Hard to stay completely out of the political arena when you have a blog about immigration. The Cato Institute claims to jump in with Republicans or Democrats…and Cato is fairly Libertarian. These days, that makes them front and center in the political drama.
So in April, Alex Nowrasteh wrote a ‘commentary’ on the Cato Site about how bringing in skilled immigrants is a policy that should continue in the United States. Here are a few stats from Nowrasteh’s commentary:
1. 40% of 2010’s Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants
2. About 1/2 of recent skilled immigrants work in high-tech
3. The Immigration Innovation Act (was not familiar with this) being proposed would allow immigrants to apply for jobs as freely as native U.S. citizens – something that is currently hard for H-IB workers. Interesting concept since currently, they have sponsored employers which have allowed them to be here in the first place.
You can read the article to get more stats. And opinions.
Ok so it’s who I am, I look at stats and always think they can be used to represent any side you want, just report them differently. First thing I did was try to check out other sources. Forbes magazine and others (including Cato’s Nowrasteh) go to The Partnership For A New American Economy(PFNAE) for the 40% stat in #1 above. This is a bipartisan coalition NYC’s mayor Bloomberg put together (and by the way, let’s not forget that Rupert Murdoch is also a founder, although that’s an entirely different story for another day!).
Forbes includes this quote from the PFNAE report:
” Many of America’s greatest brands – Apple, Google, AT&T Budweiser, Colgate, eBay, General Electric, IBM, and McDonald’s to name just a few – owe their origin to a founder who was an immigrant or the child of an immigrant.”
I like their enthusiasm but when you get right down to it, most of us come from immigrant stock so technically more than 40% are founded by ‘children of immigrants.’ The article is interesting because it does list the original country of the parents of these company founding children.
I may sound a bit cheeky but when I first heard about this coalition, I was excited, I admit it. Mayors, business leaders, all coming together to work on the economy. So here is the original PFNAE report called The New American Fortune 500. It was published in June of 2011.