May 02, 2016
When refugees of a military or economic war swarm into a neighboring land, immigration is a problem: as in Lebanon, which took in a million Syrians terrorized by intervention (some of it ours), and then succumbed to the dangerous spread of poverty and unemployment by turning new immigrants away; and in the U.S., where the economic trade war called NAFTA caused displaced Mexican workers to seek simple survival across the border.
But overall, the merits of immigration greatly outweigh the potential disadvantages.
1. Immigrants Are Entrepreneurs
- In Big Business: A recent study found that immigrants started more than half of current U.S. startups valued at $1 billion or more.
- In Small Business: According to the Wall Street Journal, immigrants make up 13 percent of the population, but 28 percent of the small business owners.
2. Immigrants Are Job Creators
According to an SEC report, "Study after study has shown that immigration and economic growth go hand in hand."
Research suggests that immigrants raise the standard of living of Americans through higher wages and lower prices. They tend to complement the existing workforce rather than compete with it. For example, the construction work of lower-skilled immigrants allows contracting companies to build more homes.
3. Immigrants Help Developing Neighborhoods
Immigrants boost local economies by starting businesses in developing neighborhoods, especially in Hispanic communities, the fastest growing segment of the immigrant population. In the last three years, the number of Hispanic-owned businesses has grown at an annual rate 15 times that of the rate for all companies.
4. Immigrants Commit Fewer Crimes
A Final Myth Dispelled
The number of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. has fallen in recent years. This may be one of our problems: we need more immigrants, not less. We need cultural diversity to stimulate the economy, to make us resilient in times of adversity, and to make us more accepting of people and ideas outside our normal boundaries of comfort.
Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.