New Americans Task Force aims to promote economic benefits of immigration

Posted at 5:57 PM, Mar 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-31 19:57:42-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- A new initiative from Salt Lake County Government and the Salt Lake Chamber is meant to encourage more legal immigration and promote the benefits immigrants provide to the economy of Salt Lake County.

“When you look at any thriving economy, people will go to an area that's diverse. They want diversity,” said Dinesh Patel, a businessman and immigrant who will co-chair the New Americans Task Force with County Mayor Ben McAdams and Salt Lake Chamber President and CEO Lane Beattie.

McAdams said the mission of the group is ongoing, and focuses on things like helping new businesses and supporting reforms to streamline immigration policies. He also says the timing during a combative presidential campaign is no accident.

“Utah has taken a different path than we've seen from presidential candidates like Donald Trump," McAdams said. "We know we are, Utah was founded by refugees."

Immigrants make up about 13 percent of the Salt Lake County population, and they own about 15 percent of businesses in the county.