On Tuesday, August 14th Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Rupert
Murdoch visited Boston to tout the economic benefits to the United
States of a liberal immigration policy focused on entrepreneurship
and job creation. At a forum hosted by the New England Council,
where they were introduced by Boston's mayor Thomas Menino,
Bloomberg and Murdoch took turns describing the positive economic
impact to the U.S. of immigrants who bring investment and set up
both large and small businesses in the United States. Indeed,
Bloomberg and Murdoch spoke passionately about the vital role that
immigrants play in American society.
No doubt they were in part inspired by the statistics in the
recently released study published by the Partnership for a New
American Economy, of which both Bloomberg and Murdoch are members.
The August 2012 report, titled "Open for Business –
How Immigrants are Driving Small Business Creation in the United
States," presents important key findings about the impact of
immigrant entrepreneurs on the U.S. economy. Among these findings
are the following:
Immigrants are increasingly likely to start a business, while
the rate of new-business generation among the native-born is
declining. Indeed immigrants are more than twice as likely to start
a business as the native-born.
Immigrants started 29 percent of all new U.S. businesses in
2011, despite accounting for just 12.9 percent of the U.S.
Immigrant businesses are smaller than those started by the
native-born, but their collective impact on the U.S. economy is
huge and growing. Immigrant firms now generate more than $775
billion in revenue; $125 billion in payroll; and $100 million in
income, employing one out of every 10 workers.
Immigrants start more than 25 percent of all businesses in
seven of eight sectors of the economy that the U.S. government
expects to grow the fastest over the next decade.
Hoping to influence the political debate on immigration as the
nation enters the final phase of the presidential election season,
Bloomberg and Murdoch emphasized and echoed the theme of the August
2012 report and of the Partnership for a New American Economy
generally, namely that any serious plan on job growth must
recognize and welcome immigrant entrepreneurs, who in the coming
years will play an out-sized role across the country and across
industries in starting new businesses, creating new jobs, and
driving economic growth.
It is expected that Mayor Bloomberg and Rupert Murdoch will take
this show on the road and hold similar forums in other major cities
where the presidential campaigns have a significant presence.
Whether they will in fact influence the national debate on
immigration policy remains to be seen.
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In our continuing series of reports, Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers' Association).