Are immigrants – both legal and undocumented – a net positive for Rhode Island or a net negative?

A WELCOMING RESOURCE: Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island held its Community Resource Day recently, inviting immigrants and refugees to learn about the center and the state, and to make their transitions to life in the United States smoother. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO
A WELCOMING RESOURCE: Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island held its Community Resource Day recently, inviting immigrants and refugees to learn about the center and the state, and to make their transitions to life in the United States smoother. / PBN FILE PHOTO/MICHAEL SALERNO

After simmering as a national issue for the better part of three decades, immigration – of both the legal and undocumented kind – has boiled into a hot-button topic, thanks in no small part to President Donald Trump’s aggressive campaign on the nation’s southern border but also his desire to cut down on the allowed influx of non-citizens in general.

Looked at as a whole, are immigrants a net positive for Rhode Island’s economy, contributing more in economic and community vitality (as well as taxes), or are they a net drag, diverting public resources for support services that could be spent in other ways for the people and businesses that are here already?

Are immigrants – both legal and undocumented – a net positive for Rhode Island or a net negative?

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