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Economics of Immigration

Revitalization in the Heartland of America

A potent combination of declining population growth and economic stagnation has led many cities and metropolitan regions to rethink how to reinvigorate their communities. The Midwest is a prime example of this trend. According to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, “the Midwest cannot hope to keep up with other regions or international competitors without a vital entrepreneurial sector.” The Council notes that “immigrants, risk takers by nature, are unusually successful entrepreneurs, more than twice as likely as native-born Americans to start their own firms.” As a result, immigration is one of the strategies to which communities are repeatedly turning to fuel economic growth.

A budding place-based awareness of the important contributions that new and existing immigrants make to neighborhood revitalization is seen in the increasing number of cities pursuing a nexus of immigrant welcoming, integration, and economic development initiatives. In this report, we focus on the journeys of three places—two cities and one state—in their efforts to implement strategies for future economic success that depend on immigration. The initiatives are taking place against a backdrop of tepid progress toward comprehensive federal reform of the U.S. immigration system.

Published On: Wed, Jan 15, 2014 | Download File

Alaska: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Frontier State

In Alaska, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to Alaska’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 3,394 new immigrant business owners in Alaska and in 2010, 10.1 percent of all business owners in Alaska were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $160 million, which is 7.8 percent of all net business income in the state.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to Alaska’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

Published On: Wed, Jan 01, 2014 | Download File

New Hampshire: Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Welcoming Initiatives in the Granite State

In New Hampshire, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries, and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to New Hampshire’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 4,253 new immigrant business owners in New Hampshire, and in 2010, 5.7 percent of all business owners in New Hampshire were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $252 million, which is 5.8 percent of all net business income in the state.
  • New Hampshire is home to many successful companies with at least one founder who was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, including well-known companies such as the footwear company Timberland. Based in Stratham, Timberland currently employs more than 5,800 people and has over $1.5 billion in annual revenue.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to New Hampshire’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

Published On: Sat, Nov 30, 2013 | Download File

Nebraska: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Cornhusker State

In Nebraska, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries, and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute to Nebraska’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 3,905 new immigrant business owners in Nebraska, and in 2010, 3.9 percent of all business owners in Nebraska were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $126 million, which is 2.7 percent of all net business income in the state.
  • Nebraska is home to many successful companies with at least one founder who was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, or companies whose success relies on immigration like ConAgra. Many brands now sold by ConAgra, which employs more than 26,000 people and has more than $13 billion in revenue, were brands that started as immigrant founded businesses.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to Nebraska’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

Published On: Wed, Oct 16, 2013 | Download File

The Cost of Doing Nothing

Dollars, Lives, and Opportunities Lost in the Wait for Immigration Reform

Immigration reform is a topic that has been heavily debated in Congress over the past year. While that debate led to passage of a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the Senate (S. 744), the leadership of the House of Representatives has yet to put immigration legislation on the floor. This state of affairs is fine with those congressional representatives who seem to think that merely talking about immigration is enough. And if Congress were a debating society, perhaps talking would be sufficient. But Congress is entrusted with a far greater responsibility: passing laws that matter. This is particularly true in the case of immigration reform, which has such enormous humanitarian and economic implications. Further delay on immigration reform, especially when there is broad public support for reform, wastes not just time, but money and lives as well.Read more...

Published On: Mon, Sep 23, 2013 | Download File

Illinois: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Prairie State

In Illinois, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Illinois’ economy. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Sep 05, 2013 | Download File

Wisconsin: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Badger State

In Wisconsin, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Wisconsin’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 10,342 new immigrant business owners in Wisconsin and in 2010, 4.3 percent of all business owners in Wisconsin were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had a total net business income of $589 million, which is 4.6 percent of all net business income in the state.
  • Wisconsin is home to many successful companies with at least one founder who was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, including well-known businesses such as Kohl’s and other Fortune 500 firms including Oshkosh, American Family Mutual Insurance, Harley-Davidson, and Manpower. Those five companies together employ over 200,000 people and bring in around $60 billion in revenue each year.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to Wisconsin’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

Published On: Thu, Sep 05, 2013 | Download File

Colorado: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Centennial State

In Colorado, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries, and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Colorado’s economy. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Sep 05, 2013 | Download File

Nevada: Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Innovation in the Silver State

In Nevada, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Furthermore, highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Nevada’s economy.

  • From 2006 to 2010, there were 20,000 new immigrant business owners in Nevada and in 2010, 20.7 percent of all business owners in Nevada were foreign-born.
  • In 2010, new immigrant business owners had total net business income of $1.1 billion, which is 16.8 percent of all net business income in the state.
  • Nevada is home to successful companies with at least one founder who was an immigrant or child of an immigrant, including the Las Vegas Sands international resort company and MGM Resorts International. Those two companies together employ over 100,000 people and bring in $17.3 billion in revenue each year.

Highly skilled immigrants are vital to Nevada’s innovation industries, which in turn helps lead American innovation and creates jobs.Read more...

Published On: Thu, Sep 05, 2013 | Download File

Virginia: Immigrant Entrepreneurs, Innovation, and Welcoming Initiatives in the Old Dominion State

In Virginia, there is no doubt that immigrant entrepreneurs and innovators play an important role. Immigrant entrepreneurs bring in additional revenue, create jobs, and contribute significantly to the state’s economy. Highly skilled immigrants are vital to the state’s innovation industries, and to the metropolitan areas within the state, helping to boost local economies. Furthermore, local government, business, and non-profit leaders recognize the importance of immigrants in their communities and support immigration through local “welcoming” and integration initiatives.

Immigrant entrepreneurs contribute significantly to Virginia’s economy. Read more...

Published On: Thu, Sep 05, 2013 | Download File