Immigrants positively affect the U.S. economy. The presence of immigrants increases wages for U.S. born workers and generates jobs. Immigrants are also inventing the products that will drive innovation over the coming decades.
When immigrants come to this country, the don’t just become another nameless face in the crowd. Many become entrepreneurs and innovators who start business which employ American workers.
Immigrant-owned businesses generated more than $775 billion in revenue for the U.S. economy in 2010. In 2010, 28% of all new U.S. businesses were founded by immigrants even though they accounted for only 12.9% of the total population. 40% of Fortune 500 companies were started by immigrants.
7 of the 10 most valuable brands were founded by immigrants or the children of immigrants. It is theorized that the same risk-taking traits that inspire immigrants to migrate abroad encourage them to start businesses. In fact, immigrants are more than twice as likely to starts a new entrepreneurial venture as someone born in the US.
The stories of these hardworking immigrants are inspiring. There is John W. Nordstrom who came to the US in 1887 from Sweden. He landed on our shores with $5 in his pocket. Within two years, he had amassed $13,000 and opened his first store. Today, Nordstrom’s has an annual revenue of over $14 billion and employs over 70,000 people worldwide.
In 1979, six-year-old Sergey Brin and his family fled what was then the USSR to escape anti-Semitism. The son of a mathematician and a NASA research scientist, Brin went on to obtain his bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from the University of Maryland. Following that came a master’s from Stanford.
At Stanford, Brin met Larry Page. The two bonded over their mutual interest in the internet and data mining. Google was born in 1998 when the two received an investment of $100,000 by Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bechtolsheim, himself an immigrant from Germany. Today, Google has a revenue of over $76 billion and employs over 60,000 people globally.
Foreign-born individuals hold a growing share of U.S. patents including medical devices, electronics, computer equipment, and pharmaceuticals. 75% of patents awarded to the top 10 U.S. patent-producing universities had at least one foreign-born inventor. Immigrant patent innovations in the first decade of this century grew the GDP 2.4%.
Immigration drives wages and the increases GDP. Foreign-born STEM workers may explain between 10 to 25% of the U.S. aggregate productivity growth between 1990 and 2010. Every foreign-born worker in the United States with an American STEM degree creates 2.62 jobs for U.S.-born workers.
Scores of immigrants have come to the US over the years and many have shown that the American dream is very much alive. With outstanding perseverance and fortitude, they have founded some of the greatest business institutions of our country and helped build America.
There is a need for high-skilled immigration in our country. Immigration benefits the American people and the economy by driving entrepreneurship, job creation, and innovation. Any restrictions on recruiting high-skilled immigrants may result in losing our most innovative companies and creating competition abroad.