Why We Need More Immigrants
What do Intel (NASDAQ: INTC), Google (NASDAQ: GOOG), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW), ebay (NASDAQ: EBAY), and Yahoo! (NASDQ: YHOO) have in common? They were all founded by immigrants, from Hungary, Russia, Germany & India, France, and Taiwan respectively. Those five companies together employ about 160,000 people, mostly in the U.S., and illustrate why we need more immigrants, not fewer.
From the study American Made: The Impact of Immigrant Entrepreneurs and Professionals on U.S. Competitiveness:
"This study illustrates the significant contribution to the U.S. economy made by immigrant entrepreneurs and foreign-born professionals, scientists, and engineers. This research, the first of its kind to examine entrepreneurship in cutting edge venture-backed companies, reveals that since 1990, immigrants have started 1 in 4 (25%) U.S. venture-backed public companies. This impressive proportion helps demonstrate the significant advantage the United States gains in maintaining an open legal immigration system.
Intel, the largest immigrant-founded company, employs nearly 100,000 workers worldwide, with more than half of its employees located in the United States. Hungarian-born entrepreneur Andy Grove co-founded Intel along with two American-born co-founders, Robert Noyce and Gordon Moore. Other large companies founded or co-founded by immigrants include Solectron (Winston Chen from Taiwan), Sanmina-SCI (Jure Sola of Bosnia and Milan Mandaric from Croatia), Sun Microsystems (Andreas Bechtolsheim from Germany and Vinod Khosla from India), eBay (Pierre Omidyar from France), Yahoo! (Jerry Yang from Taiwan), and Google (Sergey Brin from Russia). It is worth noting that the immigrant founders of eBay and Google came to America as children, and Jerry Yang, the co-founder of Yahoo!, came to America as a teenager.
India, with 32 companies (22%), ranks first as the country of origin for immigrant-founded venture-backed public companies, followed by Israel with 17 companies (12%), and Taiwan with 16 companies (11%). Canada, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, China, Iran, and two dozen other countries are also represented."
Bottom Line: The study’s findings reflect the benefits of an open policy toward legal immigration, and it also reveals that current restrictions on skilled immigrants are likely to result in less job creation and innovation for America.