Anti-immigrant sentiment and phrases like “we have to build a wall” have at this point become synonymous with Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. Indeed, the idea of building a massive wall along the border between the U.S. and Mexico was just about the only policy idea he mentioned at his Dallas rally last week.
It’s true that immigrants are highly concentrated along the border, including many smaller, hard-hit communities and metros, as the map below shows.
But the reality is that, rather than undermining America’s economy and society, immigrants actually add to both. Immigrants are concentrated in and contribute to the success of many of the most economically vibrant U.S. metros. To help us better understand the actual ways that immigrants are connected to the economy and crime, my team at Martin Prosperity Institute crunched the numbers from the 2011-2013 American Community Survey.