Immigrants living in the U.S expand and innovate the business community as they fill essential workforce needs. Research also highlights their significant contribution to the country’s integration and overall economic well-being.

The United States has been historically perceived as the nation of nations. A country defined by many as the land of liberty and opportunity in which one is able to climb professionally until reaching their own unique version of the American Dream. It is not in our hands to judge those who risk their lives to set foot into the United States, but to admire and support their ambition of wanting to live a better and safer life. Nowadays, immigration stands as a divisive issue in the United States, and I’m aware I cannot change the opinion of those who oppose it. However, as an immigrant myself, I can proudly demonstrate how immigration plays an essential role in the U.S overall economic growth and innovation system within the business community.

Immigrant-Owned Businesses Create Millions of Jobs!

Immigrant entrepreneur directing employee in warehouse
Immigrant entrepreneur directing employee in warehouse

As the economy starts to reopen, it’s important to create jobs to recover from the economic downfall created by a period of strict lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic. Immigrants play an important role in this task as they are seen as job creators, innovators, and consumers with a spending power capable of driving the U.S economy.

According to Immigrant Entrepreneurship, a Harvard Business School study conducted in 2016 by Sari Pekkala Kerr and William R. Kerr, immigrants make up about 28 percent of small-business owners and are two times more likely to become entrepreneurs than the native-born population. This study also highlights the fact that immigrant-founded companies perform better in terms of employment growth over time. Small businesses owned by immigrants employ on average eight employees and collectively provide jobs for about 4 million people in the United States.

“In 2019, immigrant entrepreneurs made up 21.7 percent of all business owners in the United States.”

New American Economy

As mentioned above, immigrants are extremely entrepreneurial and, thus, create significant numbers of jobs for other residents. Consequently, employment opportunities and wages for native-born workers increase. Immigrant entrepreneurs play critical roles in the U.S. economic growth by filling labor needs. They are proven to increase the standard of living for all Americans as they increase productivity by undertaking retail shops, restaurants, and service businesses. Moreover, as Americans retire in upcoming years, immigrants will aid in filling the labor demand to maintain the social safety net.

Immigrants Contribute to the Business Community

Immigrant customers in pizza place
Immigrant customers in pizza place

Companies located in the United States are on the lookout for foreign-born professionals to supplement their workforce as they are a valuable asset to a company’s growth. Immigrants who work at a U.S company bring unique experiences, backgrounds, and knowledge to the workplace. Building a diverse environment leads to an increase in creativity and creates a rich and fulfilling environment for all employees. Additionally, they provide linguistic diversity and different cultural perspectives. This leads to better employee morale, it is also useful for improving relationships to globally expand a business. Economists support the idea that immigrants contribute rather than compete with American workers due to the fact that they learn different skill sets and have different educational backgrounds. This means that the wages of native-born American workers remain unaffected by higher rates of immigration.

Regardless of legal status, immigrants have been essential assets to the United States economy as they contribute to the nation’s tax revenue and economic output. According to US Immigration Statistics from the New American Economy, immigrants contributed  $458.7 billion to state, local, and federal taxes in 2018. Such money from taxes was used to fund hospitals, schools, highways, and other essential services that are vital for a society’s overall well being.

In the end, immigrants’ contribution to the United States economy and innovation system is extremely important to improve the lives of Americans. Without their hard work and strong ambition of building a better future for themselves, long-term demographic and economic trends could decline at a significant rate. Policymakers should modify certain immigration policies to benefit the most from their economic and innovative contributions to the country. If congress is able to establish a well-functioning and humane immigration system that benefits the nation’s future, then Americans will once again be able to honor the United States as a nation of laws and the nation of immigrants.

What do you think of the impact immigrants have on the business community? Let us know down in the comments.

This article originally published on GREY Journal.