Refugees are the very definition of perseverance and strength. They must rebuild their lives and overcome traumatic and tragic circumstances. The majority embrace their newly adopted homeland with tremendous vitality and success. Many go on to work, attend colleges, build professions, start businesses, purchase homes, raise children and contribute to their communities. Refugees can apply for citizenship after having been resident in the United States for five years, but this is not a requirement. Refugees are permitted to remain in the United States as Legal Permanent Residents. Many refugees eventually obtain citizenship and become fully participating members of society. They become Americans.
By accepting and embracing refugees, Colorado widens its diversity and cultural understanding, improves its economic fortune and serves as an example of all that noble in the United States. As Senator Hickenlooper stated in February of 2017, “I don’t see a risk to our way of life or a threat or a danger, I see neighbors, friends, colleagues, the expanding family that really is Colorado.”
Immigrants make up approximately 12% of the Denver Metro Area population, yet comprise 14% of the metro area workforce. They have $8.6 billion in spending power, out of a total GDP of $214.5 billion dollars. In Colorado, 30% of immigrants come with a college degree and only need English and some digital literacy upskilling to reach high-wage jobs. Immigrants comprise one in eight Colorado workers, and the majority of immigrants are people of color. This trend is expected to continue well into the future, with Asian and Latino immigrants making up the largest shares of new Americans.