Posted on January 13, 2012 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
The Immigration Policy Center has released an important study, highlighting the political and economic muscle of immigrants in each of the 50 states. The South Carolina stats are below. If you’d like your own PDF, which includes links and footnotes, click here.
NEW AMERICANS IN SOUTH CAROLINA:
The Political and Economic Power of Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians
in the Palmetto State
Immigrants, Latinos, and Asians account for large and growing shares of the economy and population in the state of South Carolina. Immigrants (the foreign-born) make up 4.7% of the state’s population and nearly one-third of immigrants in South Carolina are naturalized U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote. “New Americans”—immigrants and the children of immigrants—account for 2.3% of all registered voters in the state. Latinos and Asians (both foreign-born and native-born) wield $6.8 billion in consumer purchasing power. At last count, businesses owned by Latinos and Asians had sales and receipts of $4.6 billion and employed more than 29,000 people. At a time when the economy is in a slump, South Carolina can ill-afford to alienate such an important component of its labor force, tax base, and business community.
Filed under: immigrant community, South Carolina | Tagged: Asians, business, economic power, electorate, Immigration Policy Center, labor, Latinos, naturalized citizens, New Americans, political power, students, vote | Leave a Comment »
Posted on November 28, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
Pedro Matus cuts tobacco stalks in a shed on George Marks’ farm in Montgomery County. Mateus is part of a crew of 19 documented workers from Santiago, Mexico, whom Marks hired to do seasonal work. / Dipti Vaidya / The Tennessean
By Chas Sisk
Nov. 27, 2011
HICKORY POINT, TENN. — Inside a spartan shed thick with the smell of moist tobacco, temporary laborers from the Mexican state of Nayarit deftly stripped a truckload of the plant’s broad leaves from its hardened stalks.
A foreman, Pedro Peña, handed racks of dark air-cured tobacco down to another worker, Lupe Villegas, who loaded each one onto one of two sets of chain drives. As the racks went along the drive, teams of eight workers laid the stalks bare and sorted the tobacco into three grades, all in less than a minute. A final worker removed the exposed stems and loaded them into a V-shaped crib.
Without these 19 men, most of whom have been coming back every fall for a decade, George Marks could not bring in the three varieties of tobacco he farms, he says. The same is true of dairy cows, which he also raises on his Montgomery County farm, and a host of other crops grown in Tennessee — peaches, tomatoes, gourds, apples.
“If, theoretically, you did get rid of all the Mexicans, you’d be hungry in a week,” Marks said. “All your vegetables had a Mexican hand on it. All your fruit, and three-quarters of your meat.” (more…)
Filed under: Alabama, Arizona, Arizona-copycat laws, Deportation, immigrant community, Law Enforcement, Migrant Workers, South Carolina | Tagged: crops, E-Verify, farmers, foreign-born, fruit, Georgia, labor, produce, Tennessee | Leave a Comment »
Posted on August 10, 2011 by SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center
From The Latin American Herald Tribune:
YORK, South Carolina – The peach-growing industry in South Carolina depends on Mexican farmworkers, who every year arrive with H2A visas to a state where anti-immigrant sentiment has intensified.
“This lucrative industry would not exist without Hispanic labor and specifically workers from Mexico, who have come here legally every harvest-time for years,” Russell Ott of the South Carolina Farm Bureau told Efe.
In June, Titan farm in Ridge Springs, the largest peach-growing operation in the Southeast, began selling sweet peaches to stores on the southern border for the first time in 17 years.
The bilateral accord signed in early 2011 gives U.S. farmers access to the Mexican market, which banned imports of peaches from the states of Georgia and South Carolina in 1994 for fear of pests.
“This is very important for South Carolina farmers because Mexicans prefer the small peach produced in this region to the big ones preferred by consumers in the United States. It opens infinite opportunities to make money,” Desmond Layne of Clemson University told Efe. (more…)
Filed under: Migrant Workers, S.B. 20 | Tagged: Apolinar Hernandez, Clemson, Desmond Layne, farms, H2A visa, Hispanic, Jose Martin Calva, labor, Mexican, peach farmers, peaches, Russell Ott, South Carolina, South Carolina Farm Bureau, Tammy Besherse, Titan | Leave a Comment »