I came across the most interesting article today. A nonpartisan think tank called the Migration Policy Institute recently issued a report providing a profile of Napa Valley’s immigrant population. The report provides estimates of immigrants’ influence on local economic health.
The report shows that although the Latino immigrant population in Napa County has increased 35 percent since 2000, the poverty rate among Latino immigrants had fallen dramatically. A high percentage of employers offer health insurance to their immigrant employees, reducing public costs of Medi-Cal, and from emergency rooms and clinics for the uninsured.
Sure, Latino children get free education in our Napa’s public schools. (GASP!) But their parents pay taxes at the same rate as other demographic groups.
The researchers recommend the county invest in their immigrant population (well, shucks!), maintain quality education in the public schools, incentivize private health care coverage, offer more citizenship programs, and invest in affordable housing for their large commuting workforce.
Thus the burden on social services due to a high immigrant population that conservatives in this country contrive as an excuse to fire, deport and separate families becomes a non sequitur when immigrants are treated respectfully and are offered the benefits everyone else gets. I think Mitt Romney and his cronies would balk at such evil socialist ideas. But these ideas are working all the time all over the country! Napa County is proof there is more than one way to solve our economic problems.