White House Plays Offense: Says Immigration Reform Will Turbocharge Entrepreneurship
The White House is coming out with guns blazing today, saying the U.S. needs to pass immigration reform to drive entrepreneurship, create jobs and generate revenue.
According to a new report from the Obama Administration, immigration reform will result in more highly skilled workers moving to the U.S., more businesses being launched, revenue being generated and more jobs being created.
The report, titled The Economic Benefits of Fixing Our Broken Immigration System, has been released by President Obama’s National Economic Council, Domestic Policy Council, Office of Management and Budget and the Council of Economic Advisers. It examines how the U.S. economy would be affected if the Senate-passed bipartisan immigration-reform bill became law. The Senate passed its version of immigration reform in late June. Immigration reform faces an uphill battle in the Republican-controlled House.
If the Senate's immigration-reform bill passed the House, it would result in a directly related Gross Domestic Product increase of 3.3 percent by 2023 and 5.4 percent by 2033, the report says, based on Congressional Budget Office estimates. That would mean an increase of $700 billion by 2023 and $1.4 trillion by 2033.
A primary focus of the White House report is how immigration reform would affect entrepreneurship. Here is a breakdown of what it says:
- Keep highly educated immigrants, create U.S. jobs: The Senate immigration-reform bill would make it easier for highly skilled and highly educated workers to come to the U.S. Science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) doctorate and master’s graduates would be exempt from the annual caps on green cards available. Each foreign-born student with an advanced degree that stays in the U.S. and works in a STEM field creates 2.6 jobs, the White House report says.
- Offer a startup visa for immigrants, create U.S. jobs: The Senate immigration-reform bill creates a new Startup visa, called the Investing in New Venture, Entrepreneurial Startups and Technologies (INVEST) visa. Entrepreneurial immigrants would be eligible for temporary and permanent visas if they can prove they have ideas for businesses that attract money from U.S. investors, generate revenue in the U.S. or can generate jobs. If all of the green cards offered by the immigration bill are used, as many as 50,000 jobs could be created, according to the report.
- Immigrants are more likely to be entrepreneurs than U.S. natives: Immigrants and their children have founded Google, Disney, Procter & Gamble and 40 percent of America's 500 largest companies, the report says. Immigrants, typically motivated to improve their standing in life, are more than two times as likely to start businesses than those born in the U.S., the White House report says, citing the 2012 Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. Immigrant-owned small-businesses generated a total of $776 billion in revenue and employed approximately 4.7 million people in 2007, according to a report from the Fiscal Policy Institute, cited in the White House report.
Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.