Engaging New Citizens -
As the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy pointed out in "Refugees, Immigrants Important to Kentucky and the Economy: An Overview of the Research," Kentucky could benefit from a serious conversation of the integral role which refugees and immigrants play in Kentucky's economic future.
"The conversation should take into account immigrants’ integral role in our economy and communities where they work, do business, pay taxes, buy homes and much more." Their previous analysis discussed the large resettlement of Syrian refugees in the Louisville area of Kentucky, adding that these communities do well, once resettled. Owning new businesses, good employment rates, higher median wage earners, home owners -- all hallmarks of the Syrian population, once they are successfully resettled.
According to the KCEP, "Immigrants are more likely than native-born Kentuckians to be small business owners: 1 in 33 Kentuckians are immigrants, but immigrants make up 1 in 20 small business owners here. Their share in the labor force and economic output also slightly exceed their share of the population."
About a 1/3 of Kentucky immigrants are Hispanic, a 1/4 white, a 1/4 Asian, and less than 10 percent black. Common countries of origin include Mexico, Germany, Cuba and Japan.
Of the 116 languages spoken by Kentucky school-children qualifying for “limited English proficiency” programming, Spanish, Arabic, Chinese, Bosnian and Japanese are the most common.
Refugees, other legal residents and undocumented, new Americans in Kentucky are part of our communities, working and supporting local businesses and raising families. Policy decisions should reflect this reality.
Together Frankfort's 2019 Reclaiming Our Democracy campaign will feature forums and educational programs on national immigration policy, how these policies affect those immigrating into our community, and how we can assist in those wanting pathways to citizenship. To sign up for this Committee's work, click here, complete the form - be sure and check the "New Kentuckians" Committee!
To learn more about how you can be involved in the work of this Committee, contact the Co-chairs, Karen Waite Carey, or Margaret Townsley. (Click on the name to send an email.)
Together Frankfort: Civic Engagement
Civic Engagement & Education Committee: Campaign Finance/Dark Money Team