Study: Immigrants are a boon to Oklahoma's economy

Mar 15, 2017

Credit Elvert Barnes / Flickr Creative Commons

Almost a quarter million immigrants call Oklahoma home, and they play an important role in the state’s economy, according to a new study.

As NewsOK reports, these immigrants make up over 20 percent of the state's workforce, and many hold specialized knowledge in career fields like health care, science and technology. Others keep the state economy humming by working in manufacturing, housekeeping, fabrication and landscaping.

The report from the New American Economy noted the myth that immigrants don’t pay taxes, pointing to the fact that immigrants in Oklahoma paid over $346 million in state and local taxes in 2014 alone. In a state with a massive budget gap, that income matters.

Tracey Morales, program director of Aspiring Americans, noted how ambitious many immigrants are in Oklahoma.

"They want to become engineers, they want to become the nurses and the doctors," Morales said.