THE BLOG

Immigrants Make America Great

17/03/2017 11:59 GMT | Updated 17/03/2017 11:59 GMT
Steve Lewis Stock via Getty Images

Two most valuable companies in America are Apple and Google. Jobs, a son of an immigrant. Brin was a refugee. However, immigrants and refugees have been demonized and dehumanized recently and we need to break the anti-immigration furore.

The focus of the debate needs to shift from jobs being "stolen" to the true value that immigrants bring to the country. The negative way in which immigration is presently framed could actually damage our economy.

America has been built and continues to thrive on the sacrifice and determination of hardworking immigrants - less we forget that every one in the US is an immigrant or descends from one. Restricting immigration seems counter to American values, they contribute to this nations greatness and I would advocate that a freer flow of labour would make the economic pie bigger.

Immigration is integral to America's growth, foreigners in the US labour market added over $2 Trillion to the American economy last year and about half of the 87 start-ups valued at more than $1 Billion had one or more immigrant founders.

Skilled foreigners help the economy and native-born workers by starting new businesses and creating jobs. Low skilled immigrants are equally indispensible to the cleaning, farming manufacturing and food service industries to name but a few. They also increase the labour supply by doing the jobs that the helps support the native population like providing in home care.

Immigrants as a whole tend to be younger than the native born population, they slow the aging workforce and therefore more likely to be working and contribute to our GDP. An ABC/Washington Post poll found that 64 % of Americans believed immigrants mainly strengthened American society. They expand our tax base, pay social security and Medicare - in fact immigrants contribute more in taxes than they will ever receive in benefits.

What we should also remember is that immigrants do not move here to steal jobs, claim benefits or set up shop, make a quick buck, and leave. The US and in particular cities like NYC have so much to offer in terms of culture, academia, creativity and international links - this is why foreigners dream of coming to the US.

Our leaders must remember that immigrants have created some of our largest companies, built America's global dominance and if we created barriers to bringing talent to the US the likes of Apple and Google wouldn't exist today.

The immigrants who did important, world-changing things did them here because this country welcomed them and that's what makes America so great!