The United States has long been the destination for the world’s most talented immigrants. Despite the last 50 years of technological advancement, American immigration policy has remained virtually unchanged, putting in danger America’s global competitiveness. Yesterday’s immigration policy no longer meets today’s economic needs. Only about 14 percent of all U.S. green cards are given for economic reasons, compared to more than 60 percent in Canada and Australia. With no dedicated visa for entrepreneurs and numerous barriers to residency in place for international students to stay after graduation, America’s outdated immigration policy could allow other countries to out-compete us by attracting and keeping the best and brightest there and not here.
Impending Labor Challenges
The United States is facing demographic challenges that endanger its preeminent economic position in the world. An aging workforce threatens the vitality of the labor force. At the same time, the supply of U.S.-trained engineers is lagging behind nearly all other industrialized economies. At a time when tech-heavy and innovation driven industries are driving economic growth, the United States faces the prospect of being left behind.
|Country||Share of Undergrads Studying Engineering|
Prioritizing Economic Needs
Many countries have identified the link between immigration and economic growth. For many, such moves are a matter of necessity–the domestic labor force is not sufficient for an expanding economy, and aging populations and declining fertility rates are creating labor shortages. Despite facing some of the same challenges, U.S. immigration policy has not changed to reflect our economy’s evolving needs.
|Country||Share of Permanent Resident Visas, Economic-Based|
Need for a Start-Up Visa
Countries around the world, from France, to Chile, to Singapore have created visas aimed at attracting promising entrepreneurs and job creators. Despite concerns about meager job creation and business growth, however, the United States has not taken a similar step, endangering our position in the global race for talent. This situation was made worse in 2017 when the administration took the first steps to kill the International Entrepreneur Rule, a measure that would have allowed entrepreneurs with outside funding to remain in the country for 2.5 years to establish their businesses.
|135,240: Minimum number of jobs that would have been created within a decade if International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) had gone into effect|
|308,460: Number of jobs that IER would have created if just half the companies founded were in STEM fields|
Explore States & Districts in: Global Competitiveness
New American Economy on the RELIEF Act of 2019
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TexasNew data shows the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in Austin grew by 17.5 percent in…
PennsylvaniaNew data shows immigrants in Pittsburgh paid more than $1 billion in taxes in 2017,…
VirginiaNew data shows the number of immigrant entrepreneurs in the Richmond metro area grew by…
United States of AmericaTexans for Economic Growth Urges Action on Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act
FloridaNew data shows Miami’s immigrants paid more than $16 billion in taxes in 2017
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New American Economy is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization fighting for smart federal, state, and local immigration policies that help grow our economy and create jobs for all Americans. More…
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November 13, 2019