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Foreign-Born Workers Support The San Diego Economy

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Aired 11/30/09

A study of large urban areas in the U.S. shows immigrants make up 28 percent of the San Diego workforce.

— A study of large urban areas in the U.S. shows immigrants make up 28 percent of the San Diego workforce.

The national study examined the country's 25 largest urban areas and found 24 percent of the combined workforce was foreign born. In San Diego, the percentage was even higher. Here, more than half of machine operators are immigrants. They make up 35 percent of the people in the construction trades, and 26 percent of science and engineering technicians.

Murtaza Baxamusa is director of research with the Center on Policy Initiatives.

"The message of this report is clearly that there is a significant contribution of immigrants in the local economy," he said. "Any kind of immigration reform should be cognizant and aware of the impacts on immigrant populations."

The national study was done by the Fiscal Policy Institute. Its numbers reflect immigrant workers who are both legal and undocumented.

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