More Than $775 Billion Generated by Immigrant-Owned Business Activity

A recent report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders that promotes the economic benefits of sensible immigration reform, details the extensive benefits that the U.S. economy gains from businesses owned by immigrants. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who co-founded the group, has called for extensions of visa laws to minimize obstacles for everyone from highly educated medical and technical workers to low-wage and seasonal farm laborers and allow them to more easily participate in the U.S. economy.

The report, "Open for Business: How Immigrants Are Driving Business Creation in the United States," provides several key estimates of the beneficial effects of immigrant entrepreneurship on the health of the American economy:

  • One of every ten privately employed American workers is employed by an immigrant-owned business
  • Businesses owned by immigrants generate nearly $800 billion in revenue for the U.S. economy
  • That revenue figure includes approximately $125 billion in payroll
  • While immigrants represent less than 13 percent of the American population, they launched 28 percent of the new businesses created in the U.S. in 2011
  • Immigrants are more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start a business

Mayor Bloomberg has reserved equal criticism for both major party presidential candidates, charging that neither is willing to advocate immigration reform as a cost-free and effective means to stimulate economic growth: "It's time for the two candidates to stop using immigration reform as a wedge issue and start listening to Democratic and Republican business leaders and mayors who agree on common sense reforms that would create jobs across the country," he said in a press release.

Based on the results of the report and the Partnership's mission, Mayor Bloomberg has long advocated for better employment-based visa laws to open the doors of immigration wider for those who want to live in the U.S. and work hard. While a host of visa options - from EB-5 investor visas to visas for multinational managers - are currently authorized under U.S. immigration laws, many of these categories are subject to quotas and backlogs that can create real obstacles for talented people who will have a positive impact on the U.S. economy as innovators and taxpayers.

An immigration attorney can help individuals and employers understand the labyrinth of federal regulations and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) procedures. Whether or not politicians acknowledge the relationship between immigration and economic growth, an immigration lawyer can explain existing options as well as the latest developments regarding investor visas, PERM Labor Certifications and other relevant legal provisions.