I always enjoy Jay Leno when during his show he does his ‘man on the street’ routine. That’s where Leno and a camera crew go out into the streets and ask a basic question to see it the general public is aware. In the past, he’d ask ‘who’s the Vice-President of the U.S.?’ and we would laugh (or maybe wonder) at the folks who had no clue what the answer was.
Leno could probably ask this question: What states have the most foreign-born labor forces? I’m sure many today would immediately say, “Arizona” but they would be wrong! There are in fact six, that’s six out of fifty of course, who are impacted the most by immigration policy. The six states are: California, New York, Texas, New Jersey, Florida, and Illinois. According to a recent Congressional Budget Office report, these six states have nearly 65% of the foriegn-born labor force available in the U.S. California alone, which really shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone given their agricultural industry, accounts for nearly 27% alone.
What’s even more interesting is that states that are contemplating their own Arizona-type immigration policy administered are states like Virginia, Oklahoma, Utah. Texas is the only state out of the ‘big six’ who is contemplating their own immigration policy.
I have an idea: why don’t we ask those six states, with perhaps the exception of Texas, how they feel about having the largest populations of immigrant workers. I have a feeling that the answer is that those states value their immigrant populations and mostly welcome their participation in the labor force.