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Immigrants Make up 22% of Texas’ Workforce

This summary about Gov. Greg Abbott and his bid for re-election featured in Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter. You can subscribe to receive it in your inbox three times per week here.

As he seeks re-election, Texas’ Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has ramped up his actions against immigrants, from deploying Texas National Guard troops and state troopers to arrest migrants crossing into the U.S., to busing migrants to the Capitol, and to, most recently, launching an executive order letting law enfrocement take migrants into custody and send them back to ports of entry if officials suspect the migrants are violating federal law. 

Advocates have continued to speak out against Abbott and in support of immigrants, many of whom travel long distances to seek refuge in the U.S. after fleeing dangerous situations. 

Abbott and his supporters’ rhetoric has often ignored that Texas’ growing immigrant population has helped to strengthen its labor force. So on the back of this, the American Immigration Council and a statewide coalition of over 125 member businesses released a new research highlighting contributions of immigrants to the Texas’ workforce. 

Immigrants in Texas make up 21.9% of the state’s overall workforce, despite being just 17.1% of its population: There was a more than two-fold increase in the number of online job postings in Texas between 2017 and 2021, from 1.9 million to 3.8 million, and immigrants helped to fill the demand. 

The chart below, looking at many production, medical, and academic occupations, shows the share of workers in 2019 who were immigrants.

A chart shows that immigrants make up nearly half of the workforce of some professions in Texas.

Demand for bilingual workers across critical fields like health care, social work, and education also increased: Many occupations highlighted in the chart have seen significant increase in the need for bilingual workers. Immigrants helped to fill the demand for culturally competent workers in those critical sectors.

A key economic driver in Texas is manufacturing, and immigrants play a key role as they occupy many production occupations: 33% of computer tool operations workers, 28% percent of production workers, and 23% of inspectors, testers, and sorters are immigrants, according to 2019 figures. 

Read the full report on the Economic Contributions of Immigrants in Texas.

STORIES WE ARE FOLLOWING 

New York

Monkeypox virus — what it is and how to schedule a vaccine:

As monkeypox cases in the city continue to rise, New Yorkers have inquired about this type of orthopoxvirus and how to get the vaccine. Here is what you need to know. — Documented

NYC Councilmembers say new district maps create Asian-majority district, but disempower Latino community:

Councilmembers Alexa Avilés and Justin Brannan of Brooklyn say the new maps would mean “pitting one community of interest against another and wiping out hard-fought gains that have existed for a generation.” — Gothamist 

Around the U.S. 

The long, deep reach of the U.S. Border Patrol:
Border Patrol has nearly unchecked powers in the border zone that extends 100 miles into the U.S.’s interior, though most apprehensions happen within one mile of the border. — Los Angeles Times (Opinion)

Nearly 150 border patrol officers showed up at Uvalde massacre:
A U.S. House report indicates frequent “bailouts,” in which law enforcement pursue undocumented migrants, had desensitized school staff and officers to the alert system. — Read more in this thread from Texas Observer’s Gus Bova

Abbott wages extreme attacks against immigrants as he seeks re-election:
As Texas Gov. Greg Abbott fights for a third term in office, he has challenged constitutional norms that generally put immigration policy under federal purview.  — The Washington Post (Opinion) 

Catholic group disappointed with Biden decision to extend but not redesignate TPS to Venezuelans:
The Catholic Legal Immigration Network’s executive director said it is ”a violation of humanitarian principles as well as what we, as Catholics, believe is our duty to shelter those in need.” — CRUX

Washington D.C.

ICE officers to ask immigrants if they are parents to avoid separating families:
The new directive reverses restrictive policies and allows for previously deported immigrants to return temporarily for child custody hearings. — Reuters

Bill would establish new standards to protect migrant children in government custody:
The proposed federal act would incorporate child welfare best practices into stages of the immigration system involving noncitizen children seeking asylum. — Read more

Organizations urge House to reject anti-asylum provision on appropriations bills:
The groups want U.S. House leadership to block a floor vote on a legislative provision that would indefinitely continue expulsions of asylum seekers at the border. — National Immigrant Justice Center

SEE MORE STORIES
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