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Entrepreneurship and Innovation Newsletter - October 21, 2013

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  • From preserving manufacturing to strengthening the housing market, immigration is important for the revival of American cities. A recent post highlights a new report from the Americas Society/Council of the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy that “looks at how immigration helps revitalize communities across the United States through the creation or preservation of manufacturing jobs, the increase in housing wealth, and heightened civic engagement. The data show that immigrants play an outsize role in the preservation or creation of U.S. jobs—an important measure of community vitality—and make a particularly important impact on the manufacturing sector.”
  • Immigrant business owners continue to contribute to communities across America. An October 8 post highlights six new state fact sheets for Georgia, Missouri, New Jersey, Oregon, Tennessee, and Washington, as part of the Immigration Policy Center’s (IPC) series on immigrant entrepreneurs, innovation, and local welcoming initiatives. With these latest additions, there are now 26 state fact sheets available in this series (with more on the way). These new state fact sheets shine a spotlight on the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to local economies, and ways in which local leaders recognize this importance and encourage an inclusive environment through local welcoming and integration initiative.
  • District-by-district profiles highlight congressional district immigrant population. On October 2, the IPC released 10 new district-by-district profiles which provide data on the immigrant population living in a given congressional district. We now have over 90 district profiles available. In particular, these fact sheets highlight age range, levels of education, English language proficiency, duration of residence in the U.S. and industries employed in.
  • What do we know about skilled migration and development? A new policy brief from the Migration Policy Institute explores recent research and policy challenging the traditional idea that skilled migration leads to a “brain drain” from origin countries. Clemens states, “Countries of origin and destination can in fact benefit from skilled migration when it is correctly structured. Conversely, policy efforts to curb the emigration of skilled nationals may have unintended costs for origin countries, in addition to being ethically problematic.”
  • Regarding immigration reform, the cost of doing nothing is high. A September 23 post highlights a new IPC report on the dollars, lives, and opportunities lost in the wait for immigration reform. Since the last major overhaul of the U.S. immigration system in 1986, the federal government has spent an estimated $186.8 billion on immigration enforcement with diminishing returns. Congress is entrusted with passing laws that matter. Further delay on immigration reform, especially when there is broad public support for reform, wastes not just time, but money and lives as well.
  • Access to banking and finance is an important issue for immigrants and economic inclusion. Why is access to banking an important issue for immigrants? It leads to increased opportunities from taking out a loan to cover the cost of updating credentials to using a bank account to pay everyday bills. A new Cities of Migration report shows that solutions are already on the ground. Good Ideas on Economic Inclusion: Access to Banking is the first report in a series that examines issues related to the economic integration of immigrants in neighborhoods, main streets and workplaces of today’s cities. Future reports in the Economic Inclusion series will showcase smart practices that promote access to employment as well as entrepreneurial success.
News Updates 
  • Economists and academics highlight the economic imperative for immigration reform at Microsoft event. On October 1, at a Microsoft conversation on immigration, held at the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center in Washington, D.C., focused on the economic imperative for immigration reform. Economists from across the political spectrum have clearly documented through their research that immigration reform will raise our national GDP, create jobs, promote innovation, and create long-term solutions for the issues this country faces in the global economy.
  • Hundreds of higher education leaders call for immigration reform. In recent letters to their respective Congressional delegations, which a recent post recaps, leaders from more than 100 colleges and universities across the country urged their representatives in Washington to support sensible immigration reform. The nation’s institutions of higher education have long been magnets for bright, young minds from around the world. But the country’s broken immigration system has sent some of the most promising young talent home following graduation, and made it harder for colleges and universities to attract and retain foreign-born faculty members. These letters build on a previous letter of support from more than 600 faculty members from around the country supporting immigration reform.
  • Local groups are leading the way to welcome immigrants in their cities. September 15-22 was National Welcoming Week, a series of hundreds of events across the country planned by Welcoming America and its state and local affiliates to highlight ways in which places encourage newcomers’ integration into their communities. Additionally, on September 19, the White House recognized this leadership and honored several local leaders as Champions of Change, which a recent post describes, for “helping immigrants integrate civically, linguistically and socially into the fabric of their neighborhoods – and our nation.”
  • Michigan groups spotlight local immigrant integration initiatives during National Welcoming Week. Welcoming Michigan and Global Detroit are two Michigan-based organizations working to revitalize Michigan’s economy by pursuing strategies that make the region more attractive and welcoming to immigrants. State Rep. Rashida Tlaib and Steve Tobocman, Director of Global Detroit, said that “Michigan is particularly poised to benefit from creating a more welcoming atmosphere for immigrants…There is growing recognition that welcoming new Michiganians is both smart economic development policy and the hospitable, Michigan thing to do.”
  • St. Louis Mosaic Project works to create an atmosphere that welcomes and encourages immigrants and entrepreneurs. A September 16 article describes a new trend in St. Louis. Posters on metro buses and trains in St. Louis will now welcome passengers to the city in 17 different languages, one of the many initiatives begun by the St. Louis Mosaic Project to create an atmosphere that welcomes and encourages immigrants to the area. “The Mosaic Project says a lot about where our region is going,” St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley said. “We want to be more diverse and see things from different points of view.”
  • Immigration reform is vital to bioscience industry and research. A September 16 opinion piece from the executive director of BioForward in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel describes Wisconsin’s bioscience industry, which supports nearly 30,000 jobs in the state and adds $7 billion to the state economy.
  • Hispanic-owned businesses nearly doubled over the last decade, a rate more than twice the average for national business growth. A new study from the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in conjunction with Geoscape analyzed Census stats to project that the count of Hispanic-owned businesses in the country rose to 3.2 million up from 1.7 million in 2002. The business trend reflects the spike in the country’s Latino population, now up to 53 million. The study showed Latino businesses grew on average at nearly 7 percent annually from 2007 to 2013, compared to the average 3 percent overall business growth rate.