A week in which President Donald Trump ended protections for immigrants from El Salvador and rejected a bipartisan framework to restore Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) culminated in the president displaying shocking ignorance about why immigrants from certain countries seek a new life in the United States.
The answer to your question, Mr. President, is simple: Many of them come to the United States to realize their entrepreneurial dreams, which is why we must restore DACA.
A report from the New American Economy Research Fund found immigrants owned nearly three million American businesses in 2014, employed almost six million people and produced more than $65 billion worth of income.
What’s more, immigrants from outside Europe had high rates of entrepreneurship or were self-employed in 2014: 19.1 percent of immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa were entrepreneurs, while 11.1 percent of Hispanic immigrants and 10.6 percent of Asian immigrants were self employed.
As lawmakers continue to negotiate the renewal of DACA and other immigration policies, it is essential that they recognize the importance of sensible immigration policies to our nation’s small business community and our economy as a whole.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation recently that seeks to revoke the president’s recent executive actions on immigration reform, which is disappointing news for small employers looking for qualified workers. We know from our polling that having access to a qualified workforce is of paramount importance to entrepreneurs looking to grow and expand their businesses. In fact, more than two-thirds of small business owners believe immigration reform will be good for small businesses by establishing a qualified, trained and stable workforce. But lawmakers’ efforts to undo actions on immigration reform will make it even harder for small business owners who are looking to grow their businesses and find workers with the right skills. Continue reading →
Every year around this time, we think about what the year ahead might bring and how we can make it better than the last. To make 2014 a success, we must find ways to bolster our still-recovering economy. Supporting the middle class is one way to do that. A recent study indicates income inequality is at the highest it’s been in 100 years, with the top 10 percent of earners taking more than half the country’s total income in 2012. In order to close this immense income gap and strengthen our economy, America needs smart policies that will help grow the middle class, and small businesses need to be top-of-mind when crafting these plans.
Entrepreneurs know firsthand how vital the middle class is to our economic recovery. Their primary customer base is made up of middle class individuals and the vast majority of small employers themselves are middle class. In fact, Small Business Majority’s recent polling found only 5 percent of small business owners reported earning more than $250,000 a year, and research conducted by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation reveals that seven in 10 entrepreneurs come from a middle class background. Continue reading →
Immigration reform and the “Gang of Eight’s” bill making its way through the Senate right now is big news, and for good reason. Our immigration system is broken. It needs to be fixed. Small business owners recognize this and realize reform will be good for their businesses, their communities and our economy. The Gang of Eight’s bill is a huge step in the right direction toward reforming the system, but it’s not perfect. No bill is. Continue reading →