New Research Shows Immigrants Contributed $8.6 Billion to the El Paso Metro GDP

AUSTIN, TX – New research on The Economic Contributions of Immigrants in El Paso was released today by Texans for Economic Growth–a statewide 145+-member business coalition powered by the American Immigration Council–in partnership with The Borderplex Alliance and Texas Association of Business which underscores the crucial role immigrants play in Texas’ sixth largest city.

The new report is the first in a series of five reports highlighting immigrants' positive economic impact on Texas border communities.

“El Paso has always been a city of immigrants. It's part of our history and our DNA. Today, immigrants are contributing to our economy in a big way. Immigrants in Texas contribute billions to our GDP. They help drive our economy and create jobs for all Texans. In El Paso, immigrants make up a large part of our workforce. They are our teachers, our doctors, our lawyers, and our business owners. They are an integral part of our city and our economy. The Borderplex region is home to some of the largest and most successful companies in the world. These companies are here because of our location, our workforce, and our quality of life. Immigrants are a key part of our workforce and our economy. They are a net positive to our city, our state, and our nation,” said Jon Barela, CEO of The Borderplex Alliance.

Glenn Hamer, president, and CEO of the Texas Association of Business (TAB), added, “Immigration is central to the El Pasoan story. Immigrants make up nearly a quarter of the overall population and have contributed $8.6 billion to Texas’ GDP. Immigrants are vital not only to El Paso’s continued success but to the entire state’s success.”

“El Paso is another striking example of immigrants' positive impact on communities across Texas. In addition to their sizeable contributions in taxes and spending power, immigrants in El Paso make up nearly 31 percent of STEM workers. They are integral to several industries like construction and manufacturing, where they make up 44.5 percent and 42.7 percent of those workforces, respectively. It’s clear to the 145 business leaders of Texans for Economic Growth that immigrants in El Paso are a value add for all Texans,” said Chelsie Kramer, Texas State Organizer for the American Immigration Council and Texans for Economic Growth.

Key findings:

  • Immigrants in the El Paso metro contribute billions in taxes and consumer spending. In 2019, immigrant households earned $4.8 billion in income, with $591.8 million going to federal taxes and $440.7 million going to state and local taxes, leaving them with $3.8 billion in spending power that can be reinvested in local communities.

  • Despite making up 24.1 percent of the overall population in the El Paso metro, immigrants in El Paso hold an impressive 29.2 percent of the spending power and make up 27.6 percent of the employed labor force. Robust consumer spending by immigrant households supports small businesses and keeps local economic corridors vibrant.

  • Manufacturing is a crucial economic driver in Texas. It is estimated that, by 2019, immigrants living in the El Paso metro area helped create or preserve 9,300 local manufacturing jobs that would have otherwise vanished or moved elsewhere.

  • In the fall of 2020, 1,711 students enrolled in colleges and universities in the metro area were temporary residents. These students supported 600 local jobs and contributed $46.5 million in spending in the 2020-21 academic year.

  • In 2019, 62.5 percent of immigrant households owned their homes in the El Paso metro, totaling a property value of $7.4 billion.

TAB is the Texas State Chamber, representing companies of every size and industry. The Association’s purpose is to champion the best business climate in the world, unleashing the power of free enterprise to enhance lives for generations. Follow TAB on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.