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Rocky Mountain Home

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The Rocky Mountain states are a target destination for more than tourists.

The eight-state region, which includes Idaho, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming, are seeing twice the number of foreign immigrants than the national average, according to a new study released by Colorado College.

Six of those states have the highest percentage of illegal immigrants, with Nevada and New Mexico leading the way.

According to the 2008 State of the Rockies Report Card, foreign immigration into the Rockies is now at 27 percent, compared to 16 percent nationally.

The report also found that two-thirds of the immigrants in the region are Hispanic, but 60 percent of Hispanics are not immigrants. The study found that native Hispanics outnumber immigrants in every state.

The study went on to look at other issues including health care and education. Researchers found that poor immigrants are less likely to use public services than poor Americans, and that 30 percent of foreign-born residents over age 25 have less than a ninth-grade education. That percentage is only 2 percent for Americans.

The report also looks at energy, river health and the economy among other factors. It can be seen at coloradocollege.edu/stateoftherockies/reportcard.html.

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