According to the first annual New American Economy Cities index for integrating immigrant communities, the immigrant community in Fresno is paying around $1 billion in annual taxes and contributing over $3 billion annually to the local economy. Fresno ranked 35th out of 100 large U.S. cities in the study. According to the index, the numbers related to taxes and spending power were based on 2014 numbers. Chris Valadez of the California Fresh Fruit Association told the Fresno Bee the following,
In the Fresno metro area, immigrants pay more than $1 billion in annual taxes and invest over $3 billion into the local economic purchasing power. Just imagine the multiplier for the state of California, alone… That’s a significant story that I think we need to continue to tell our policymakers, particularly back in D.C., but also here in Sacramento.
Valdez believes that much of the debates on immigration reform have missed the point of immigrants’ economic contributions made. Fresno Council President Esmeralda Soria stated that Fresno’s been making City Hall accessible to diverse groups by doing things such as translating agendas into Spanish and Hmong, and adding translation services to meetings. It is great to see that Fresno has been embracing its immigrant community and providing more services for them. Hopefully the immigrant community in Fresno continues to contribute to Fresno’s economy.