Latino civil rights organization says Iowa’s governor is out of touch with positive impact of immigration in our state – continues to build prejudice against immigrant workforce. DES MOINES, IA – The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) of Iowa says Governor Kim Reynolds is playing a game of politics and ignorance when she spreads prejudicial rhetoric at the southern border. While the governor laments about dangers posed by immigrants in our communities, Iowa employers are in need of more workers – especially those positions often filled by our immigrant workforce.

“Governor Reynolds ignores the fact that in 2014 alone immigrant-led households in Iowa paid $820.3 million in federal taxes and $348.9 million in state and local taxes. Statistics show they also had $3 billion in spending power that year. In 2015, immigrant business-owners accounted for 2.5 percent of all self-employed Iowa residents and generated $56.4 million in business income,” said LULAC Iowa Political Director Joe Henry. “In 2016, DACA recipients alone paid $6.8 million in state and local taxes. Immigration is beneficial to Iowa. It makes no sense that the governor is touting messages that produce prejudice over progress.”

Over the summer our agricultural industry leaders made the case to bring more immigrant workers to Iowa. They also pushed for year-round flow of those workers to keep their operations running smoothly. Both Senator Grassley and former Iowa Governor and current U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack testified at a hearing to discuss the Farm Workforce Modernization Act that farmers and businesses can’t find enough workers. While some leaders seem to grasp the importance of immigrants in Iowa, Governor Reynolds appears to be distracted from the facts by political speech-making about border patrol on the national stage.

“Instead of addressing real issues that are directly affecting Iowans, Governor Kim Reynolds continues to put on a show with tax-payer funded trips and photo-ops at the border for her own political gain,” said LULAC Iowa State Director Nicholas Salazar. “These actions or the use of state law enforcement at the border will not fix the border issue. We need our governor to stop blowing political hot air and focus on the humanitarian crisis and needs of the people right here in Iowa."


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