DMI Blog

Cristina Jimenez

Obama Can’t Ignore Immigration Policy While Focusing on the Economy

Despite the strong and decisive support from the immigrant electorate, many say immigration reform won’t be in the agenda during the first year of the Obama administration. The economy is everyone’s priority.

But some recent entrepreneurship reports indicate that the new administration should not ignore immigration policy when trying to help the economy.

A new study for the Small Business Administration by Rob Fairlie of UC Santa Cruz found that immigrants are nearly 30 percent more likely to start a business than non-immigrants, and they represent 16.7 percent of all new business owners in the United States. Nearly 30 percent of all new business owners per month in New York, Florida, and Texas, are immigrants.

The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor report reveals that immigrant entrepreneurs are an essential source of job creation. The report found that minority-owned startups create more jobs than startups by white Americans, because the latter tend to be one-person firms.

According to the Center for an Urban Future, immigrant entrepreneurs have emerged as key engines of economic growth in our cities. In New York City, for example, the borough of Queens—known to be a magnet for immigrants, has become a leading source of job creation.

When discussing the potential of immigrant entrepreneurs as an engine for economic growth in our troubled economy, Vivek Wadhwa, a fellow at Harvard and Business Week columnists, said that immigration reform is essential for this immigrant entrepreneurial spirit to continue and expand. The solution, he said, is not to increase the number of working visas, “we need more green cards.”

These findings clearly show, as U.S. News reports, that when figuring out a way to stimulate our economy, “smoothing out our complicated immigration system is a stimulus policy in itself.”

Cristina Jimenez: Author Bio | Other Posts
Posted at 8:30 AM, Nov 25, 2008 in Economy | Immigration
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