A socially liberal, fiscally conservative Mayor of one of the most densely and most diversely populated cities in the country, a libertarian media mogul and businessman, and an outspoken life-long Democrat walk into Boston’s Seaport Hotel. While this may sound like the beginning of a political joke, ending with a mildly controversial and satirical punch, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino actually did walk into the Seaport Hotel. Two weeks ago, the three highly influential personalities convened in order to make a nonpartisan argument that reformation of our country’s broken immigration system is of the essence if the nation’s economy is to be revived.
Immigration System Statistics
Immigrants encourage the growth of the economy, there are studies and statistics abound proving this. Mayor Menino discussed local statistics for Boston as further evidence: in Boston, there are 8,800 immigrant-owned small businesses, employing more than 18,000 people and producing close to $3.7 billion in annual sales. This economic growth is due solely to foreign-born entrepreneurs; the immigrant population, as a whole, spends $4 billion per year and brings in #1.3 billion in state and federal taxes. These astounding numbers, remember, are only for the city of Boston. Mayor Menino enthusiastically proclaimed, “[immigrants] make this old city new again and again.”
Mr. Murdoch added, “an immigrant is more likely to start a small business than a non-immigrant.” An immigrant himself, Murdoch understands and appreciates the positive influence our immigration system has on the growth of the country, not only economically, but also socially, academically, and technologically.
Immigration System Reform
In addition to small businesses, a study by the Partnership for a New American Economy has found that over forty percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. While the immigrant population in the country is less than thirteen percent of the general population, approximately twenty-eight percent of all new American businesses last year were created by them.
To address any misguided disconcertion’s regarding immigrants draining our economy of valuable finances and snatching employment opportunities, Mayor Bloomberg argues, “people don’t come here to put their feet up and collect welfare, they come here to work.” And working is exactly what they do. Immigrants work hard to achieve the American dream, and in the course, they strengthen, preserve, and expand the economy. The convention of Mayors Bloomberg and Menino, and Mr. Murdoch, then, displays the need to unite in a nonpartisan effort to finally fix this broken immigration system.