While President Donald Trump has focused on crime and terrorism in forming his immigration policy, the state of Indiana has a very different story to tell about the impact of immigrants.
Put simply, they provide a boost to the Hoosier economy while also increasing diversity, fortifying the state's efforts to position itself as a welcoming community.
Ball State University's Indiana Communities Institute released a preliminary report last week on a study of the significance of immigration to Indiana from 2000 to 2015.
Here are a few key findings of the study, titled "Current Trends in Immigration to Indiana":
• About 325,000 immigrants accounted for 27 percent of the state's population growth.
• The 85,000 second-generation Americans living in the Hoosier state contribute — through earnings, job creation and taxes paid — more on average to the state's economy than any other demographic group.
• More than 30 percent of the foreign-born population in Indiana have earned a bachelor's degree, compared to the overall rate of 24 percent among Hoosiers.
• Here in Madison County, the number of foreign-born residents increased from 1,587 to 2,245 during the 15-year study period, helping to mitigate the county's population dip from 133,358 to 130,280.
Beyond these raw statistical benefits, immigrants to Indiana help to open the eyes of Hoosiers to the world. Though we sometimes might feel initially uncomfortable around those who come from other countries, getting to know them expands our horizons and makes us question assumptions, break down prejudice and develop tolerance.
While it's tantamount that we stop the truly "bad hombres" that fixate President Trump, a sound, well-rounded immigration policy would assure the continued influx of men, women and families who have so much to offer Indiana and other states.