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Immigrant Contributions to Ohio Are Highlighted in New Study

Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley talks about the economic benefits of making it easier for immigrants to stay and work here.
Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley talks about the economic benefits of making it easier for immigrants to stay and work here.
Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley talks about the economic benefits of making it easier for immigrants to stay and work here.
Credit KEVIN NIEDERMIER / WKSU
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Cleveland City Council President Kevin Kelley talks about the economic benefits of making it easier for immigrants to stay and work here.

Foreign-born residents make up just over 4 percent of Ohio’s population, and immigration proponents say that number needs to grow. Anew study released today highlights the economic contributions immigrants make statewide. 

The Partnership for a New American Economy study says in 2014 Ohio’s nearly half a million immigrants earned $15.6 billion, or just over 5 percent of the state’s total. And during a press conference on the steps of Cleveland City Hall, Council President Kevin Kelley called for changes that will help keep more of Northeast Ohio’s estimated 5,000 international students here.

“We educate a lot of immigrants but then we don’t let them stay, we don’t maximize the talents they can have with our local economy. They go to other countries that end up competing against us, which doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. So we really need Congress to act on immigration reform if we want to stay ahead of the curve on competition, innovation and potential growth.”

Kelley and other immigration supporters say these students and other skilled immigrants are needed to help fill the thousands of science, technology, engineering and math jobs in the region. The Partnership for a New American Economy prepared immigrant impact studies for all 50 states and Washington, D.C.

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