Report: 7 Percent of Michigan Residents Are Immigrants


The American Immigration Council today released a report about Michigan’s immigrant population. Specifically, the report indicates that nearly 7 percent of Michigan’s residents are immigrants, and 1 in 12 Michiganders is a native-born U.S. citizen with at least one immigrant parent.

“Michigan benefits from the various ways immigrants participate in the economy — from lending their skills as engineers and architects to making up nearly 11 percent of the state’s healthcare practitioners, technologists, and technicians,” the report says. “As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigrants are an integral part of Michigan’s diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions.”

The report found Michigan immigrants comprise 7.7 percent of the labor force, most prevalently in the manufacturing, health care and social assistance, educational services, accommodation and food services, and retail trade industries.

Additionally, the report indicates that nearly 40 percent of immigrants living in Michigan have earned a college degree or higher, and more than four in five report speaking English well. In 2015, Michigan was home to 308,432 women, 295,273 men, and 48,385 children who were immigrants. Top countries of origin were Mexico (11.5 percent of immigrants), India (10.1 percent), Iraq (8.1 percent), China (5.9 percent), and Canada (5.4 percent).

The report also specifies that more than half of all immigrants in Michigan are naturalized U.S. citizens. Specifically, 342,465 immigrants (52.5 percent) had naturalized as of 2015 and 124,804 immigrants were eligible to become naturalized U.S. citizens in 2015.

Consequently, more than 70,000 U.S. citizens in Michigan reported living with at least one family member who is undocumented. The report highlights that 130,000 undocumented immigrants comprised 20 percent of the immigrant population and 1.3 percent of Michigan’s total population in 2014.

As of 2016, 72 percent of Michigan immigrants eligible for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) had applied for the program. An additional 3,000 Michigan residents satisfied all but the educational requirements for DACA, and another 2,000 will become eligible as they grow older.

Immigrant-led households throughout Michigan also paid $3.8 billion in federal taxes and $1.5 billion in state and local taxes in 2014. Undocumented immigrants in Michigan paid an estimated $86.7 million in state and local taxes in 2014, which could rise to a contribution of $113.9 million if they received legal status.

A full version of the report can be found here.

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