Eased Immigration Laws Could Increase U.S. Jobs

In November, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Director Alejandro Mayorkas announced an initiative that would help immigrant entrepreneurs wishing to start a business in the U.S. navigate the immigration process. Reports have found that highly skilled immigrants create more jobs for Americans, but they are often unable to acquire a United States visa to stay in the country and start their own businesses.

Professor Madeline Zavodny collected information between 2000 and 2007, which found that for every 100 foreign-born workers with STEM degrees – science, technology, engineering and math – 262 additional jobs were created for native citizens of the U.S. In her study, “Immigration and American Jobs,” she also found that the average highly skilled immigrant paid $22,000 in taxes and received $2,300 in government benefits.

Start-up firms – companies between the ages of three and five years – typically create 10 percent of new jobs each year, but only account for 1 percent of all companies. The average start-up business created 88 jobs a year, which is 44 times more than the average firm. However, many immigrants who study STEM in the United States end up creating businesses elsewhere because of the difficult visa process.

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