2019.

Marcela Diaz, executive director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido - a statewide group founded in 1995 to promote worker and racial justice, said Santa Fe, like other cities, has an aging workforce and needs to employ and recruit younger workers - while also figuring out how to maximize the contributions of immigrants.

"And to be fully integrated into the city's economic development plans - we want to have more access to workforce development opportunities, and really be a part of the city's long-term vision, Diaz said.

According to the report, the 16,000 immigrants living in Santa Fe County in 2019 mostly arrived from Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean. Roughly 93% reported they had lived in the United States for more than five years.


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