During a time when new Americans are not universally welcomed, Columbus and Ohio have national reputations for being hospitable to immigrants and refugees, and that’s a good thing. According to the nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington-based American Immigration Council, the 500,000-plus immigrants living in Ohio in 2015 tended to be industrious and highly educated, with 42 percent having college degrees compared with just 26 percent of native-born Ohioans. While comprising 4.3 percent of Ohio’s population, they accounted for 5.4 percent of the state’s self-employed residents. Of all greater-Columbus business owners in 2015, 23.2 percent were immigrants, according to the council. Immigrant-led households in Ohio paid $3.1 billion in federal taxes and $1.3 billion in state and local taxes in 2014 and contributed to the state’s economy with $11.1 billion in spending power, the council says. Inclusive Viewpoint: Building walls and passing laws that have the impact of discouraging or exclude productive and tax-paying immigrants from coming to America doesn’t seem to be in the best interest of the growth, prosperity and rich diversity of our country.
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