IIEC Issue Briefs & Resources
As leaders in Iowa, we value the gifts a diverse population brings to the landscape of our state and its communities. We urge impartial public dialogue to inform common-sense public policy that addresses Iowa’s unique needs and strengths. The Iowa Immigration Education Coalition conducts timely research and review of immigration issues most relevant to Iowans. As a result, we have created several issue briefs which provide an impartial overview and analysis of the most significant immigration-related issues affecting Iowans.
Think you know about immigration? Test your knowledge with this immigration quiz developed by the IIEC.
Learn about population and demographics of immigrants living in Iowa, education and other public benefits, taxes and the economy, crime rates and immigration enforcement with this fact-sheet prepared by the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition.
There are a large number of myths surrounding documented and undocumented immigrants living in our state. Learn more about these myths and realities in this document prepared by the Iowa Immigration Education Coalition.
Issue Brief 1 -- Immigrants in Iowa: A Demographic Snapshot
Since 1990, Iowa has consistently ranked among the lowest 15 states in the country for percentage of immigrant population to total state population. In 2007, immigrants in Iowa totaled 132,326 people, representing 4.5% of Iowa’s total residents. This percentage is well below the national average. In 2006, immigrants represented just over 12% of the total U.S. population (Batalova 9). Of Iowa immigrants, just over 40% were originally from Latin America, followed closely by immigrants of Asian heritage (32%).
Issue Brief 2 -- Immigration and Iowa's Workforce
According to a 2008 Needs Assessment undertaken by Iowa Workforce Development, the state of Iowa can expect a significant workforce shortage in the near future as the baby boomer generation retires and Iowa businesses expand operations. Already, nearly 45% of Iowa’s total workforce is 45 years of age or older (of retiring age within 10 years) (The Iowa Journal 163). Among the jobs most likely to see the highest vacancies are those that require only a high school education or GED (Iowa Needs Assessment Survey 2008 4). Even today, employers report nearly 50,000 vacancies, with another 150,000 on the horizon (Iowa Needs Assessment Survey 2008 4).
Issue Brief 3 -- The Economics of Immigration in Iowa
Although not eligible to receive or access most benefits and public services funded through state and Federal programs, unauthorized immigrants often contribute to state and Federal revenues through payroll, property tax, sales tax and other levies. Based on an average household income of $27,400, unauthorized immigrants contribute between $40 million to $64 million in income, sales and excise, and property taxes to the state of Iowa each year (Pearson and Sheehan 23). In addition, it is estimated that unauthorized immigrants and their employers contribute between $50 million to $78 million in Social Security and Medicare taxes to the Federal government each year (Pearson and Sheehan 25).
Informe de Tema Crucial 3-- La economía de la inmigración en Iowa
Aunque los inmigrantes no autorizados no se pueden aprovechar de la mayoría de los servicios públicos que reciben fondos de programas estatales y federales, muchas veces contribuyen a los ingresos federales y estatales al pagar los impuestos del trabajo, de la propiedad, sobre el valor de bienes y servicios, y otras obligaciones. Con un ingreso de hogar promedio de $27,400, los inmigrantes no autorizados remuneran al Estado de Iowa entre $40 millones y $64 millones cada año por medios de impuestos del trabajo, de la propiedad, y sobre el valor de bienes y servicios (Peerson Sheehan 23). Y cada año, se estima que los inmigrantes no autorizados y sus patrones remuneran al gobierno federal entre $50 millones y $78 millones en impuestos de Seguridad Social y Medicare (Pearson y Sheehan 25).
Issue Brief 4 -- Immigrants and Education in Iowa
The movement of an ever-growing immigrant population into Iowa brings certain educational challenges as well as numerous benefits. Schools in Iowa have the opportunity to develop educational initiatives to incorporate immigrant students and celebrate diversity both inside the classroom and also within the larger Iowa community. Within the immigrant community in Iowa, a large percentage is highly educated and readily contributes their expertise to the workforce. While there is also a sizable portion that have not completed high school, this simply illuminates the need to provide ELL programs in public schools to allow for the success of immigrant children. With the success of English Language Learner integration programs, schools provide students with a unique opportunity to celebrate diversity and become engaged citizens who are collectively responsible for the future of the state.