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?
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.
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