The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 89

Honduran native Santiago Cruz,
owner of Wasabi's on the Roanoke
City Market, takes a break between
lunch and dinner service.

ANNE SAMPSON

Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), a taxexempt special interest organization which advocates strict, low
caps on immigration, published a study in 2017 which estimated
that each illegal immigrant cost the state of Virginia $4,893 in
services annually.
That same year, the Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal
Analysis (CIFA) released a report touting immigrants to Virginia
as "pillars of our prosperity," citing age, education, job skills, tax
contributions and entrepreneurship as factors.
Immigrants in Virginia tend to be of prime working age,
between 25 and 44, have higher educational attainment than
the national average and are shifting from blue-collar to whiteTheRoanoker.com

collar jobs. They also tend to be naturalized U.S. citizens, living
here at least five years, often more than 10 years. Many have
passed a citizenship test and they pay taxes.
Like Cruz, they often open businesses. According to CIFA,
nearly 11 percent of immigrant workers in Virginia were selfemployed, compared to 7 percent of U.S.-born workers. The
number of immigrants who own incorporated businesses has
increased 20 percent since 2007. Many of those are "Main Street"
businesses - the grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations we
all frequently visit. While immigrants make up about 12 percent
of the population in Virginia, they own 34 percent of the Main
Street businesses, serving as catalysts to attract further commerce.
MAY/JUNE 2019

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The Roanoker - May/June 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of The Roanoker - May/June 2019

The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Intro
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover1
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover2
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - 3
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The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover3
The Roanoker - May/June 2019 - Cover4
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