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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Newsletter - August 7, 2013

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  • Immigration Reform is an Imperative for Cities and Metropolitan Areas: Over 80 percent of the U.S. population, including 95 percent of immigrants, now live in metropolitan areas. Cities and towns across the country therefore have a huge stake in passing immigration reform. As such, a July 22 post recaps a recent event hosted by the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution at which several panelists agreed that comprehensive immigration reform is an imperative for metropolitan areas.
  • Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovators Contribute to State Economies and Local Places Recognize these Contributions by Encouraging Places to be Welcoming: In states and cities, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. As such, the Immigration Policy Center released the first ten states in a new state fact sheet series on this topic. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation economy, and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.
  • Coalition of Business and Industry Urges Congress to Create a 21st Century Immigration System: A July 31 post describes a letter sent the same day to Congress encouraging the passage of comprehensive immigration reform. The letter sent to Members of the U.S. House of Representatives represents a nationwide coalition of over 400 companies and includes business and industry associations and state and local chambers of commerce.
  • Immigration Reform would Fatten State Economies: A July 18 post summarizes a recent study from Regional Economic Models, Inc. (REMI). REMI’s report analyzes the Senate immigration bill’s key components and potential effects on all fifty states over the next 30 years. Specifically, the report explores the creation of a pathway to legal status, and an expansion of high-skilled and lesser-skilled visas. The results include fact sheets summarizing the findings for all 50 states. Additionally, on August 1, the White House released detailed state-by-state reports describing the many economic benefits of fixing our broken immigration system.
  • Local Economies Benefit from Immigrants and Immigrant Entrepreneurs: With the news of Detroit’s bankruptcy in July, the largest municipality in the U.S. ever to file bankruptcy, focus shifted to exploring ideas to help local economies grow. One way to do that is for a city to encourage more immigrants to settle there and start businesses. Looking at Detroit specifically, the communities to which immigrants have moved have become more stable, according to Steve Tobocman, director of Global Detroit. Global Detroit is but one example of a growing list of cities implementing welcoming and immigrant integration strategies.
  • Supreme Court’s DOMA Decision is Good for Business and Economic Competitiveness: In the global economy of the twenty-first century, a mobile workforce is critical to remaining competitive, as a July 17 post describes. Yet for LGBT employees, their families, and their employers, significant barriers remain in place. Indeed, a 2013 report found that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) exclusion of LGBT families created business challenges, particularly related to recruiting and retaining talent. Subsequently, the Supreme Court’s June 26 decision finding part of DOMA unconstitutional has benefits for married same-sex couples, including bi-national couples and is also a win for business and economic competitiveness.

  News Updates 

  • Immigration is One Important Component to Globally Fluent Metropolitan Areas: Audrey Singer and Jill Wilson of the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution describe in an August 1 post that immigration is an important trait to globally fluent metropolitan areas. In particular, they stated, “Immigration is a healthy sign that a region is viewed as appealing and opportunity rich. Immigrants, by definition, are opportunists…they choose their destination based on information about the opportunities for economic mobility, quality of life, and affinity to others living there.”
  • Immigrants of all Skill Levels are Vital to Local Economies: The Boston Globe, in an August 3 article, profiles three immigrants who contribute to Massachusetts’ economy: a low-wage worker from Haiti; a small business owner from Nigeria; and a high-tech professional and entrepreneur from Brazil.
  • Immigration has a Significant Boost for Minnesota’s Workforce, Offsetting Domestic Losses: In a July 31 article, the Minneapolis Star-Tribune describes a recent report from the Minnesota State Demographic Center, which found that immigration is the state’s economic ally, providing additional talent to businesses that is not otherwise available locally. “Without access to foreign workers, those employers might be at risk of relocating.”
  • Immigrant Welcoming Strategies, such as those in Detroit and Cleveland, are Gaining Greater Attention Nationally: A July 29 article from the Cleveland Plain Dealer describes the development and economic differences of Chicago and Pittsburgh with Cleveland and Detroit. While Chicago was welcoming immigrants for decades, encouraging them to revitalize neighborhoods, Detroit and Cleveland were insular. Indeed, in a July 23 article from Bloomberg Businessweek, Chris Farrell states that “Chicago was global before global was cool, while Detroit was much more insular.” Today, however, initiatives such as Global Detroit and Global Cleveland seek to encourage a welcome climate to attract immigrants and immigrant entrepreneurs to those cities.
  • Almost all of the Growth to the U.S. Labor Force by 2050 will come from Immigrants: In a July 29 article, Bruce Katz and Jennifer Bradley of the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, remind readers that immigrants and their children will likely account for almost all of the growth in the U.S. labor force through 2050, particularly in part due to the aging baby boom generation of the native-born population.