The Center for American Progress recently issued this press release on the top 10 things to know about New Mexico's demographic changes and Immigration politics that display communities of color's significant economic, cultural, and electoral power:
• Communities of color are driving population growth in New Mexico. The Latino share of New Mexico's population grew from just more than 38 percent in 1990 to 46.3 percent in 2010, while the Asian share of the state's population grew from 0.9 percent to 1.4 percent, and the African American population grew from 2.0 percent to 2.1 percent.
• More than a third of New Mexico's immigrants are naturalized — meaning that they are eligible to vote.
• People of color will be key to the upcoming presidential election in November. This year, the state is projected to have around 52 percent voters of color. Hispanic voters in the state heavily favored then-candidate Barack Obama in 2008, when he received 69 percent of their votes, while communities of color overall voted 71 percent for Obama.
• New Mexico elected Susan Martinez (R) in 2010 as its first Latina governor (and the first Latina governor in the country). Martinez notably won only 38 percent of the Latino vote, while challenger Diane Denish (D) won 61 percent.
• New Mexico offers in-state tuition rates to all its eligible residents regardless of their immigration status.
• As consumers, communities of color add billions to the state's economy. Latino purchasing power in New Mexico increased by 305 percent from 2000 to 2010 to a total of $20 billion, while Asian buying power in the state has grown 607 percent in the same period to a total of $1.3 billion.
• As entrepreneurs, Latinos in New Mexico contribute significantly to the state's economy. More than a quarter of businesses in New Mexico — 32.3 percent — are owned by Latinos.
• In 2010 immigrant workers in New Mexico comprised 12.2 percent of the state's workforce. According to a report from the Pew Hispanic Center, the 50,000 undocumented immigrants comprised roughly 5.6 percent of the state's workforce in 2010.
• In 2010 undocumented immigrants in the state paid a total of $101.5 million in state and local taxes, including $84.2 million in sales taxes and $8.6 million in state income taxes.