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ATLAS:DIY BLOG

August 7, 2013
Who Would Benefit From Immigration Reform?

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America has always been and (if we’re lucky) will always be a nation of immigrants. There are plenty of high profile examples of immigrant investors and entrepreneurs: large corporations such as Google and Yahoo, and local mom-and-pop places like Miki Argawal’s Wild pizza places. Immigrants populate the majority of our STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) programs nationwide and lead the category in tech start-ups.



With stats as formidable as these, it’s hard to imagine any one could argue that immigration reform would not benefit the United States (although a quick glance at any political news station would tell you otherwise). So we decided to delve deeper on the matter: who would actually benefit from immigration reform?


Short Answer: Everybody

According to a recent report released by the Obama administration on WhiteHouse.gov, all 50 states would see an increase in economic activity due to the current immigration reform plan. While the numbers vary widely from state to state, each state would benefit from a monetary and jobs standpoint. New York, for example, would see an uptick of over 33,000 jobs and $3.4 billion in increased output in 2014 alone due to immigration reform. That number would increase to 17.7 billion by 2045.


Other states, such as Florida and California, would also see huge increases in jobs and productivity. According to the report, Florida could add over 22,000 jobs and $1.8 billion to its total output in 2014; while California could see a massive 77,000 jobs and $7.3 billion dollars in increased revenue, largely on the back of the increased productivity of the tech sector in California.



But big tech and software companies are not the only source for the increase, local economies would also benefit from the bill. Numerous studies on the matter have confirmed the fact that immigrants tend to be more entrepreneurially motivated: over 10 percent of all immigrants in the workforce are small business owners. Local economies would benefit from the ambition and capital that migrant small business owners like Wild’s Miki Agrawal. Wild is a chain of health “farm-to-plate” pizza restaurants that started in New York, but are now exploring franchise opportunities in other states. Miki immigrated to the US with her parents and two sisters as a young adult.

Even “Anti-Immigrant” States Benefit

Infographic showing the effect of immigration reform on all 50 states

Infographic showing the effect of immigration reform on all 50 states





As if this mountain of evidence wasn’t enough, it turns out the states with the harshest immigration policies would also benefit greatly from immigration reform.



Arizona, for example, has been in the public’s eye in the past few years because of its severe (read: insane) immigration policies. From encroaching on its citizens’ civil liberties to denying DACA applicants the few benefits afforded them from the federal government, Arizona has made headlines time and time again for its discriminatory methods. Ironically, immigration reform would be a great aid to Arizona’s economy: adding over 8,000 new jobs and $676 million in output in 2014. Currently, nearly one in five Arizona business owners are foreign-born.



Texas and South Carolina, both of whom also support aggressively ant-immigrant state policies, too would benefit from immigration reform. South Carolina could see an increase of 4,200 jobs and $300 million increase in output due to immigration reform. Texas is the big story, however, as the state could possibly add up to another 43,000 jobs and $3.8 billion (yes, with a b) in output if the current immigration reform bill passes. That’s not so surprising considering 21% of Texas’ workforce is foreign born; immigrants account for one in every four business owners in the state as well.


American Citizens Already Support Immigration Reform

Business owners and every-day Americans already seem to agree that comprehensive immigration reform (with some sort of pathway to citizenship) is key to solving the nation’s immigration problems. Earlier this week, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stated that the US’ current immigration policy IS “unfit for today’s world.”



The benefits of reform are clear; American citizens support it; businesses (big and small) support it; the tech sector supports it – why are our policy makers still arguing about this? Its time America embraced its undocumented citizens. #SharetheDream

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