In an April 27th editorial, the Wall Street Journal (WJS) supports immigration reform as the quintessential economic stimulus. It states, “Immigrants are a smaller proportion of the U.S. population than in periods such as the late 1890s and 1910s, when immigrants gave the economy a jolt of growth.” It then goes on to praise immigrants as the ultimate sources of job creation in the US: “Immigrants have had a disproportionate role in innovation and technology. Companies founded by immigrants include Yahoo, eBay and Google. Half of Silicon Valley start-ups were founded by immigrants, up from 25% a decade ago. Some 40% of patents in the U.S. are awarded to immigrants. A recent study by the Kauffman Foundation found that immigrants are 50% likelier to start businesses than natives. Immigrant-founded technology firms employ 450,000 workers in the U.S. And according to the National Venture Capital Association, immigrants have started one quarter of all U.S. venture-backed firms.”
What’s more, the WSJ states that other countries are actively recruiting foreign workers when the US Congress is simultaneously trying to restrict the flow of highly skilled and needed foreign workers into the US. WSJ quotes Intel Chairman Craig Barrett as suggesting that instead of sending the half million higher-education students from overseas home when they graduate, we should “staple a green card to their diplomas.”
It is time that Congress smartens up, stops it scapegoating of immigrants and finally allows the US to effectively compete in globalization.