The estimated number of illegal immigrants in Montana was about 10,000 in 2010, according to the Pew Research Center
. There were fewer than 5,000 illegal immigrants in the state’s workforce in 2012, or about 0.4 percent of the state’s labor force.
The American Immigration Council reported
that data from the Institute for Taxation and Economic Policy suggests that unauthorized immigrants in Montana paid some $3.2 million in state and local taxes in 2012. This figure included $1.4 million in property taxes, $977,000 in sales taxes, and $838,000 in personal income taxes.
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Legal status for these unauthorized immigrants would result in a total of some $4.5 million in state and local taxes for Montana, according to the institute, based on increases for sales, personal income and property taxes.
The Perryman Group reported that the absence of unauthorized immigrants from Montana would lead to a loss of $96.3 million in the state’s economic activity with a loss of about 720 jobs.
Immigrants play a large role in Montana’s education system. During 2013-14, some 1,691 foreign students contributed about $44.7 million in tuition, fees, and living expenses for the state’s economy, according to the Association of International Educators. Montana immigrants with college degrees increased by 70.9 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to the Migration Policy Institute.
About 3.9 percent of Montana residents are Latino or Asian, according to the Immigration Policy Center
. The Latino population grew from 1.5 percent in 1990 to 3.3 percent, or 33,181 people, in 2013, the U.S. Census Bureau reports. The Asian share accounted for 6,548 people or 0.6 percent in 2013.
Montanans who were foreign born accounted for about 19,692 or 2 percent of the state’s population in 2013, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Slightly more than 53 percent of immigrants in Montana were naturalized U.S. citizens in 2013 and were eligible to vote.
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There were 1,061 new immigrant business owners in Montana between 2006 and 2010. A survey of business owners by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2007 found that 1,131 Latino-owned businesses employed 2,436 workers. Around the same time, 646 Asian-owned businesses in Montana employed 1,735 people.
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