Immigration and the Texas Boom

This article originally appeared in the George W. Bush Institute. Click here to read the full article.

By Ike Brannon

While I write for the George W. Bush Institute, which is based on the SMU campus in Dallas, I live and work in Washington DC, a few thousand miles away as the crow flies and light-years removed from the attitudes and sensibilities that permeate Texas.  As an example, I was recently approached at the local farmers’ market to sign a petition for the Socialist Worker’s party; when I politely declined, explaining that I believed in the private ownership of property, the person informed me that I must be the only person who lives in the neighborhood who feels that way. I can almost believe it.

But I’m returning to the state on Thursday to participate in a Texas Public Policy Foundation conference on the role of immigrants in the economy. It’s a rare topic where there is wide agreement between the denizens of my adopted hometown as well as the state of my publisher.

The populace of both states have largely positive views of the role of immigrants in the economy, and I suspect it’s for the same reason: both DC and Texas happen to have a disproportionate number of immigrants, and are a reason both economies happen to be doing well.