New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition – Winter 2020

Pursuing Bipartisan and Evidence-Based Immigration Reform

Welcome to the latest edition of the NJBIC newsletter, where we will update you on business-related immigration policy and advocacy issues. Let us know what you think of our newsletter at:

Report Examines the Economic Impact of Immigrants in
Middlesex County
The Middlesex County Regional Chamber of Commerce and Einstein’s Alley have released a report on the impact of immigration on the economy of Middlesex County. Prepared under a “Gateways for Growth” grant from New American Economy, the report details the positive contributions that immigrants make to the county’s economy. The report was unveiled at the Chamber’s annual State of the County Event at Rutgers University on January 30. Although only 34.5% of the county’s population, immigrants make up 42.8% of its employed workforce and 64.4% of STEM workers. Immigrants were also disproportionately represented among the county’s entrepreneurs. They made up 49% of the business owners in the county. Immigrants in Middlesex were also well-educated. Slightly more than 50% of county immigrants had a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 38.9% of the U.S.-born. Without immigration, the county’s population would have declined 0.1 percent from 2013 to 2018. Instead, it rose 2.7 percent.
Business school deans take a stand on immigration reform
The Niskanen Center, a “moderate” think tank in Washington, calls for “place-based” immigrant visas to alleviate population shortages in economically depressed areas.
Trump got his wall after all: bureaucratic barriers are dramatically lowering immigration in almost all categories
Turning their backs on the U.S, Asian Indians are immigrating to Canada at an astonishing rate
U.S. Fertility rate hits a record low in 2018
Manhattan Institute: Mr. President, Don’t Abandon the Dreamers
New Data Show
Sharp Reductions in Legal Immigration
The recent release of the 2018 Handbook of Immigration Statistics by the Dept. of Homeland Security shows significant reductions in legal immigration to the U.S. An analysis of the data done by the National Foundation for American Policy shows a decline of 7.3 percent from FY 2016 to FY 2018 (adjusted to more than 15 percent if refugees are excluded from the total). Most of the declines were in the immediate relative categories (spouses, children, and parents of U.S citizens), which are not subject to numerical limitations. Legal immigration from Mexico declined by 7.3 percent during this period, while immigration from China fell by 20.3 percent. Especially large drops in legal immigration occurred from “travel ban” countries like Iran (down 44 percent) and Yemen (down 87 percent). Curiously, there was little change in the number of people receiving immigrant visas in the employment category. The authors of the report attribute most of the family category reductions to delays in processing and heightened screening procedures. If the administration’s health insurance mandate and public charge ruling are unblocked by the courts, it’s likely that hundreds of thousands of additional people would not be able to reunify with their loved ones in the U.S.
Immigration Policy
and the U.S. AI Sector
A report published by the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology discusses the challenges faced by immigrants with skills in artificial intelligence and related fields seeking to find work in the U.S. They must contend with limited, costly, and uncertain pathways to temporary or permanent residence, as well as an inhospitable regulatory environment. Unsurprisingly, and despite shortages of AI talent here, many are beginning to find other countries, such as Canada, France, and China, more attractive destinations, especially as those countries roll out the red carpet for AI talent. The report discusses the nature and limitations of current visa programs, such as the OPT, H-1B, and employment-based green card programs, and provides a series of policy recommendations to restore American competitiveness in attracting talent from abroad. Among the most important reforms would be eliminating or indexing the current caps on H-1B visas and employment-based green cards, and eliminating the current annual 7 percent per-country caps on green cards, which severely disadvantage Asian Indian and Chinese talent. The latter reform is consistent with recent bipartisan legislation introduced in Congress.
Startup Firms
Do Better
with H-1B Workers
New Research from the National Bureau of Economic Research shows that start-up firms that are successful in accessing H-1B foreign workers find it easier to attract venture capital funding, go public more frequently, and have greater records of innovation. The researchers surveyed nearly 1,900 startups, most of which were in high technology fields and therefore highly dependent on human capital.
New Americans Founded the Majority of New Jersey’s Fortune 500 companies
Since 2011, researchers from New American Economy (NAE), a new York-based think tank, have been analyzing the list of Fortune 500 companies to identify those companies founded by immigrants or their children. In its most recent analysis, NAE finds that the percentage of such companies with immigrant founders has risen to 45 percent from 40 percent. Among the new immigrant companies to make the list are Broadcom, Intuit, and Tapestry. Together the 223 companies with new American founders brought in $6.1 trillion in revenue and employed 13.5 million people. If these companies were a separate economy, they would be third largest in the world. The report features a data interactive permitting the user to analyze the role of New American Fortune 500 companies in each of the 50 states. In New Jersey, the percentage of immigrant-founded Fortune 500 firms is 55 percent (10 of 18 companies), higher than the national average of 45 percent.
Dealing with the Fear and Anxiety over Immigration May be the Most Important Policy Challenge Facing the Nation
In a bold and provocative paper published by Welcoming America, an organization committed to defusing tensions in changing communities, the author Suzette Brooks-Masters surveys the literature on cultural anxiety caused by immigration, demographic change, and perceived threats to American identity. She suggests that the immigration debate is less about the fine points of policy, and more about culture, identity, and the future of our nation. Most Americans, she contends, don’t espouse the extremes of the right and the left on immigration policy; rather they are the “exhausted majority,” people who seek reassurance that the nation is not changing in ways that they will regret. Therefore, efforts to promote authentic dialogue across our differences should have a much higher priority for policy makers and funders. Building relationships and trust, she writes, is “the essential foundation for a well-functioning democracy.” We need to develop the “infrastructure” for this kind of work. She also cautions us to avoid talk of “immigrant exceptionalism” and “polarizing demographic predictions” and to embrace larger policy solutions that work not only for immigrants but also for the U.S.-born population.
GET INVOLVED: We want to hear from you!
  • Check out our policy platform here and if your company or organization (or you as an individual) agrees with our principles for immigration reform, sign up as a member of the coalition.
  • Share your thoughts on the immigration reform challenges facing the United States. How is your industry affected? What specific reform proposals are you championing? Write us at:
The New Jersey Business Immigration Coalition,
c/o Einstein’s Alley, P.O. Box 165, Plainsboro NJ 08536,
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