Editorial: Unleashing The Potential of Immigrants

Washington Post
September 2, 2012

ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS are entitled to a free public education through high school. Thanks to President Obama’s executive order this spring, more than 1 million of them are now eligible for temporary work permits. But even as America slouches toward recognition that undocumented youngsters are here to stay, most states continue to bar them from receiving in-state tuition benefits at public colleges. That self-defeating stance saps their ability to realize their ambitions and to contribute more to the U.S. economy.

A new report from the Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan group of mayors and business leaders, found that immigrants are more than twice as likely to start businesses than are native-born Americans, and were responsible for more than a quarter of all new businesses started in 2011. Collectively, the study found, immigrant-founded businesses employ a tenth of the private-sector work force.

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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…