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Hispanic immigrants have economic impact on South Carolina

(Columbia-AP) Aug. 26, 2005 - A University of South Carolina study shows Hispanic immigrants could add more than $2 billion to the state's economy. That is a sliver of the dollars spent in the state every year. But researchers and Hispanic advocates say it is significant enough for businesses and government to take notice.

Elaine Lacy is the director of the Consortium Latino Immigration Studies at USC. She says many South Carolinians think the Latino population is invisible. But Lacy says they are earning decent incomes.

USC economist Doug Woodward is studying the trends and bases the preliminary results on surveys of 240 Mexican immigrants who sought documentation from the Mexican mobile consulate in Lexington and Hilton Head Island earlier this year.

Preliminary study results show on Mexican workers show they send about a fifth of their earnings back to relatives in Mexico. The rest is spent on necessities including housing, groceries, gasoline and clothes

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