Beth Werlin, Deputy Legal Director for the American Immigration Council, discusses the recent...
Entrepreneurship and Innovation Update - November 18, 2013
- Immigration reform would positively impact economic growth, budgets, and housing.
A November 1 post overviews a recent report from the Bipartisan Policy Center and Macroeconomic Advisers. The analysis shows that over the course of two decades, the Senate’s immigration bill (S.744) would increase economic growth by 4.8 percent, lower the federal deficit by $1.2 trillion, increase demand for housing, increase the size of the labor force, offset the aging of the native-born workforce, and raise wages over the long-term. The accompanying infographic provides an illustrative summary of the report’s major findings.
- Immigration Myths and Facts: Report interjects facts to dispel common immigration myths. On October 28, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce released an updated version of its immigration myths and facts report. This report examines new myths and facts that have emerged during the current immigration reform debate, including the relationship of immigrants to jobs, wages, taxes, entrepreneurship, population, crime, integration, welfare, and border security. The compilation shows that immigrants significantly benefit the U.S. economy by creating new jobs, and complementing the skills of the U.S. native workforce, with a net positive impact on wage rates overall.
- Immigration leads to local job growth in metropolitan areas. An October 25 post highlights a new report by economist Jack Strauss of the University of Denver, looking at the broader trends of how immigration helps metropolitan areas. Through statistical analyses of 505 metropolitan areas using data from 2005 to 2011, the report finds that immigration helped employment growth and small business creation. Specifically, an increasing number of immigrants moving to an area leads to significantly higher employment growth, a rise in employment share, and a decline in the unemployment rate. Additionally, rising rates of immigrant entrepreneurship, including self-employment of immigrants, leads to greater job creation in a metro area.
- New state resource pages highlight the economic and political impact of immigrants state-by-state. The Immigration Policy Center (IPC) at the American Immigration Council recently created new state resource pages for all fifty states. The pages compile a variety of research reports, fact sheets, commentary, and blog posts related to each particular state. An interactive clickable map of the United States provides easy access to each state’s resource page.
- Immigrants on a pathway to citizenship can revitalize Rust Belt cities. A November 5 post outlines a recent report from the Bread for the World Institute that presents findings from a year-long study of Baltimore, Detroit, and rural southeastern Iowa. The report focused on the important role that immigrants and immigrant small business owners play in helping to revitalize depressed communities and economies, particularly in Rust Belt locales that have been losing population for years. The report urges that legalization and a path to citizenship for the undocumented is an important component of immigration policy change. Without the prospect of citizenship, immigrant integration efforts will have limited impact, and aspiring citizens will have a harder time maximizing their economic contribution to community revitalization efforts throughout the country.
- Immigrant business owners contribute to communities in Massachusetts and Idaho. As part of my project on immigrant entrepreneurs, innovation, and local welcoming initiatives, IPC recently published new fact sheets for Massachusetts and Idaho. With these latest additions, there are now 28 state fact sheets available in this series (with more on the way). These new state fact sheets highlight the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation to local economies, and ways in which local leaders recognize this and encourage an inclusive environment through local welcoming and integration initiatives.
- District-by-district profiles highlight congressional district immigrant population. The IPC has now released over 100 congressional district profiles. These fact sheets highlight a congressional district’s foreign born population, age range, levels of education, English language ability, duration of residence in the U.S. and which industries they work in.
- While we wait, the cost of inaction on immigration reform rises for states. In recent op-eds in the Roanoke Times (Virginia), the Montgomery Advertiser (Alabama), and the State Journal-Register (Illinois), Ben Johnson, the American Immigration Council’s executive director, describes the ways in which immigration impacts those states’ economies and the increasing costs as a result of Congress’ inaction on immigration reform. “One in every nine Virginians is an immigrant, and 17.5 percent of all business owners in Virginia are foreign-born,” Johnson states. “The state has everything to gain from a smoothly functioning immigration system and much to lose from a system that is not in tune with current economic and social realities.”
- It’s time to return to the economics of immigration reform. In a November 12 op-ed for the Daily Californian, Kevin Shih, in the Department of Economics at the University of California at Davis, describes reasons why there should be more focus placed on the economics of immigration reform. Specifically, he describes research that shows how immigrants from across the skills spectrum are beneficial to the economy. Shih also states that “political stagnation is destroying the possibility of immigration reform. We must refocus attention on the facts…Grounding discussions in research and facts, instead of in airtime for rabble-rousers, will ultimately improve our chances at reform in the next rounds – whenever they may be.”
- New television ad urges leaders in Congress to pass immigration reform. A new, nationwide television ad from FWD.us points to immigration reform’s economic benefits and urges Congressional leaders to pass immigration reform. Additionally, a November 18 article in Politico summarizes the ad, which features comments from democrats and republicans in Congress and from the Administration. “Americans of diverse backgrounds and beliefs have made it clear that the time is now to fix our broken immigration system and take action on meaningful reforms,” FWD.us president Joe Green said. “Immigration reform will grow our economy, create American jobs, and do right by American families.”
- In an effort to urge Congress on immigration reform, more than 600 conservative leaders from across the U.S. traveled to DC. Evangelical, law enforcement, and business leaders joined forces as part of the Bibles, Badges, and Business initiative to meet with Members of Congress on October 29. In more than 170 meetings on Capitol Hill, leaders from the wide ranging coalition discussed the urgent need for immigration reform for the sake of the nation’s economy, security, and moral integrity. A large social media campaign also supported the meetings with more than 10,000 tweets under the #Ready4Reform tag. Randel K. Johnson, senior vice president for immigration and labor issues at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a conference call with reporters, “Our fly-in today is about moving votes on the Hill in support of reasonable immigration reform. I’m confident we’re going to move the ball forward.”
- Can business leaders push Congress to act on immigration reform? A November 8 article in Forbes further explores the Bibles, Badges, and Business coalition among business leaders, evangelical faith leaders, and law enforcement officials. Despite opposition by a number of congressional leaders, the group remains optimistic. Glenn Hamer, president of the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Industry stated, “We are at a historical point in time right now. The last major immigration reform bill passed in 1986, and we believe there is a window for the United States House of Representatives to bring to the floor good immigration reform legislation…[We are] very optimistic that for the very first time in about 30 years, we are on the verge of getting good strong immigration legislation that will strengthen our border security, and advance our economy in a very significant way.”
- Massachusetts celebrates Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month. An October 23 post highlights Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month. October 15 marked the start of the third annual Massachusetts Immigrant Entrepreneurship Month, which officially runs through November 15. State groups—including the Immigrant Learning Center (ILC), the New Americans Integration Institute at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), and the state’s Office for Refugees and Immigrants—are leading the initiative, which recognizes the contributions of immigrant business owners and innovators to Massachusetts’ economic development.
- Atlanta officially becomes an immigrant welcoming city. An October 25 post highlights the recent announcement from Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed that the city of Atlanta would officially join Welcoming America’s Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative. During the announcement, Mayor Reed said the city’s success is tied to the talent and engagement of all of its members, including immigrants. He also said that, through this partnership, “Atlanta will continue to work on welcoming, including, and supporting the economic and social contributions of immigrants to enhance our city’s cultural fabric, economic growth and global competitiveness.” Mayor Reed added, “Our country has always been a nation of immigrants and entrepreneurs…Immigrants from around the world have kept our workforce vibrant and on the cutting edge…I think that’s a pretty good message on why we should continue [to embrace] immigration.”
- Chicago Mayor sees the contributions of immigrants every day. In a November 8 piece for the Chicago Sun Times, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel noted the contributions of immigrants to Chicago. “The moral imperative and the economic imperative don’t always align,” Mayor Emanuel said, “but when big and small businesses, labor, tech startups, universities, religious leaders, law-enforcement agencies, advocates, community members and elected officials of all stripes agree that we need to fix our broken immigration system, it’s clear that legislators standing in the way of immigration reform are on the wrong side of history and on the wrong side of the American people and economic growth.”
- The cost of inaction on immigration reform grows with each passing day. On November 7, the Center for American Progress released a counter showing the rising costs of inaction with each passing day that Congress delays immigration reform. While the Senate passed its immigration reform bill (S.744) in June, the House’s inaction has cost the United States over $5.1 billion (as of November 14, 2013) in additional tax revenues. Each additional day of delay that passes, another $37 million in revenue is lost. This fiscal clock is yet another way of showing the powerful fiscal and economic impact immigration reform would have on the United States.