Immigration Spurs Economic Growth, Missouri Senate Panel Hears

A panel formed by the Missouri Senate is holding public hearings around the state of Missouri to consider current immigration policies and possible changes in state law. This week the panel held a hearing in St. Louis. Senator John T. Lamping (R-Clayton), chairman of the panel, said the panel was especially interested in considering how immigration affected economic activity in the state of Missouri.

 A 2012 study on The Economic Impact of Immigration on St. Louis suggests that St. Louis lags behind other metro areas in welcoming immigrants and that this hurts economic growth. The study concluded that: “Encouraging an inflow of foreign-born to match other large metros would increase job growth 4-5 percent.”

Those testifying at the panel’s hearing included representatives from business, community and civic organizations as well as religious leaders and educators. Among the assets of the immigrant community mentioned by those testifying were their entrepreneurial spirit, the strong work ethic, and the professional skills sets that many bring with them to the United States. Javier Orozco, the Hispanic minister for the Archdiocese of St. Louis and a member of the MCC’s Public Policy Committee, urged people to work together for the common good of all, including immigrants.

 In addition to Senator Lamping, the panel members include Senators Will Kraus (R-Lee’s Summit), Mike Kehoe (R-Jefferson City), Maria Chappelle-Nadal (D-Ferguson), and Shalonn “Kiki” Curls (D-Kansas City).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *