A new research paper, Immigration, Innovation, and Growth, looks at immigration over the past three decades and finds big gains in U.S. counties that received lots of immigrants. With the many talents, education and strong work ethics immigrants bring to the United States, immigration is good for Illinois – and good for America.
Immigrants have a significant positive impact on the American economy. Here are five ways immigrant workers improve the U.S. economy for all workers.
1. Local Businesses Filed More Patents
Immigrants are 15% of the general U.S. workforce, and immigrants account for about 25% of U.S. inventors; an increase from 17% in the mid-1990s.
2. More Job Creation
Young firms founded by immigrants create more jobs than older companies, according to a report on immigrant entrepreneurship in the Harvard Business Review.
3. Higher Wages
Most studies demonstrate that immigration has a long-term benefit of higher wages for native-born Americans because immigrants spend their wages on housing, food, clothing, electronics and other goods and services that expand economic demand and increase wages.
4. Immigrant Talent Drives High-Tech Ventures
Highly skilled and educated foreign workers has resulted in U.S. global dominance in technology fields. 64% of engineers at American companies are foreign-born, according to statistics compiled in Migration and the Economy.
• Over 50% of U.S. startup “unicorns” have at least one immigrant co-founder.
• Immigrants account for nearly 50% of the U.S. workforce with a science or engineering doctorate, and 60% of workers in computer and mathematical sciences.
5. Immigrants Lead Entrepreneurship
Immigrants are 15% of the general U.S. workforce, but they make up 25% of U.S. entrepreneurs:
• 31% of venture capital founders are immigrants
• 35%-40% of new firms have at least one immigrant entrepreneur founder
1 in 6 workers in Illinois is an immigrant, and over 20% of all business owners in the Chicago metropolitan area are immigrants. As workers, business owners, taxpayers, and neighbors, immigration is good for Illinois and immigrants are an integral part of Illinois’ diverse and thriving communities and make extensive contributions that benefit all.
Immigrants in Illinois have contributed billions of dollars in taxes:
• Immigrant-led households in the state paid $9.8 billion in federal taxes and $5.2 billion in state and local taxes in 2014.
• Undocumented immigrants in Illinois paid an estimated $758.9 million in state and local taxes in 2014. Their contribution would rise to over $917.4 million if they could receive legal status.
• DACA recipients in Illinois paid an estimated $131 million in state and local taxes in 2016.
As consumers, immigrants add tens of billions of dollars to Illinois’ economy:
• Illinois residents in immigrant-led households had $40.1 billion in spending power (after-tax income) in 2014.
Immigrant entrepreneurs in Illinois generate billions of dollars in business revenue:
• 119,404 immigrant business owners accounted for 21.3% of all self-employed Illinois residents in 2015 and generated more than $2.5 billion in business income.
• In 2015, immigrants accounted for 20.3% of business owners in the Chicago/Naperville/Joliet metropolitan area (which stretches from Wisconsin to Indiana through Illinois) and 6.5% of business owners in the St. Louis metro area (which straddles Illinois and Missouri).
The experienced immigration attorneys at Godoy Law Office in Chicago and Lombard can help you with your immigration case. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office or call us at 855-554-6369.