The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a report Wednesday urging Congress to make the immigration system more "entrepreneur friendly."
Because of U.S. policies that make it difficult for immigrant entrepreneurs to make a home in the states, many are "voting with their feet" and returning to their home nations, according to a joint report from the chamber and the Immigration Policy Center of the American Immigration Council. The report suggests permitting foreign students to remain in the United States after graduation and creating a separate visa for potential entrepreneurs.
Immigrant entrepreneurs are responsible for establishing 18 percent of all Fortune 500 companies and 25.3 percent of all science and technology firms in the United States, including giants like Yahoo! and Google, according to the report.
"We should allow the world's most creative entrepreneurs to stay in our country," said Thomas J. Donehue, CEO of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, in a speech earlier this month. "They are going to contribute and succeed somewhere — why shouldn't it be in the United States?"
Immigrants are more likely than native citizens to start their own businesses, according to the report. Five percent of naturalized citizens are self employed compared to just 3.7 percent of native-born Americans.
During his third State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama cited immigration reform as one of three important keys to boosting the nation's economy.Read more...
The Council expresses its deep gratitude to the following individuals who have served with distinction as past members of the American Immigration Council Board of Trustees and/or Board of Directors. We salute their leadership and continued commitment to building our foundation.
Peter Ashman (2006-2013) Kelly McCown (2006-2012) Jeff Joseph (2006 -2012) Amy Novick (2006-2012) Kristen Schlenger** (2001-2012) James David Acoba (2000-2001) Jonathan Avirom (1993-2001) Roxana C. Bacon*** (2000-2005) Lenni Beth Benson (2000-2004) Daryl R. Buffenstein (1994-1997) Jeanne A. Butterfield (2001-2008) C. Lynn Calder (1997-2004) Maria Isabel Casablanca (2004-2010) Margaret A. Catillaz (1999-2001) Anne Chandler (2006-2013) Gerard M. Chapman (2001-2008) Joseph E. Ching (1993-1996) Steven A. Clark (1998-2001) Robert Cohen (2004-2011) Jules E. Coven Linda A. Cristello (2000-2001) Goldie C. Domingue (2000-2002) Jenifer Eisen (1997-1999) Phyllis Eisen (2000-2001) Stephen K. Fischel (2005-2008) Sarah Fortino-Brown (2004-2010) Charles Foster (1993-2004) Hope M. Frye (1992-1996) Harry Gee, Jr. (1993-1995) Jodi Goodwin (2004-2007) Silvia Romo Graves (2001-2011) Karen Grisez (2004-2011) Matthew L. Hirsch (2006-2013) Paul Hribernik (2000-2001) Veronica M. Jeffers (2001-2002) H. Ronald Klasko (1989-1990) Charles H. Kuck (2007-2010) Steven M. Ladik* (2000-2005) MaryEllen Lannon (2008-2009) Michelle L. Lazerow (2001-2007) Ellen Ma Lee (1993-2004) Michael Maggio (1993-2001) Margaret H. McCormick* (1997-2004) Cyrus D. Mehta** (1998-2005) Nancy-Jo Merritt (1993-1995, 2008-2010) Charles Miller (1995-1998) Kathleen A. Moccio** (1998-2008) Sheela Murthy (2002-2009)
Midnight on Tuesday is the deadline for filing your state and federal income taxes and a portion of Georgia’s taxpayers are undocumented workers.
It’s hard to say exactly how many of the state’s workers are illegal.
Workers who don’t have social security numbers can still file a tax return, using a nine-digit Individual Taxpayer Identification Number, or I-TIN. The Georgia Department of Revenue doesn’t know how many people with ITINs are here illegally. But the Immigration Policy Center says in 2010, undocumented workers in Georgia paid more than $85,000,000 in income taxes.
Grace Williams is an Atlanta accountant who filed some of those returns. She says there are two reasons why undocumented workers file tax returns. Some want a refund. But Wilson says those who owe hope paying their taxes will lead to bigger things.
“A lot of people in the community are telling them that that’s the responsible thing to do,” Williams says, “And if they aspire to become legal one day, the first thing that they’re going to look at is, ‘Did you do your taxes?” she says.
Williams says those workers hope to become U.S. citizens. But DA King, president of the Dustin Inman Society, which advocates enforcement of immigration laws, says that’s not the real motivation.
“They are getting a refund on the Additional Child Tax Credit,” King says, “Refund is not the right word. They’re getting a rebate from the government for having U.S.-born children,” he says.
King calls the segment of undocumented workers who pay taxes “microscopic.” He points to the Center for Immigration Studies. The group doesn’t have Georgia-specific numbers, but nationally, they say illegal immigrants who file tax returns receive billions more in refunds than they pay in taxes.
So, what’s next? It’s hard to say. Immigrants’ rights groups advocate a path to citizenship, while opponents want tougher enforcement.Read more...
All proceeds from the purchase of books go to the American Immigration Council and its educational initiatives.
Green Card Stories
Introduction by Laura Danielson and Stephen Yale-Loehr Stories by Saundra Amrhein Photogrpahs by Ariana Lindquist
The American Immigration Council is proud to support the publication of Green Card Stories. Green Card Stories is an incredible tribute to the diverse backgrounds that make up our immigrant population in America today. The American Immigration Council’s mission is to “strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history by shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future” and we can’t think of a better way to further our mission than through this beautiful and touching book.
Not only can you order books for yourself, your office, family members, clients, etc. you can also order a book to donate to your local school, library or community center or you can donate a book to one of the Council’s designated “hot spots” where education on immigration is needed most. Could your Member of Congress use a thank you or a gentle reminder of who our immigrant population is? Donate a copy of Green Card Stories to a Congressional office. All donated books will be delivered free of charge with a note indicating your generous gift. To order your copy, fill out an order form. Read more...
The American Immigration Council is pleased to announce the winners of the inaugural 2012 “Change in Motion” Multimedia Contest. The competition challenges young adults to explore the role that immigration plays in their lives and communities.The program allows young filmmakers and artists to create projects which focus on celebrating America as a nation of immigrants and explore the impact immigration has on our everyday lives.The contest is sponsored, in part, by the American Immigration Lawyers Association.
Barbara Murik Chesman was born in the Schlachtenzee Displaced Persons Camp in Berlin, Germany after World War II. Her parents, Abraham and Lisa Murik (nee Davidowicz) both survived the horrors of the Holocaust and emigrated from Germany to the United States in March of 1949.
The family settled here in Washington, DC where Mrs. Chesman attended Wheatley Elementary School, the Hebrew Academy of Washington, and Western High School (now Duke Ellington School for the Performing Arts). She later attended the University of Maryland where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Government and Politics in May of 1968.
While at college, Mrs. Chesman started working part-time for the Department of State in the Bureau of Consular Affairs for the Passport Office. Following graduation, Mrs. Chesman became a full time employee of the Department of State in August of 1968 in the Office of Passport Services. She met her future husband Bernard Chesman in May of 1971 and they were married June 4, 1972 at Beth Sholom Synagogue in Washington, DC. Immediately following their marriage, they moved to Atlanta Georgia for 7 months, but decided to return to Washington in January 1973 where Mrs. Chesman resumed her career in the Passport Office.
Mrs. Chesman has held many positions in almost every part of the Office of Passport Services but her most notable achievement came in June of 1994, when the Special Issuance Agency (the passport agency which handles all passports for the Federal government) was made a separate entity and she was named Director. Currently, Mrs. Chesman serves in that position today.Read more...