In Celebration of Entrepreneurial Immigrants

As we have discussed in the past, immigrant entrepreneurs have a rich history of starting successful businesses in America. From Alexander Graham Bell (Scottish) to Google’s Sergey Brin (Russian), immigrants have created some of America’s most iconic companies. In fact, more than 40 percent of the Fortune 500 companies in 2010 were founded by an immigrant or the child of an immigrant. We know immigrants make profound impacts in the United States, and our mission is to help more foreign nationals enjoy a viable future in America.

Historically, the US has always been a destination for foriegn nationals looking to be the masters of their own future. America was, and is, world-renowned for its entrepreneurial business spirit. What you may not know, is that in every economic census since 1880, immigrants are more likely to be self-employed than the native-born population. While some of these immigrant entrepreneurs were highly educated, many were not. In fact, the only quality that all immigrant entrepreneurs share is the courage to leave their home countries to start a new life in the United States.

According to Michael Clemens, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development, where he studies the economic effects and causes of migration, “Immigrants are consumers, they are investors, they are founders and inventors. They are also suppliers of labor. They’re suppliers of specialized labor. And for all those reasons they are very different from this cartoon idea of immigrants as suppliers of undifferentiated labor.”

A common concern is that immigrants take jobs away from natural born Americans. That has been proven time and again to not be the case. A recent report by New American Economy found that there is a shortage of high-skilled workers in the United States, with unemployment rates in sectors such as computer- and mathematics-related occupations growing, with employers requesting foreign workers in those fields at a slightly higher rate amid the pandemic. Further, even immigrants and Americans who have the same educational levels and who might otherwise seem interchangeable, therefore, might not necessarily be competing for the same jobs.

Immigrant entrepreneurs possess a determination and creativity that reinvigorate declining communities, create jobs for Americans and keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of innovation. Immigrants make up 22 percent of the workforce in hospitality, one in seven in retail, one in five in food services, and one in three in hotels and accommodations. Now, as we see ourselves with workforce shortages after the COVID-19 pandemic, immigration could help these struggling industries fill positions that are required to reopen at full capacity.

We believe in the power of immigration. If you’re a US company looking to hire foreign nationals at your company, or an international entrepreneur looking to come to America, contact our team of US immigration attorneys today.