Diversity and Immigrants Make America Stronger
The recent increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans and other minority groups and the broader acceptance of anti-immigrant rhetoric in the US has been disturbing. Against this backdrop, it’s important to remember that diversity is one of America’s greatest strengths and that, in fact, almost every American was at some point within the last 250 years an immigrant.
The US has more immigrants than any other country in the world. And more people want to immigrate to the US than to any other country by a large margin, according to Gallup. The US is truly a nation of immigrants.
Unfortunately, some people view this as a liability rather than as a strength. Some worry that immigrants take away jobs that otherwise would have gone to them. And this fear and economic insecurity deserves compassion. It is difficult to live in a society in which the prospects for future generations are dim and in which the ability to provide for one’s family is not guaranteed.
However, immigrants actually bring more economic growth and on average create far more jobs in the US, rather than take them away. 43 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by an immigrant or a child of an immigrant, and 55 percent of American unicorn companies worth at least $1 billion have an immigrant co-founder. Immigrants are 80 percent more likely to start a business than those born in the US, and immigrant-founded firms create 42 percent more jobs than native-born-founded firms, according to an MIT study. Immigrants are net job creators.
Successful companies started by US immigrants or children of immigrants include Pfizer, AT&T, Tesla, Google, Intel, Apple, Disney, and eBay. While immigrants are only 14 percent of the US population, they represent 20 percent of the self-employed workforce and 25 percent of startup founders. Immigrants build successful companies that employ many people.
The diversity of experiences that comes from welcoming immigrants also brings a wider variety of perspectives. This leads to more creativity and insights.
Immigrants come to the US for a variety of reasons–whether to flee persecution, pursue a graduate degree, or get a better job–but one thing they all have in common is that they seek a better life for themselves and their families. The US represents a land of opportunity for many people around the world. Everyone in the US, except for Native Americans, is an immigrant or descendant of immigrants. We or our families came here to seek a better life. It’s important to remember that as new people seek to become Americans.
Our ability to attract global talent is a competitive advantage. In the US, we draw on the best talent from everywhere, which allows the US to remain dominant in a variety of fields. And in the US, the top talent from around the world can collaborate in a unique way. This allows for more new companies and inventions. We’re a rich country because of the quality of the talent and the opportunities that we have in the US.
Our willingness to embrace immigrants has made America the great country it is today. More than any other country, it has been our tradition to welcome people from all around the world. It is important to preserve that spirit if we wish to not only make America great, but also ensure that we remain a country of good as well.