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Making The Economic Case for Immigration Reform

Making the Economic Case for Immigration Reform

Making the Economic Case for Immigration Reform: The New York Times reported on May 30, 2013 that a study by researchers at the Harvard Medical School recently measured immigrants' contributions to Medicare and found that immigrants contributed surpluses to Medicare totaling $115 billion from 2002 to 2009. But American-born persons incurred a deficit of $28 billion during the same years by comparison. Leighton Ku, the director of the Center for Health Policy Research at George Washington University stated that "There's this strong belief that immigrants are takers. This shows they are contributing hugely. Without immigrants, the Medicare trust fund would be in trouble sooner." The bottom line: Immigrants are crucial to the viability of Medicare.

From a White House Blog on the Economic Case for Immigration Reform March 13, 2013:

Fixing our broken immigration system would increase America's GDP. In 2006, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that immigration reform would increase GDP by between 0.8 percent and 1.3 percent from 2012 to 2016.

Immigrants start small businesses. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy, immigrants are more than twice as likely to start a business in the United States as non-immigrants, and in 2011, immigrants started 28 percent of all new business while only accounting for 13 percent of the U.S. population.

Immigrant-owned businesses create jobs for American workers. According to the Fiscal Policy Institute, small businesses owned by immigrants employed an estimated 4.7 million people in 2007, and these small businesses generated more than $776 billion in revenue annually.

More than 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or a child of immigrants. According to the Partnership for a New American Economy these companies employ more than 10 million people worldwide and generate annual revenue of $4.2 trillion.

Immigrants boost demand for local consumer goods. According to the 2010 American Community Survey, immigrants earned a total of $1.1 trillion, and the Immigration Policy Center estimates that the purchasing power of Latinos and Asians, many of whom are immigrants, alone will reach $1.5 trillion and $775 billion, respectively, by 2015.

Immigrants contribute to their communities and fill critical job needs: According to a study by the Brookings Institute and the Parnership for a New American Economy, while immigrants represent 16 percent of the workforce, foreign-born workers account for over 20 percent of workers in agriculture, construction, food services, and information technology. They are agricultural laborers, domestic workers, and cabdrivers, as well as health care workers, computer software engineers and medical scientists.

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