Project Immigrant Inclusion
Beneficial for Families, Communities, and the Economy
1. The Global Rise of Migration: Inclusive Immigration Policy More Relevant than Ever
Source: The New York Times, United Nations Department of Economic Social Affairs
2. Diversity of National Origin, Ethnicities, Language, and Cultures Breed Trust in Society
Sources: The New York Times, Journal of Current Directions in Psychological Science
3. Societal Benefits of Immigrant Inclusion
Sources: Center for American Progress; Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration; Center for American Progress
Benefit 1: Business development
Immigrants have exhibited high levels of entrepreneurship, being twice as likely to start a business than non-immigrants. According to the American Immigration Council, in 2011, immigrants made up 13 percent of the U.S. population but started 28 percent of all new businesses. And between 1996 and 2011, the rate at which immigrants started new businesses increased by 50 percent.
Benefit 3: Job creation
According to the Council of the Americas and Partnership for a New American Economy, in 2017, immigrant-owned small businesses employed roughly 4.7 million people and generated over $776 billion in revenue. Fifty-seven percent of small businesses owned by immigrants employ at least one paid employee in addition to the owner. In addition, studies have shown that the 40 million immigrants living in the United States have created or preserved 1.8 million manufacturing jobs—more than one in seven such jobs nationwide. Economists estimate that creating a pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants would create an estimated 159,000 new jobs annually.
Benefit 2: Community revitalization
The Fiscal Policy Institute has found that flourishing immigrant communities can revitalize commercial corridors and towns that have long been abandoned. Worthington, Minnesota, saw its population decline to below 10,000 residents before an influx of primarily Latino immigrants from Mexico helped the community grow and become more diverse. In the last 10 years, Worthington’s population grew by 11 percent and the new residents helped revitalize the town as they have established roots, purchased homes, and built lives in their new communities. Nationally, research shows that immigrants boost the total housing values of the communities they move into by an average of $92,800.
Benefit 4: Higher wages for all
According to PolicyLink, a recent study revealed how immigrant inclusion creates tangible economic benefits for all workers by measurably increasing their wages. Increases in workplace diversity correlated to 1.6 percent greater wages, while proportionate increases in city-level diversity boosted wages by 6 percent.16 The places most accepting of immigrants saw even higher wage growth.
4. Plans for Immigrant Inclusion
The ECC strives to advocate for both state-level and federal-level reform.
Strategy: To encourage state governments to create immigrant inclusion policies through written or oral testimony, and public awareness-raising campaigns.
- Pass language-access policies. About half of the immigrants living in the US have limited English language proficiency. Requiring agencies to provide interpretation and translation services for English language learners can increase access to and use of their programs and resources.
- Facilitate naturalization
There are 8.8 million legal permanent residents living in the United States who are eligible for citizenship, but high costs, lack of English proficiency, and lack of knowledge about the process hinder many from attaining citizenship. Cities can help these residents go through this challenging process by providing financial and technical assistance and widely publicizing these services.29 Naturalization would provide access to better-paying jobs, academic scholarships, and other benefits.
- Balancing the involvement of ICE in local law enforcement
Localities can enact policies that prevent law enforcement officers from asking people who have not been arrested about their immigration status. These policies make communities safer by allowing crime victims and witnesses to work with police without fear of federal immigration authorities.
5. Current Challenges to Immigrant Inclusion
Challenge 1: Widespread Misconceptions about Immigrants
According to the New York Times in 2018, based on surveys in the United States and a variety of European countries by the economists Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano and Stefanie Stantcheva found that people across the board vastly overstate their immigrant populations.
The overestimates are largest among particular groups: the least educated, workers in low-skill occupations with lots of immigrants, and those on the political right. They
1. overstate the share of immigrants who are Muslim and understate the share of Christians. 2. underestimate immigrants’ education and overestimate both their poverty rate and their dependence on welfare.
Almost a quarter of French respondents, as well as nearly one in five Swedes and about one in seven Americans, think the average immigrant gets twice as much government aid as native residents do. In no country is this true.
Source: The New York Times
Source: "Immigration and Redistribution," 2018. Alberto Alesina, Armando Miano and Stefanie Stantcheva (Harvard University), The New York Times
Source: The White House Office of the Press Secretary
Source: CATO Institute, Vox
Challenge 2: Ineffective Governmental Actions Fueled by Aforementioned Misconceptions, Furthering Resentment Towards Immigrants
Early in his presidency U.S. President Donald Trump issued an executive order, banning tourists from 6 predominantly Muslim countries from entering into the United States. President Trump titled his executive order "Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States."
However, there is no evidence for such security benefits.
According to the CDC, Americans were more likely to be killed by their own clothes than by an immigrant terrorist. Also, in the past four decades, no Americans were killed by immigrant terrorists from these particular six countries selected by Trump.
In addition, if President Trump wanted to protect Americans from attacks like 9/11, San Bernardino, or Orlando Pulse Shooting, his executive order would prevent none of them. The September 11 attack was carried out by 15 Saudi Arabian citizens, 2 UAE citizens, and 1 Egyptian citizen. Both the San Bernadino and Orlando nightclub attacks were orchestrated by US citizens and permanent residents.
On the state level, there have also been pushbacks against immigrant inclusion. Take New Hampshire for instance, in September 2019, House Bill 232 was introduced by eleven legislators (R), with the intended purpose to force New Hampshire cities to allow federal immigration enforcement to detain certain immigrants.
The East Coast Coalition for Tolerance and Non-Discrimination is dedicated to reducing social exclusion. Coalition President Bincheng Mao traveled to multiple New Hampshire cities and proposed immigration inclusion policy ideas to legislators.
The ECC Proposing Immigrant Inclusion Policies to lawmakers in Hopkinton, New Hampshire
Testifying Before the New York State Senate Budget Forum on Minority Inclusion in February, 2020