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Immigrants provide vital support to local Tennessee economy

Some of the new administration's negative claims about immigration have suggested a detrimental impact to American workers. Fortunately, a recent article sets the record straight.

For example, readers may be surprised to learn that Tennessee is home to over 322,000 immigrants. In 2014, immigrants in Tennessee earned $7.9 billion and paid $493.9 million in state and local taxes.

The data, compiled by the New American Economy, underscores the economic contributions of immigrants to their local and regional communities. Small wonder, then, that local business leaders welcome immigrant employees.

Immigrants have also helped certain industries in decline, such as U.S. food production. According to the public policy director of the Tennessee Farm Bureau, immigrant reforms are needed to help fill temporary and seasonal farm worker openings.

Of course, immigrants in Tennessee also contribute in many other industries, ranging from health care to software development. There were also over 20,000 immigrant entrepreneurs, according to 2014 data. In that year, immigrant-owned businesses generated $542 million in business income and employed 57,085 workers.

As a law firm that fights for the civil and workers' rights of immigrants, this data comes as no surprise. Unfortunately, it sometimes requires a lawyer to protect immigrants from violations in the workforce. Regardless of immigration status, an immigrant worker is entitled to lawful treatment in the workplace.

If a violation has occurred, an immigrant may be able to seek monetary compensation. However, the type of work may also impact the specific set of rights that apply. Said another way, a law firm that focuses on both immigration and employment law may be best positioned to serve the interests of immigrant workers and employees. From claims of failing to pay the minimum wage or overtime, to discrimination based on a protected category, we have the experience to build a solid case.

Source: The Tennessean, "Study: Immigrants vital to Tennessee economy," Lizzy Alfs, Feb. 21, 2017

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