by Max Brantley
The Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation reported today that the Hispanic population in Arkansas grew 48 percent between 2000 and 2005, the largest percentage growth in the country.
It's about jobs. Between 2000 and 2005, there was no growth in native-born population in Arkansas, but Arkansas tied for fourth in foreign-born growth rate at 37 percent. The number of native workers in manufacturing dropped 9,000, while the number of immigrant workers grew by 12,000.
The immigrants (about half undocumented) earned about $2.7 billion after taxes in 2004, most spent right here. Beats a windmill blade plant all hollow.